NBA Odds In Illinois

How to wager on the NBA, best sports betting sites and live odds

The NBA is a top betting market at legal online sportsbooks as the high-scoring league is the second-most bet on sport behind the NFL. There’s a lot to love for NBA betting, and people in Illinois are starting to get in on the action.

Legal sports betting in Illinois means you can now bet on NBA games, player props, futures, and a whole lot more directly from your phone or computer. Our guide to NBA betting covers the entire court from live odds direct from IL online sportsbooks to the many ways you can bet on the NBA.

Live NBA odds at Illinois online sportsbooks

Check our feed below for tonight’s NBA point spreads, moneylines and totals odds direct from top Illinois online sportsbooks. On the second tab find current NBA futures odds including odds for the NBA Finals, Conference champions and individual player awards including MVP and DPOY. Click on any game odds to jump right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bets.

Is NBA online betting legal in Illinois?

Yes, retail sports betting in Illinois went live in March 2020 with the online and mobile rollout in June.

For years, the only option for legal sports betting in the US was in Nevada. The story changed in 2018 when the US Supreme Court effectively left the decision to the states.

To bet on the NBA and other sports, you must be 21 years or older. For online and mobile wagering, Illinois bettors must be physically within state lines when betting. Operators use geolocation technology to ensure compliance.

You’ll have all types of NBA betting opportunities, including on the outcome of individual games, player performances and how the season as a whole will shake out. Let’s take a look at how to start betting on the NBA.

How to bet on NBA games in Illinois

You can be up and betting quickly on NBA games in the new legal and regulated environment here in Illinois. However, it’s a good idea to tap the brakes and get a handle on things first. Here are some details you need to know:

  1. Sign Up For an Online Sportsbook: Once you have chosen a legal online sportsbook — the sketchy offshore options aren’t worth the hassle — from our recommended operators, click on one of our links to create an account. You’ll be brought to a new page to enter a few simple details. From start to finish, it’s only minutes of your time.
  2. Funding a Sports Betting Account: Legal and regulated operators offer a number of choices for depositing and withdrawing funds to and from your sports betting accounts. There’s a dedicated cashier function that is usually marked with a deposit button or located in your account section. Options may include credit cards and PayPal.
  3. Apps for Sports Betting: The major operators invest heavily on the tech side, which holds true for their apps, which are available to both Apple and Android users. After you’ve created an account with our exclusive links, look for the download spot on the sportsbook website. Once you log in on mobile, you’re all set.
  4. Odds and Lines at Online Sportsbooks and Apps: It’s a competitive marketplace out there, so sports betting operators need to stay on top of their game with odds and lines. Leading books, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, offer up numbers that are competitive across the industry. That even includes what you’ll find at sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

How NBA betting works

For each NBA game, there are several wager types to consider. You can even take a step back and bet on how the entire season will play out. Here are the most popular betting types on the NBA:

  • Moneyline: One of the most straightforward bets on the board, you simply choose which team you think will win between the favorite and underdog in the game.
  • Point Spread: Oddsmakers install a spread, which your pick has to cover for you to win the bet. You can pick the favorite minus the points or take the dog plus the spread.
  • Totals: This is a popular bet type for the high-scoring NBA. You get to choose over or under on the total points scored based on a benchmark number set by oddsmakers.
  • Props: A prop is basically a side wager on the game. Many NBA prop bets revolve around player performance, but you’ll also see ones based on game or team situations.
  • Live Betting: Also known as in game betting, these are bets you can place in real-time as the action plays out. There are generally plenty of choices in this fast-moving market.
  • Futures: A future is a bet you can place on an outcome that won’t be known for several months, such as the winner of the NBA Finals or Rookie of the Year award.
  • Parlay: This wager is also a popular choice as bettors can earn a lot for a little. Parlays are bets with multiple selections, but all of them have to be correct for the bet to be a winner.
  • Teaser: A teaser lets bettors move the spread on a series of games by a designated number of points, with the odds adjusted accordingly.

All the bet types are straightforward.  However, it may take some getting used to the advanced wagers. Just like anything else, practice makes perfect.

What are the rules for betting on the NBA online?

Overall, the lay of the land is similar for NBA betting at online sportsbooks and apps. That said, there may be some quirks here and there. It’s good practice to take the time to review the house rules.

You can typically find the rules within the help section at the legal and regulated sportsbooks. Some sites have dedicated sections on how to bet that are broken down by sport. Here are some of the most common rules as they pertain to NBA sports betting:

  • NBA bets are live at tipoff and seen through until completion, including overtime.
  • Props are settled based upon official league statistics and are considered valid as long as listed players are suited up for the matchup.
  • Bets on specific game segments — quarters, halves — are settled independently based on that timeframe alone.

As mentioned, there are standards across the industry for how betting action is handled, but there may be some slight variances here and there. To that end, we’ll reiterate the importance of becoming familiar with the terms and conditions at the book you are playing on to avoid any surprises.

NBA futures and prop betting in Illinois

There are plenty of ways to get in on the action with the NBA. Beyond betting on the games, you can make your calls on how the entire season will play out. You can also take a deep dive into the games and focus on specific performances.

Futures are wagers you can place on things that won’t be decided until months later. Some of the biggest markets will attract betting interest all year. NBA betting odds are released in the offseason and will move from that point. Here are some of the most popular offerings:

  • NBA Finals winner
  • Division and conference winners
  • Team regular-season win totals
  • Team to make or miss playoffs
  • Individual award winners — MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc.
  • Statistical category leaders — points, assists, etc.

Props are like side wagers or game-within-the-game bets. You can find the available offerings by clicking through on the individual game listings. Many of the available opportunities will revolve around player performance metrics:

  • Who will have more points plus assists in the game — Zach LaVine or Chris Paul?
  • How many points plus rebounds will Nikola Vucevic have — over/under 20.5?
  • Who will be the Bulls leading scorer in the game — LaVine or other?

You’ll also find props that are on team performance or game circumstances. Examples include which side will have more turnovers in the contest or whether overtime will be needed. Props are a great way to find additional betting action on the games you already pinged.

How to read NBA betting lines

For every slate of games during the NBA season, sportsbooks will release odds for each contest. The lines usually come out either the night before the game or later in the morning. Here’s what a default game listing looks like:

Detroit Pistons +2.5 (-110)+140O 204.5 (-110)
Chicago Bulls -2.5 (-110)-120U 204.5 (-110)

Next to the two team names are odds for the main bet types: point spread, moneyline and total. In this matchup, the Bulls are favored by 2.5 points and slight favorites on the moneyline in a game that’s expected to be relatively high-scoring.

Once the odds are released, the betting public can weigh in on the lines. That can lead to some movement in the odds, especially if the betting action is swinging heavily in one direction. For example, the spread could tighten or the total could rise or fall while the moneyline odds fluctuate as sportsbooks tweak the numbers to find the right mix.

It’s important to remember that the odds won’t always be the same at every sportsbook. You can shop around to find the best price for the games. Our live NBA odds feed is a great tool to use.

Live betting NBA games in Illinois

Live betting has emerged as one of the most popular offerings at online sportsbooks and sports betting apps. These are bets — also referred to as in game wagers — that you can place in real-time as a game is playing out.

During the average game, you’ll see lots of opportunities come up. The market moves fast, but platforms from leading legal and regulated operators make it easy to stay on top the game action. Offerings will vary, but here are some examples of what you might see:

  • Updated odds for spread, moneyline and totals.
  • Betting opportunities on quarters and halves.
  • Various player- and team-based prop opportunities.

DraftKings and FanDuel are among the operators who have been crushing it with live betting options. The apps from the two sports betting heavyweights are among the best in the industry. You can watch the game while glancing at your device to stay abreast of betting opportunities that come up.

Most popular NBA team in Illinois

While the team may be far removed from its glory days of the 1990s, the Chicago Bulls remain firmly entrenched as the most popular NBA club in Illinois. The team is a member of the Central Division in the NBA’s Eastern Conference along with four other squads:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Milwaukee Bucks

Naturally, these are four of the biggest rivalries for the Bulls. Through the years, there have also been heated battles with clubs like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. Here are some of the key details from franchise history:

  • Founded: 1966
  • NBA Championships: Six, last in 1998
  • Conference Championships: Six, last in 1998
  • Division Titles: Nine, last in 2012
  • Playoff Appearances: 35, last in 2016-17
  • Hall-of-Famers: 16 — nine players, seven coaches and contributors
  • Retired Numbers: Four, last for Scottie Pippen in 2005
  • Franchise All-Time Scoring Leader: Michael Jordan, 29,277
  • Most Blocks: Artis Gilmore, 1,029
  • Most 3-Pointers: Kirk Hinrich, 1,049

Check tonight’s Chicago Bulls odds here.

Where to watch the Chicago Bulls home games

The club has hit a rough patch and missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, but the Bulls remain a popular attraction in Illinois. For those looking to catch a game in person, here’s what you need to know:

  • Arena: United Center
  • Address: 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60612
  • Owner and Operator: UCJV (United Center Joint Venture)
  • Capacity: 20,917 for basketball
  • Opened: Aug. 18, 1994
  • Also Hosts: Chicago Blackhawks, concerts and events

How the NBA season works

The typical NBA season begins with the preseason in the fall and runs straight through to the NBA Finals in June. You can place your bets every step of the way, but keep in mind that preseason games can be pretty unpredictable on the playing time front.

The regular season runs for 82 games, with each club playing an equal number of home and away games. For the Bulls and other clubs, the structure breaks down like this:

  • 16 games vs. division rivals
  • 36 games vs. other teams from the same conference
  • 30 games vs. teams from the opposite conference

The top eight teams in each conference make it to the postseason. The tournament is structured in rounds with teams that win their series advancing. The last two teams remaining on each side face off in the conference championships, with the winners advancing to the NBA Finals.

From a betting perspective, there’s a solid amount of action on each game throughout the regular season, with the marquee national TV games garnering the most interest. Interest intensifies even further throughout the playoffs.

Top 5 NBA players from Illinois

Nearly 300 players who were born in Illinois have made it to the pros. Included on that list are current stars such as Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis, as well as the recently retired Dwyane Wade. For the all-time best from years past, we can look toward these five names, all of whom have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

  • Dan Issel
    • Playing Career: 1970-85
    • Member of the 1975 ABA champion Kentucky Colonels
    • Inducted into both pro and college basketball Hall of Fames
  • Jack Sikma
    • Playing Career: 1977-91
    • Member of the 1979 NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics
    • 7x NBA All-Star
  • Isiah Thomas
    • Playing Career: 1981-94
    • 2x NBA champion with Detroit Pistons
    • NBA Finals MVP in 1990
  • Maurice Cheeks
    • Playing Career: 1978-93
    • Member of the 1983 NBA champion Philadelphia 76ers
    • 4x NBA All-Star
  • Jerry Sloan
    • Playing Career: 1965-76
    • 2x NBA All-Star
    • 4x NBA All-Defensive First Team

NBA betting tips and strategy

While it’s easy to start basketball betting in the new legal environment, finding consistent success can take some time. There is a learning curve to tackle, but those who stay the course and continually seek improvement should see improvement before too long. Here are some tips you can use to help kickstart things:

  1. Keep it Simple: The NBA betting menu is vast. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at first or to feel like you need to try a little bit of everything. Instead, take a deep breath and begin with the basics. Moneyline bets are a great entry point, and you can then expand into spreads and totals before broadening your horizons even further.
  2. Focus on What Matters: There is a ton of information to digest about the games, and that can lead to information overload. If you remember to keep it simple and focus on what really matters, you’ll be much better off. Among the items that you should be considering are home court, situational factors, matchups and other major ancillary factors.
  3. Track your Results: When you win your bets, you may feel as if you’re on the right track, while losses will sometimes have you feeling like throwing your hands up in the air. Wins and losses are part of sports betting, which should be done for entertainment purposes only. You should track your results and also to keep you aware of when you may need to make changes.

Those three tips can help you get off to a good start, but you should also keep in mind some of the mistakes that are completely avoidable for new bettors. At the top of the list are wagering based on rooting interest and betting over your head. If you can avoid those two pitfalls, you’ll have a much better chance of staying on track.

NBA Betting FAQ

How does the point spread work in NBA betting?

For each NBA game, oddsmakers will install a point spread, which is basically like a projected margin of victory. You can choose the favorite minus the points, which means that side will have to win by an amount greater than the spread to cover. If you pick the underdog plus the points, that team will have to keep the margin under the spread or win the game outright to cover.

What happens when the over/under lands on the exact number?

This can happen when a game is set with a whole number such as 204. If the final score of the contest was 104-100, it would hit the total exactly. A totals bet that lands on the number is considered a push. Your wagering amount will be refunded in full since there was no winning or losing side. For tracking purposes, you can chalk it up as a tie.

What is NBA second-half betting?

In recent years, there has been a spike in interest on more targeted bets such as on quarters and halves. An NBA second-half bet revolves solely around which side will perform better for that part of the game alone. You may find this included among the game props or while live betting. There are also first-half bets for you to consider that work in the same fashion.

How are NBA betting lines set?

The odds for NBA games are set by sportsbooks and then released to the public. There’s typically a team in charge of setting the numbers, while the person in charge may be referred to as the oddsmaker. The team runs through various data points with the assistance of computers and algorithms, and may implement adjustments as needed. Once the sportsbook likes its line, it releases the numbers so the public can have its say.

Why does the NBA have a draft lottery?

The NBA draft lottery traces its roots back to 1985. It was implemented in a bid to prevent the league’s poorer teams from “tanking” — as in intentionally losing in order to secure a loftier draft spot. The lottery is open to all teams that failed to qualify for the postseason, but trades can impact which teams are eligible. The club with the poorest record has the best chance of winning the lottery and the first overall draft selection and so on. The New York Knicks won the first edition of the lottery and used it to select franchise icon Patrick Ewing. The most recent NBA draft lottery took place on Aug. 20, 2020. The Minnesota Timberwolves won the rights to the first selection at the next draft, which is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2020.

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