Plenty of sports are seeing a surge of interest these days, but soccer, in particular, is continuing to gain fans in the US.
Now that we can legally and safely bet on sports here in Illinois, it’s safe to say that soccer’s audience will increase. What’s great about soccer betting is there is always action ready for your bet slip.
There’s a host of international competitions taking place around the clock. You can also focus your interest on top contests from MLS and the English Premier League and even look ahead to top events, such as the next UEFA Euro competition or the World Cup.
In our complete guide to soccer betting in Illinois, we’ll provide all the information you need. There are numerous ways to get in on the action, plenty of legal apps to consider, and even bonus offers for new bettors.
To bet on soccer legally in Illinois, you’ll need to choose a state-regulated sportsbook. We recommend a number of operators, all of which are offering some outstanding sign up bonuses.
Getting started is easy. For example, if you want to bet with DraftKings Illinois, you need to click on our links to create a new account. You’ll arrive at a new page to enter your info, a process that takes a couple of minutes.
Once you’ve double-checked your information and clicked the relevant boxes, click “Submit,” and DraftKings will verify your new account immediately — and you’ll be eligible for bonuses to boot. Take the time to download the DraftKings Sportsbook app from the site so you’ll have mobile access as well.
Take the time to browse the sportsbook to get a feel for it. You’ll find that the experience on the website and with the app is similar, but you should be aware of some small differences.
For example, the website has a full listing of available markets on the left side. If you click on “soccer,” you can expand it to view the various leagues. Once you find the one you want to bet on, click on that and the lobby will populate with those choices.
It’s a little more condensed on the app due to the smaller screen, but the idea is the same. Simply, expand the menu of options, look for the soccer link and click on it to view all of the available choices.
As an example, let’s say you click on MLS on either the online or mobile platform. All the available matches would appear with the current soccer odds. You can bet on a side or tie right away, or explore through all the different bet types available.
We’ll cover all the ways to bet in a bit. For now, know there are lots of considerations for each match on the docket. Whether betting online or via mobile with a top operator is a snap.
The default listing for soccer matches at online sportsbooks is the three-way moneyline bet. For this wager, you can pick which side you think will win or choose a tie. The standard line will have odds that look something like this:
|Chicago Fire FC||+250|
For this game, the Crew are favored over Fire FC. All the choices may have positive numbers on a soccer line, with the lowest number indicating the favored side. To place your bet on one of the choices, you simply have to click on the box corresponding with that choice.
The wager goes on the slip right away. From there, you have to add in your wagering amount and verify that everything is correct before clicking the submit button.
While that’s a featured way to bet on soccer, it’s far from the only way to get in the game. Here’s a look at the other top bet types:
Double Chance: The double chance bet allows you to pick a side and tie as opposed to just choosing a single potential outcome, or you can select either side to win:
Draw No Bet: For this wager, you’re taking a tie out of the equation. If the match ends as a draw, then the bet is a “push” and you’ll be refunded your wager:
Goal Line: The goal line is the soccer version of a spread. It’s typically set at 0.5 goals, but operators will offer alternative goal lines as well:
|Toronto FC||- 0.5 (-105)|
|New York FC||+0.5 (+125)|
Totals: This works just like an over/under bet in other sports. Oddsmakers set a number for you to choose from:
Halves: You can drill into the matchups even further by deciding which side will come out on top in each half of the game:
|Manchester City - first half||+120|
|Manchester United - first half||+110|
|Tie - first half||-115|
Goals: There are a number of prop-type wagers to consider, including which side will score the first goal or total goals by team:
|Columbus Crew Total Goals|
Corners and Cards: Also on the list of available props for the game will be wagers on things like corner kicks taken and cards issued:
|Total Corner Kicks in Match|
Beyond all of these options on the wagering menu, there’s one more big point to keep in mind with soccer. You can live bet on the games as they play out in real–time. Also known as in game betting, the odds and offerings will vary depending on what’s happening in the contest.
It’s a fast-moving market, but the top operators make it super simple to stay on top of the latest options. For example, you can be watching the game wherever you are while staying logged in on an IL betting app to see what’s going on.
When a bet you like comes up, you can place your wager quickly and easily. Live betting can make watching soccer that much more fun, but remember to always bet with your head and never over it.
For other ways to wager on soccer, be sure to check out the futures market. These are wagers you can place on something that won’t take place until down the road. The top markets will stay active nearly all year round. Here are a few of the most popular items on the menu.
There will be soccer betting lines listed for all teams in the competition. Generally, the list has favorites up top, long-shots on the bottom and everyone else in the middle. For the winner of the MLS Cup, the odds for a few favorites might look like this:
|Los Angeles FC ||+550|
Odds for futures come out in the offseason, but the market keeps going throughout the season. You can place your bets at any time, but remember that you have to take a long-term view. The odds board will move as wagers flow in, so check back often for the best prices.
We touched on some of the available prop bets for soccer already, but the list goes much deeper. Here’s a peek at some of the other prop betting opportunities you might come across:
|Will both sides score in the game — yes/no?
|Which player will score the game’s first goal?|
|Will any player score two goals in the match — yes/no?|
Beyond the individual game props, you may also find season-long props to consider. Examples in this category include player of the year award winners and over/unders on player statistical accomplishments.
All sportsbooks have house rules in place for betting on soccer and all other sports. The specifics are standard across the industry, but there can be some minor differences in certain areas. Here’s a general overview of what you need to know:
The above covers many circumstances that come up, but we once again have to stress that some anomalies can arise here and there. For the exact way that books handle any extreme cases, it’s good to review the house rules and terms and conditions.
For the major North American sports, options are limited to the top pro and college leagues. That’s not the case with soccer. A number of competitions are available to choose from at any given time, many of which are happening in various parts of the world. Here’s a look at two of the two most popular leagues:
Interest in MLS continues to grow across the US. The league is up to 26 teams, with further expansion plans on tap. For a typical season, teams play 34 games on a calendar that runs from spring through the fall.
Widely regarded as the top circuit on the planet, the Premier League has a worldwide following and features many of the world’s best players. There are 20 teams in the league that compete each year from August through May.
For even more international flavor with soccer, you don’t have to look far. Online sportsbooks in Illinois bring you the best action from around the globe:
When getting started with soccer betting, it’s normal to stick with MLS, Premier League or World Cup. However, many bettors who love the game will expand their horizons with the action from the other top competitions.
As mentioned, MLS has been on a bit of a growth spurt. For 2020, there were 26 teams spread across the Eastern and Western conferences. In 2021, Austin FC is joining the fold, while Charlotte FC will be coming on board the following season.
Sacramento Republic FC and St. Louis City SC will begin play in 2023 to bring the number of clubs up to an even 30, and there has been chatter that the league will grow to 32 clubs in the not-to-distant future.
There’s no time like the present to get involved with MLS betting. It’s a fun and exciting league with lots to love both from an action and betting perspective. Here’s what you need to know about the current structure of the schedule:
It wasn’t too long ago that coverage of Premier and Champions league soccer in the US was rather scant. These days, you can find broadcasts of the games and bet on the outcomes in Illinois legally.
For years, the only options on that front were a trip out to Vegas or playing on the black market, with risky offshore operators. A road trip isn’t necessary anymore, nor is taking the chances with your funds at an offshore book.
The Premier League features 20 teams and some of the most recognizable brands in soccer. Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are only a few of the clubs that are extraordinarily popular across the pond and in the US.
The season runs from August through May typically, with each club playing 38 games. It’s one game at home and another away versus the other teams in the league for each squad. Clubs earn points for wins and draws, with the top points getter being crowned the champ.
The Champions League features the top squads from across Europe playing across multiple rounds, beginning with qualifiers and rolling through to the knockout stage. Real Madrid is the top all-time performer in this competition with 13 titles.
The next edition of the UEFA European Football Championship, also commonly known as the Euro, is slated to take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021. Thanks to the futures market, you don’t have to wait to weigh in with your choices. Here’s what the soccer lines look like for some of the top favorites:
It’s an even longer wait for the next World Cup, which is set for Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2022, in Qatar. Odds are up in the futures market, and they’ll continue to take shape as this highly-anticipated event approaches. Here’s a look at where things currently stand:
Chicago Fire FC is the local MLS team. Originally founded in 1997 as Chicago Fire Soccer Club, the team was one of the original expansion teams in Major League Soccer. The Fire found some fantastic success right off the bat, winning the MLS and US Open in 1998.
The club hasn’t been able to take down the MLS Cup since then, but the Fire did win the Supporters Shield in 2003. Additional US Open Cup victories came in 2000, 2003 and 2006. Here are some of the key details about the team:
Since finishing third in the Eastern Conference in 2017 and losing in the first round of the playoffs, the Fire have been on the outside looking in at the postseason. Wicky was hired as the 10th head coach in franchise history at the end of 2019, and optimism is high that the club may turn things around before too long.
Illinois has its fair share of homegrown athletes across the major sports. Yep, that includes soccer. Several players have excelled at the collegiate level with the top programs in the state, and some have even gone on to have noteworthy careers at the next level. Here’s a quick look at five who have really left their mark on Illinois soccer.