The 2021-22 college basketball season begins on Tuesday, and the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden is the main event.
Kansas takes on Michigan State first, followed by Duke vs. Kentucky. You can bet on all of the action at Illinois online sportsbooks — except for any game involving an Illinois team due to state rules.
That should soon change… sort of. The Senate and House recently passed HB 3136, which legalizes betting on Illinois college teams. However, there is an in-person caveat, meaning you still won’t be able to bet on those teams remotely.
At any rate, there are two excellent matchups on Tuesday. And college basketball is a volume betting sport, so there will be plenty of games to wager on in the coming weeks and months.
Let’s get to it.
DraftKings has a no-brainer college hoops sign-up offer
DraftKings Sportsbook in Illinois is giving people the chance to win $100 in free bets off of a $1 college hoops bet.
Here’s how it works. Deposit $5 into your account, and if either team scores a point, you will win $100 in free bets.
The bonus is paid out in four $25 bets and must be used within seven days of issuance.
The offer is also available for any NFL, NBA or college football game.
Tuesday college basketball odds
As previously mentioned, most eyes will be on the Champions Classic.
Kansas (-4.5) and Duke (-3) are favored, and the odds for the Kansas game haven’t budged much. Duke, however, opened at -1, so the money has been pouring in on the Blue Devils.
Perhaps more than any other sport, college basketball can be tough to handicap early on given the enormous roster turnover year-over-year.
With that said, the Jayhawks have some familiar faces in David McCormack, Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun. Transfer Remy Martin should give Kansas extra juice, as he averaged 19.1 points per game for Arizona State last season.
In the nightcap, many fans and bettors will watch Duke freshman Paolo Banchero for the first time. A 6-10 forward from Italy, Banchero is in contention to win the Wooden Award, as well as be a top pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Illinois, which earned a 1-seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, is a consensus 29.5-point favorite on Tuesday over Jackson State. The Illini will be without star center Kofi Cockburn, however, who is suspended for the first three games of the season in what was a controversial move by the NCAA.
Northwestern is a 23-point favorite over Eastern Illinois, while Loyola Chicago is a 33-point favorite against Coppin State.
Take a look at the full odds:
When will you be able to bet on Illinois college teams?
HB 3136 passed the Senate and House in late October. It is now just pending Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.
Pritzker is expected to sign the bill, and that should happen any day now. Once he does, it will be legal to bet on Illinois college teams in the Land of Lincoln effective immediately.
Of course, the in-person stipulation is significant. More than 90% of sports bets in IL are placed on mobile devices, so this policy change won’t make a huge difference for most bettors in the state.
With that said, there is reason to believe that it will be possible to bet on Illinois college teams in the future.
Rep. Michael Zalewski recently said that they will revisit the law in 2023 and that HB 3136 is an incremental policy step. If this compromise goes smoothly over the next two years, there should be more legislative momentum to allow mobile wagering.