DraftKings Has Migrated To SBTech In Illinois, Giving Sports Bettors Another Lines Option

Posted By Joe Boozell on July 9, 2021

DraftKings Sportsbook in Illinois has migrated to in-house technology provider SBTech, which means that Illinois sports bettors now have another set of lines from which to choose.

DraftKings previously used Kambi as its odds provider. BetRivers and Barstool use Kambi as well. So, up until this point, half of the Illinois online sportsbooks have had the same odds.

William Hill, PointsBet and FanDuel sportsbooks set their own odds. Now that DraftKings has made the switch in Illinois, bettors will have five sets of lines to choose from instead of four.

DraftKings has not migrated to SBTech in every state, but it should do so by football season. DraftKings in Illinois is one of its first testing markets for the new platform.

Why is this good for Illinois sports bettors?

When sports bettors “line shop,” it means they are checking every legal sportsbook and choosing the best line before they place a wager.

Having another option is significant for line shoppers. Over time, it’s a way to optimize sports betting profits.

We’ll use tonight’s White Sox vs. Orioles game as an example. On the moneyline, the White Sox odds are -146 at FanDuel, -140 at PointsBet, -136 at DraftKings and -132 at William Hill as of Friday morning.

If you like the White Sox to win, it would make the most sense to place the wager with William Hill, as that would produce the most profit if the bet cashes.

The same logic can apply to a football spread. If the Chicago Bears odds are +7 at one sportsbook but +7.5 at another, the half-point can be the difference between a winning bet and a “push.”

Now that DraftKings has unique lines, line shoppers have more options.

Because while Illinois was the No. 2 sports betting market in the US by handle in May, it’s not as if there are a ton of online sportsbooks.

There are six online sportsbooks in Illinois right now, and, hopefully by 2022, there will be double-digit operators. Most top sports betting states have double-digit sportsbooks.

On that note, this could also help BetRivers and Barstool. Since DraftKings was the most popular of the three books and they all used the same lines, perhaps that hurt the latter two.

Of course, that hinges on how common line shopping is actually, which is difficult to quantify.

How is DraftKings doing in Illinois?

DraftKings reclaimed the top handle spot from FanDuel in Illinois in May. It took in $170.1 million in bets for the month.

FanDuel led the state in handle in April, but in general, DraftKings has been the most popular sportsbook in Illinois. Outside of April, DraftKings has led all IL operators in handle in each month since October.

With that said, FanDuel has consistently made more money than DraftKings in the Land of Lincoln in 2021.

In May, FanDuel nearly tripled DraftKings in revenue despite recording slightly less handle.

Why? We took an in-depth look on Thursday, but the short answer is parlays. Illinoisans bet about $21 million more on parlays at FanDuel than on DraftKings, and parlays are the most profitable type of wager for operators.

Still, DraftKings has an excellent business in the Prairie State.

And once it has a retail sportsbook presence at Wrigley Field in Chicago, which should happen in the next few years, it should become even more prevalent.

Photo by Charles Krupa / AP file photo
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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