Live Sports Betting Odds

Staying on top of the latest numbers from multiple sportsbooks can be time-consuming. Our live odds feed at PlayIllinois takes care of that issue. We pull together the latest odds and lines from multiple operators and display them in real-time right here.

Here’s what you’ll find in the odds table drop-down menu:

How our live odds feed works

Our feed brings together the real-time live odds for today’s games in several major sports. We pull the data directly from each sportsbook, so these are the same numbers you would see while visiting each book separately.

We’re pulling the numbers from a direct feed, and everything gets updated in real-time on our end. That means you don’t have to worry about any lag time that would cause you to miss a move. If the sportsbook has a certain number, that’s what you’ll see here.

Here are some of the sports we currently provide live odds for:

  • MLB odds
  • NBA odds
  • NFL odds
  • NHL odds
  • NCAA men’s basketball odds
  • NCAA football odds

We have plans to expand the feed in the future and anticipate adding additional sports before too long. To switch between sports, you simply pull down the league name drop-down menu and pick out the one you want.

You can do the same for each bet type by using the next menu over. When a sport is amid an offseason, then the feed for that sport will naturally be blank. However, you can still make futures bets on that sport.

We’ll have some more details in our “futures” section down below shortly, as well as all of the other bet types.

We also encourage you to check with our live odds feed page soon, as futures odds are among the eventual additions.

When are sports betting lines released?

Sportsbooks release odds and lines for each game on the docket. The time of release will vary, but there’s a benchmark rule you can follow.

For sports that run regularly, you should see the odds come out the night before the contest or no later than the morning of the game. This applies to sports such as the NBA, MLB, the NHL and NCAA basketball.

If you don’t see odds listed for a game that’s scheduled to take place that day, then that means that the sportsbook either hasn’t released the line yet or has pulled it off the board. This can happen when there’s a concern over playing time for a key player, for example.

Teams in the NFL and NCAA football are only playing games once per week. The odds are released well in advance of those contests. They may begin coming in as soon as the current weekly slate is winding down.

During the regular season, the NCAA football week concludes on Saturday. You’ll see odds for the following week’s games by sometime on Monday. The NFL week wraps up with Monday Night Football.

You may see odds and lines come in as the Sunday slate is winding down, but generally no later than Monday or Tuesday. Once again, if a line is delayed on an NFL or college football game, it means the betting world is waiting on a a key piece of intel.

What causes sports betting lines to change?

After sportsbooks release the odds to the public, betting action will begin to come in. From that point, it’s not uncommon to see some shifts in the listed numbers. Why does that happen?

While the numbers may move at times if unexpected information drops — a previously unannounced injury, trade, etc. — we can mainly tie it directly back to the betting action.

In a nutshell, if the overwhelming majority of public money flocks to one side of a bet, then the sportsbook is now lopsided on the outcome. That’s a situation that operators aren’t big fans of because it opens up a liability on their end.

To level out the action, oddsmakers may massage the numbers a bit. They’ll make the less popular side more attractive while lessening the appeal on the popular side. If this doesn’t have the desired impact, then they could rinse and repeat until they find the right mix.

In a perfect-world scenario for sportsbooks, they’ll attract near equal action on both sides. They’ll make a profit regardless of the outcome due to the built-in juice. When they’re overly lopsided and the public is right, they’re on the hook for lots of payouts.

The sports betting odds market can move fast, especially for games that attract lots of betting action. It’s always a good idea to shop around to find the best prices before placing your wagers, and our live odds feed makes it a snap for you to do so.

Bet types

Our live odds feed covers the numbers for the three main bet types for team-based sports that you’ll find at virtually every sportsbook:

  • Moneyline
  • Point spreads
  • Totals

As you scroll through the different odds by bet type, remember that these are the real-time numbers from the operators. Naturally, the odds are subject to change based on market action, so you might see different numbers if you check back later.

If you come across a number you like, you can easily jump in and place your bets right away. There’s a “Bet Now” button that will appear when you hover over the odds for that matchup.

Once you click on that, you’ll be redirected to a new page where you can create an account at that sportsbook. Even better, you’ll get an awesome sign-up bonus for creating an account via our exclusive link.

How do odds work?

The overall sports betting menu is vast. There’s almost always a game going on, and there are dozens of ways to bet on each of them.

That said, the three main bet types we touched on up above are the biggest action drivers at online sportsbooks and apps. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about them.

Moneyline betting

The moneyline bet is one of the simplest wagers to understand. All you need to do is pick which side you think will win the game and place your bets accordingly. The moneyline bet is for all the major team sports, and it works the same for all of them.

You can immediately tell the favorite and underdog in the game just by looking at the moneyline odds. The numbers on the favored side are negative, while the odds are positive on the underdog side.

Here’s an example of a moneyline listing:

  • Detroit Red Wings +140
  • Chicago Blackhawks -120

In this example, the odds tell us that the Blackhawks are favored over the Red Wings. When there’s a close-range between the numbers, we can interpret that as a potentially close game. If there’s a big gap in the odds, oddsmakers see a paper mismatch.

You can also tell how much you would make from winning moneyline bets just by looking at the odds. Here’s a simple way to do so.

For favorites, the negative number tells us how much we would have to bet to see a return of $100 on a winning bet. If we go back to our example, we would have to wager $120 on the Blackhawks for a potential return of $100.

On the underdog side, the positive number tells us how much we would get back for a winning $100 bet. If we wager that amount on the Red Wings and they went on to win, then our profit would be $140.

Point spread betting

The point spread bet is most popular for football and basketball, but there are variations for other sports. In baseball, it’s known as a run line and generally set at 1.5. In hockey, it’s a puck line and is typically at 1.5.

Spreads can range from as small as a point for a potentially close game up to the double digits for those that look like mismatches. You can take the favorite minus the points or pick the underdog plus the number.

The side you choose has to cover the spread for your bet to be a winner. Here’s what a typical game listing will look like:

  • New York Giants +2.5 (-110)
  • Detroit Lions -2.5 (-110)

In this case, the Lions are favored by 2.5 points, so that means they would have to win by 3 points or more to cover the spread. If the Giants keep the margin to 2 points or fewer — or win the game outright — then the spread is covered on that side.

Right next to the spread is the actual odds for the bet. At most operators, the starting point for spread bets is -110 on both sides, but the odds can fluctuate based on market action. For a ballpark return, a winning $100 bet at odds of -110 returns a profit of $90.90.

Totals (over/under) betting

The totals bet attracts plenty of betting action for team sports. It revolves around the total combined points that will be scored in the contest.

Oddsmakers will set a benchmark number, and bettors then decide if they think the total points will be over or under that amount. For low-scoring sports, like MLB and NHL, the totals will mostly be in single digits, such as 5.5 or 8.5.

Football goes into the double digits, like 39.5 or 52.5, while basketball is in triple digits, for instance, 192.5 or 211.5. Here’s what the over/under part of an NBA odds listing looks like at online sportsbooks and apps:

  • Over 204.5 (-110)
  • Under 204.5 (-110)

For this example, over bettors are hoping for 205 or more total points, while under bettors want the final total score to equal 204 points or fewer.

The odds for these wagers are similar to spreads in that the default starts at -110 and will adjust from there based on betting action.

How do I calculate sports betting payouts?

As you gain experience with sports betting, you’ll begin to get a feel for what kind of return you can expect based on the odds. Additionally, sportsbooks will display the potential return when you plug in bet amounts on the betting slip.

That said, it’s still a good idea to understand how the math works. On the moneyline, things are straightforward, as we demonstrated earlier:

  • Negative odds: The negative odds tell you how much you have to bet to get $100 back; i.e., odds of -140 mean you have to wager $140 for a potential return of $100.
  • Positive odds: The positive odds tell you how much of a return you’ll get on winning $100 bets; i.e., a $100 wager at odds of +120 would return a profit of $120.

For spreads and totals, the odds are typically negative. When the number is at the default of -110, it’s not too tough to remember that you’ll get back $90 and change.

It can get tricky from there, but there are formulas we can follow to get the answer:

Negative odds: Bet amount/(Odds/-100) = Potential profit

Example:

$100/(-140/-100) = $100/1.4
$100/1.4 = $71.43
Potential profit = $71.43

Positive odds: Bet amount * (Odds/100) = Potential profit

Example:

$100*(+120/100) = $100*1.2
$100*1.2 = $120
Potential profit = $120

While it’s always good to understand how the math behind the scenes works, there are plenty of online betting calculators on the internet available.

More betting lines and odds

As mentioned, there’s more to come with our live odds feed. There are several other ways to place your bets on the games that aren’t included as of yet. Here’s a look at the key bet types to look for at any online sportsbook or app.

Futures betting

The futures market revolves around outcomes that will be settled at a later date. They’re available for all the major sports, with the most popular wagers revolving around season-long champions and results.

  • NFL futures: Super Bowl, MVP, etc.
  • NBA futures: NBA Finals, Rookie of the Year, etc.
  • MLB futures: World Series, Cy Young, etc.
  • NHL futures: Stanley Cup, Hart Trophy, etc.
  • NCAA football futures: National champion, Heisman Trophy
  • NCAA basketball futures: Final Four, Player of the Year

Futures odds are released for the respective sports during the offseason. Many of the biggest markets stay active all year round. Since the majority of the odds are positive, figuring out payouts is easy, i.e., $100 at +250 returns a profit of $250.

Prop betting

Props are additional wagers that you can place on the individual games. These are popular bets in general, but interest can really go through the roof at certain times, such as for the Super Bowl. For the big game, sportsbooks will unveil hundreds of props.

For the average game, you should see dozens of opportunities available, many of which will revolve around player accomplishments.

  • How many TD passes will Matthew Stafford have — over/under 2.5?
  • Will Dylan Larkin score a goal in the game — yes/no?
  • Who will have more hits plus walks in the game — Miguel Cabrera or Jose Abreu?

Props can also be based on team or game circumstances, such as which side will have more rushing yards or whether overtime will be needed to decide the game.

Live (in game) betting

This is one of the fastest-growing segments of the sports betting industry. Live betting refers to wagers you can place in real-time as a game plays out. The odds and markets move quickly, but operators make it easy to stay on top of what’s going on.

Sportsbook apps are a fantastic way to live bet, and also one of the most popular choices for users. You can enjoy the game while keeping an eye on your device for opportunities. Offerings will vary, but here are some of the standard live bet options you’ll see:

  • Updated odds for moneyline, spreads and totals
  • Betting on quarters and halves
  • Real-time player prop wagers

Odds will be based on what’s happening on the field of play. Those who have a good feel for momentum shifts and player performances may be able to translate that into success with live betting.

Parlay betting

Parlays are another popular choice at legal and regulated sportsbooks. These are wagers in which you can tie together multiple outcomes on a single betting slip. The rewards can be outstanding, but parlays are tough to hit as you have to be correct on all choices.

For a quick example, let’s say that you felt confident about the following three NFL moneyline bets:

  • Chicago Bears +160 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Carolina Panthers +110 over Atlanta Falcons
  • Los Angeles Rams -360 over Washington Football Team

You can place individual bets on each, but you can also tie all three wagers together on the same slip in hopes of an even better return. The odds for the parlay will be based on the numbers for the individual games.

Once you add the games to the slip, the sportsbook will display the total odds for the parlay. For our three example games, the odds for the three-team parlay work out to +597.

If you bet $20 at odds of +597 and all three teams go on to win, you’d get back a return of $119.40. That’s pretty great, so it’s not too hard to understand the appeal of parlays.

That said, keep in mind that parlay bets are a big source of the total hold for sportsbooks. They can be hit, but don’t go beyond your bankroll.

Teaser/pleaser betting

Teaser and pleaser bets are used on combinations of games, mainly in football and basketball. This is a somewhat complicated bet that places more control over the point spread in the hands of bettors.

They allow you to shift the spreads on a handful of games, and they typically revolve around key numbers, such as 6 points in football or 4 points in basketball. For a teaser, the points can be applied to reduce the spread. As an example, let’s say you liked the following two big favorites on an NFL slate:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers -7 over Philadelphia Eagles
  • Dallas Cowboys -9.5 over New York Giants

You like the two favorites to win, but the hefty spreads have you feeling nervous about a cover. This is a case in which a 6-point teaser can make sense as you can drop the spread on these two games by that amount.

It will result in the following:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers -1 over Philadelphia Eagles
  • Dallas Cowboys -3.5 over New York Giants

Naturally, sportsbooks will adjust the payout accordingly based on the number of points used so returns will vary. The pleaser bet works in the opposite fashion, as you move the spread the other way.

Using our example teams, the spreads would now look like this:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers -13 over Philadelphia Eagles
  • Dallas Cowboys -15.5 over New York Giants

Those are some big numbers to cover, but a bet like this could make sense if you feel strongly that blowouts are on the way. The sportsbook will adjust the payout based on the pleaser, and it should be more in your favor since you’re taking on additional risk.

How do Illinois odds compare to Vegas odds?

Las Vegas had a stranglehold on legal sports betting in the US for years. That’s no longer the case. Sports betting has received a green light in a growing list of states, including here in Illinois.

When Sin City was in the dominant position, the oddsmakers out that way had the first and last word on the lines. The story is a little bit different in the current environment.

The folks in charge of the numbers out in the desert are still incredibly talented individuals. The numbers they post are based on tons of data and carefully refined algorithms, so they should certainly be respected.

That said, sports betting operators in the legal states are dishing out odds that are right in line with what you’ll find out in Las Vegas. There will naturally be difference here and there, depending on market action, but local books are generally on point.

In short, it’s perfectly acceptable to take the time to see what Vegas has to say about a game. However, you can rest assured that you’ll be seeing comparable numbers here at home.

Odds FAQ

What causes sports betting lines to shift?

Sports betting lines will move after the initial release. This is generally due to the amount of betting action. If the money is leaning heavily toward one side, then sportsbooks will adjust the numbers in a bid to even out the action.

How do I calculate sports betting odds?

There is a ton of data that oddsmakers lean on as they set lines, not to mention computers and algorithms. As such, creating lines that are on point with what the sportsbooks come up with will take some doing. However, many advanced handicappers create their power rankings that help point them to what a “fair” point spread should be. There are also a number of power ranking systems on the internet, many of which are free to use.

How do I calculate sports betting odds ratios?

A sports betting odds ratio refers to implied probability, as in how likely an outcome is to happen based on the betting odds. There are formulas to follow based on the direction that the numbers are going.

  • Negative odds: Odds/(Odds+100)*100
  • Positive odds: 100/(Odds+100)*100

As you can see, the formula for negative numbers begins with the odds, while the formula on the positive side always begins with 100. After you work through the formulas a few times, you’ll find they’re not all that complicated. Even better, they can help to improve your understanding of the likelihood of outcomes.

Which sport has the best odds?

There’s no easy answer. A poll of a decent number of bettors would likely reveal various answers. For a general rule, Football odds markets can be pretty efficient due to the length of time between odds release and game time. Sports that run regularly can have more variance. In the end, it comes down to your overall comfort level with the sport at hand. For the best odds, always remember that you can view the latest numbers via our live odds feed.

Who sets betting odds?

Sportsbooks have teams in charge of releasing the numbers. The person in charge is often referred to as the oddsmaker. The team leans on a wealth of data, computers and proprietary algorithms to set the lines. Once they’re happy, the numbers are released to the public. As action comes in, the odds and lines may adjust based on the direction the money is flowing.

How are betting odds determined?

In a nutshell, betting odds tell us how likely an outcome is to happen. The favored side is expected to win the contest, while it’s less likely that the underdog will win. Naturally, anything can happen once teams step on the field of play, so upsets can and will take place. Sportsbooks have very fine-tuned systems for setting the lines, not to mention teams of people who are solely focused on making it happen. When you see the numbers from reputable legal and regulated operators, they should be respected for what they are telling you.

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