NBA Playoff Betting in Illinois

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. The premier league for basketball is the NBA. The NBA has all the best players on the planet and is one of the most entertaining sports on and off the court. Every year after the regular season, the NBA has its NBA playoffs. The NBA playoffs are one of the most exciting times in the sports world, especially for sports bettors.

The NBA playoffs showcase the best teams in the NBA in a tournament to crown that year’s NBA champion. The playoffs have eight teams from the Western Conference and eight teams from the Eastern Conference. The teams are seeded one through eight on each side and play in a tournament to reach the NBA finals. It is a typical bracket-style tournament as the lowest seeds play the highest seeds. Each round of the playoffs hosts a best-of-seven series to determine who will move on to the next round. This is what sets the NBA playoffs apart from other sports post-season, as you have several great games for weeks with this format.

Now that Illinois has legalized sports betting, it is important to understand how to place wagers on the NBA playoffs. This article will break down playoff betting basics and provide some sportsbook options available in Illinois. This article will also provide some history on the NBA Playoffs.

Betting on the NBA playoffs in Illinois

For individuals living in Illinois, placing wagers on the NBA playoffs is 100% legal as long as you are within the state of Illinois when the wager is placed. Luckily, Illinois has several ways to place wagers on the playoffs. There are many brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state that you can wager at. More importantly, Illinois has legalized online/mobile sportsbooks. This means that as long as you are in Illinois, you can enjoy legal NBA playoff betting directly from your computer or phone.

There are several solid sportsbooks available to those living in Illinois. Here are some of the best:

DraftKings Sportsbook app

DraftKings is one of the premier sportsbooks available in Illinois. DraftKings provides users with a secure and simple-to-navigate site and mobile app. It also provides excellent odds for the NBA playoffs and has tons of prop bets. DraftKings also offers some solid analysis about NBA playoffs matchups to help users get an edge with their wagers.

FanDuel Sportsbook app

FanDuel is another top-tier sportsbook available in Illinois. FanDuel has a system called OddsBoost that will actually increase the odds on certain NBA playoff games. It also has an in-house blog called The Duel that offers in-depth analysis about the NBA Playoffs.

William Hill Sportsbook app

William Hill is an English-based sportsbook that has been making waves in the United States recently. It offers competitive odds on NBA playoff games and provides a simple-to-navigate mobile app. William Hill is a super simple sportsbook that is great for beginners.

PointsBet Sportsbook app

PointsBet is an Australian-based sportsbook that has become extremely popular in the US. PointsBet has a system called PointsBetting that is one of the unique forms of sports betting in recent history. PointsBetting allows a user to win more money the more a wager covers. Be careful, though, as the more a wager loses by, the more money you lose.

BetRivers Sportsbook app

BetRivers is another solid sportsbook available in Illinois. BetRivers provides solid lines for NBA playoff games and can sometimes provide better odds than competitors. BetRivers also has a great rewards program called iRush Rewards. This program rewards users for placing wagers with BetRivers. Each tier comes with its own benefits, so be sure to check it out.

NBA playoffs betting odds and lines explained

Whether you are new to sports betting or experienced when wagering on something new, it is always important to familiarize yourself with how bets work. The NBA playoffs have some of the standard types of wagers, but they also have some unique prop bets and futures. This section will break down some of the different types of wagers you can place on the NBA playoffs.


Moneyline bets are the most straight-up kind of bet you can place. With a moneyline wager, you simply choose which team will outright win the game. Moneyline bets always have a favorite and an underdog. The favorite will always have negative (-) odds, and the underdog should usually have positive (+) odds. These wagers are simple, but it is important to remember the odds will not be even on each side. This is because the sportsbooks need to protect themselves by minimizing risk.

Ex. Chicago Bulls (-210) v Detroit Pistons (+170)

For this example, Chicago is the favorite, and Detroit is the underdog. If you bet on Chicago, you would need to wager $210 to win $100 because they have negative odds as the favorite. Conversely, if you wagered $100 on Detroit, you would win $170 because they have positive odds as the underdog.

Point spread

Point spread betting is one of the most popular ways to wager on NBA playoff games. This is because they provide much better odds for gamblers. These bets offer better odds, usually set at -110, because they use spread betting to make the teams more even for bettors. Essentially, instead of choosing an outright winner, you wager based on points. The favorite will have points removed from their total score, and those points will be added to the underdog’s total score. This is designed to make wagering fairer, and it also provides better odds.

Ex. Chicago Bulls -4 (-110) v Detroit Pistons +4 (-110)

In this example, a wager on Chicago would only win if Chicago wins by more than four points. On the other hand, Detroit would win as long as they lose by less than four points. Also, notice how point spread bets set the odds even at -110, unlike moneyline betting.

Totals (over/under)

Totals betting is a way for sports bettors to wager on an NBA playoff game without actually choosing a team to win. Totals betting focuses strictly on total points scored in a game. Totals bets are pretty simple. They will give you a number, and you choose whether the total final score of both teams combined will be over or under that number. There are other types of total betting like the first half score, team score, and others, but this is the most common. Totals bets are set at -110 odds.

Ex. Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons Total: 210 Over (-110) / Under (-110)

Futures bets

Futures bets are a little more unique for the NBA playoffs. You have the typical futures bet that will allow you to wager on who will be the NBA Champion, but there are also some other interesting options. For instance, in the NBA playoffs, you can place basketball wagers on who will win the series, how many games will be played, when a team will win the series, and many more. There are many fun futures bets for the NBA playoffs, so be sure to check them out at your sportsbook. Be sure to place them early, though, for better odds.

Prop bets

Prop bets are some of the most fun wagers you can place in all sports betting, especially the NBA playoffs. Prop betting focuses more on individual statistics and other aspects of the game rather than the final score. Some fun prop bets are who will win tip-off, the first player to score, and others. The NBA playoffs also provide other fun prop bets for individual games as well as series. Be sure to check to see what your sportsbook offers on NBA playoffs props.

Live betting on NBA playoffs

Live betting is becoming one of the most popular ways to bet on sports. While already fun, the legalization of mobile sports betting has only increased its popularity. This is because you no longer have to watch games at a retail sportsbook to place live bets. With mobile betting apps, you can watch games anywhere and place wagers directly from your phone.

Live betting is also really popular because it gives you the opportunity to actually watch the game and make your picks with your eyes. This allows you to watch the matchup rather than read and analyze numbers (this is also very important, and you should do this anyway). You can also get some great NBA playoff odds with live betting as they are constantly updating as the game goes along.

Recent NBA Finals history

The NBA Finals is one of the most fun events every year. The hype that surrounds this event is massive, and it almost always delivers. The Finals are a best-of-seven series that usually has a great storyline attached to it. Here are the results of the last five NBA Finals:


  • Winner: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Runner-up: Miami Heat
  • Series Record: 4-2
  • Finals MVP: LeBron James (Lakers)


  • Winner: Toronto Raptors
  • Runner-up: Golden State Warriors
  • Series Record: 4-2
  • Finals MVP: Kawhi Leonard (Raptors)


  • Winner: Golden State Warriors
  • Runner-up: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Series Record: 4-0
  • Finals MVP: Kevin Durant (Warriors)


  • Winner: Golden State Warriors
  • Runner-up: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Series Record: 4-1
  • Finals MVP: Kevin Durant (Warriors)


  • Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Runner-up: Golden State Warriors
  • Series Record: 4-3
  • Finals MVP: LeBron James (Cavaliers)

NBA playoffs FAQ

Q: Can I legally bet on the playoffs in IL?

A: Yes. You can legally bet on the NBA playoffs at any retail sportsbook in Illinois or from any online/mobile sportsbook as long as you are in Illinois.

Q: Can I bet on the games outside of Illinois?

A: No. You have to be in the state of Illinois to wager on games or in any other legal state.

Q: What is the best sportsbook to use in IL?

A: This is based on personal preference. See the section above that reviews sportsbooks to pick what works best for you.