NFL Betting in Illinois

Sports betting was officially legalized after the Supreme Court case in 2018. Since then, 25 states and Washington DC have legalized some sort of sports betting in their respective states. Illinois passed legislation that legalized sports betting in the state a year later in June 2019. In March 2020, the first legal sports bet was placed in Illinois. Then a year after sports betting was legalized, online sports betting and mobile apps were legalized in June 2020.

Now that sports betting has been around in Illinois for a little bit, a sports bettor needs to understand how to bet on the NFL. This is because the NFL is by far the most popular sport to bet on in all legal states. New Jersey is estimated that sportsbooks take in nearly $1 billion in bets on American football a month during the season. So to help sports bettors make the most of betting on the NFL, this article will break down sportsbooks in Illinois. It will also break down some NFL betting basics and provide tricks and mistakes to avoid as well.

Bet on NFL games at IL sportsbooks

The NFL is by far the most popular sports league to bet on in the United States. With college football being second, it is clear that Americans love to wager on American football. Considering its popularity, new gamblers need to understand all of the basics of betting on NFL games. Sports betting on NFL games offer the same basic wagers offered in all major sports. We will breakdown all of the most popular wager types for NFL in the sections below.

One major key to betting on the NFL is understanding how to shop for lines across different sportsbooks. This means that different sportsbooks offer different odds/lines from each other. Because of this, it can be beneficial to shop lines across different sportsbooks in Illinois to find the best possible odds. To make this more clear, the table below shows some different Futures odds for the Chicago Bears to win the Super Bowl.

NFL TeamDraftKingsFanDuelWilliam HillPointsBetBetRivers

While it may seem early to wager on who will win the Super Bowl for the 2021-2022 season, this may be one of the best times. Futures odds come out way in advance, and the odds are always better the farther away from the event. Considering sports betting is already legal in Illinois, it is a good idea to check the lines and place Futures bets far in advance.

NFL betting apps live in Illinois

Illinois is a state that has already legalized online sportsbooks. This means that there are some great sports betting apps that Illinois residents have to choose from.

Here is a breakdown of the top five sportsbook apps available in Illinois:

DraftKings app

DraftKings has been one of the leading sportsbooks since sports betting was legalized. It’s simple and smooth app has made it one of the most popular sports betting apps not just in Illinois but in all legal states. DraftKings also has excellent customer service that is available 24/7 and even features a live chat option. If you choose to use DraftKings, be sure to check out its extensive guides on sports betting. Also, be sure to read the NFL game betting analysis to help get an edge when betting.

Perhaps one of DraftKings’ greatest strengths is how it always provides solid lines for NFL games. DraftKings always has competitive lines for NFL games. If you want to bet on NFL games, you should always check out the lines on DraftKings.

FanDuel app

FanDuel is another massively successful sportsbook in Illinois. This is because it, like DraftKings, also provides great odds on NFL games. FanDuel also has its blog called The Duel, which has great betting analysis for all NFL games. Also, if you like prop bets, there may be no place better for you than FanDuel, as they offer a large variety of prop bets for all NFL games.

What sets FanDuel apart from its competition, though, is its feature odds boost. Odds boost increases the odds of certain plays for NFL games as well as other major sports. Odds boost can provide higher payouts for NFL bets than what you would find on other sportsbooks.

William Hill app

William Hill is a Europe-based company that has become increasingly popular in the United States. While it is one of the oldest sportsbooks in Europe, its rise in the U.S. has come only recently. William Hill is a traditional sportsbook that offers some solid NFL lines. Its mobile app is simple to navigate and easy to use for gamblers of all skill levels.

William Hill also offers great bonuses and promos for new and existing customers. It also has an excellent customer service center that will help with any disputes promptly.

PointsBet app

The Australian-based sportsbook PointsBet has been growing in the United States since sports betting has become legal. It has quickly risen and become one of the most popular sportsbooks in legal states. PointsBet is one of the smoothest and simplest to use sports betting apps available. This is because PointsBet doesn’t outsource any aspect of its operation, which helps keep the app safe and secure for users.

The major difference between PointsBet and its competitors is its feature PointsBetting. PointsBeting is one of the most innovative ways to bet on NFL games that has come around in a long time. PointsBetting rewards users for how “right” their bets are. It also penalizes the more “wrong you are.” Depending on how much a bet covers or falls short, users will receive higher payouts, or they will have to pay more for big losses. While it can be risky, it is one of the most exciting ways to bet that is available today.

BetRivers app

BetRivers, like its competitors, has found much success in Illinois. It offers an easy-to-use app that also has several banking options for users. BetRivers is also super-friendly for new sports bettors to use. This is because of its extensive FAQ section, which has a ton of information about NFL betting and just sports betting in general.

One thing BetRivers has that its competitors lack is an excellent rewards program called iRush. iRush is the ultimate VIP program that offers incentives to users for simply using the app or website to place wagers. iRush has ten tiers, and each offers more incentives than the last tier. BetRivers also has an Elite Tier that is reserved for top gamblers and is only accessible by invite.

Can I legally bet on the NFL in Illinois?

NFL betting is completely legal in the state of Illinois. This has been the case since sports betting was legalized in June 2019. In March 2020, the first legal sports bet was placed, and a few months later, in June 2020, online sportsbooks were legalized. The only stipulation to betting on the NFL in Illinois is that you must be in Illinois to place wagers. Sportsbook apps use geolocation to ensure that all wagers placed are within Illinois to avoid legal trouble. Other than that, all NFL betting is legal within the state of Illinois, and you can wager on whatever your preferred sportsbook offers.

How to bet on football games

There are several different ways to bet on NFL games. This section will break down some of the most popular forms of NFL betting available in Illinois.


Moneyline bets are the oldest form of sports betting, and they are still popular today. Essentially a moneyline bet allows sports bettors to wager on who the outright winner of an NFL game will be. NFL moneyline wagers are not concerned with points whatsoever; it just matters who is declared the winner at the end of the game. Moneyline bets will always have a favorite represented by negative odds (-) and an underdog represented by positive odds (+). It is important to note that odds are not even between favorites and underdogs.

Ex. Lions (+260) v Bears (-340)

Point spread

Point spread betting is one of the most popular forms of NFL betting methods available for sports bettors. Point spread betting attempts to create a “more fair” way to bet on NFL games. This is done by removing total points from the favorite and adding points to the underdog. So, with an NFL point spread bet, total points matter much more than the outright winner. Points added/removed are always even on both sides, and the odds for these bets are usually -110.

Ex. Lions +6 (-110) v Bears -6 (-110)

In this example, for the Bears to win the Point Spread bet, they would have to win by more than six points. For the Lions to win this bet, they would have to lose by less than six points.

Totals (Over/Under)

Totals bets are another extremely popular form of bet available for NFL games. With totals bets, the winner of the game doesn’t matter at all. The only important thing is the total amount of points scored in a game. Essentially, for totals bets, there is a total number that is set, and bettors will choose whether the total score will go over or under the number. These odds are almost always set at -110.

Ex. Vikings v Bears Total: 52


Futures bets are wagers that are placed far in advance of the event wagered on. These bets are usually focused on major events like winning the Super Bowl, MVP, and making the Playoffs. Futures bets can have extremely high odds but are also considered risky due to the high uncertainty. Futures bets will usually offer higher odds the farther away from an event the bet is placed. These odds constantly change throughout the season, so jump on Futures bets early in the season.

Prop bets

Prop bets are a fun way to wager on the game without choosing a winner or even the total score. Prop bets focus on smaller aspects of an NFL game like individual stats. You can wager on things like total yards and interceptions thrown.

The Super Bowl has some of the most fun prop bets available in all sports. You will typically see bets available for national anthem length, coin toss, and the color of Gatorade thrown on the winning coach. Prop bets are fun all year long, but the Super Bowl has the most fun bets.

Live betting

Live betting has been around for a while, but since sports betting was legalized and sports betting apps have been established, it has grown in popularity. Live betting allows users to place standard wagers on an NFL game, but you can wager during the game. This allows you to watch the game before you make choices. This can be a huge advantage for sports bettors. Every major sportsbook will offer some form of live betting. Odds constantly change when live betting, and you can only place wagers during timeouts and commercials.

Pre-season, regular season, and Playoffs

The NFL season is divided into three sections: pre-season, regular season, and postseason.

The pre-season consists of four games played before the regular season. These games do not affect teams’ records and are more so used as scrimmages to prepare for the season. These games can be difficult to wager on as starters see limited playing time, and these games are mainly used to evaluate younger talent.

The regular season is the bulk of the NFL season. Sixteen games are played over 17 weeks, and these games determine a team’s record, which decides if they are eligible for the postseason. The regular season has some of the best lines in the NFL season, and this is where a majority of wagers are placed. Lines during the regular season are some of the best you will see through the year.

The postseason is the last few weeks after the regular season has finished. It is made up of four parts: Wild Card Round, Divisional Round, Divisional Championship, and the Super Bowl. As of the 2020 season, 14 teams are eligible for the playoffs (seven NFC; seven AFC). Lines in the postseason can be much smaller as the games are considered to be much more competitive since it is the best-of-the-best facing-off.

How to watch/stream NFL games in Illinois

The NFL regular season typically kicks off in early September every year. The NFL schedules a majority of its games on Sundays through the 17 week season. However, there are some other primetime games every week.

There are three games played each week that are considered to be primetime games as there are no other games on at the same time as them. There is Sunday Night Football, which is at 7 p.m. EST every Sunday. There is Monday Night Football that is played at 7 p.m. EST every Monday. Finally, there is Thursday Night Football that is usually scheduled for 8:20 p.m. EST every Thursday. These games provide NFL football throughout the week for fans and can feature some of the best games every week.

Illinois NFL teams and rivals

Illinois is the home of Chicago which has at least one team for every professional sports league. Illinois is represented in the NFL by the Chicago Bears. The Bears are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, as they have played 101 seasons (1920-2020). They are members of the NFC North. The Bears’ divisional rivals are the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and the Detroit Lions.

Over their long history, the Bears have been to the Super Bowl twice, the last time being in Super Bowl 41, in which they lost to the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears are 1-1 all-time in the Super Bowl. It is important to remember that the Bears made the Championship game in the Pre-Super Bowl Era ten times, posting a 6-4 record.

Famous NFL players from Illinois

Dick Butkus

Richard “Dick” Butkus is a retired Hall of Fame NFL linebacker who played his entire nine-season career with the Chicago Bears. Butkus was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 9, 1942. Throughout his career, he was an eight-time pro bowler, six-time first-team all-pro selection, and two-time NFL defensive player of the year winner. He is also considered one of the greatest Linebackers of all time, and his no. 51 was retired by the Chicago Bears.

Shannon Sharpe

Shannon Sharpe is a retired Hall of Fame NFL Tight End who played for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. Sharpe was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 26, 1968. During his career, he was an eight-time pro bowler, four-time first-team all-pro selection, and three-time Super Bowl champion. Sharpe is now a TV personality where he commentates on sports.

Donovan McNabb

Donovan McNabb is a retired NFL Quarterback who played a majority of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. McNabb was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 25, 1976. Throughout his career, McNabb was a six-time pro bowler. He has since been inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame, and the Eagles have also retired his no. 5.

NFL betting tips for beginners

Betting on the NFL may seem complicated at first, but if you develop a strategy, you will find it much easier. While everyone’s strategy may be a little different, here are some tips to follow when betting on NFL games.

1. Research

This is perhaps the most important aspect of sports betting. It cannot be stressed enough how important doing proper research is to finding success in sports betting. When betting on NFL games, you should always do proper research before making any plays. This means analyzing stats and data, reading reports and injuries, even checking media reports. The only way to find an edge in sports betting is by being prepared, and you can’t do that without research.

2. Watch games

This is another huge tip as to bet on NFL games you need to watch NFL games. You can read stats and data all you want, and it will help, but to understand how it all works together, you need to watch the games. This is important as it can help you know and understand teams and players, but it also allows you to live bet, which can be lucrative.

3. Shop for lines

Shopping for lines is essential in sports betting. Especially since Illinois is a legal state with several great sportsbooks, this tip is easy. While it may seem tedious, shopping for the best lines could be the deciding factor in how successful you are in sports betting. Sportsbooks often provide different lines for NFL games for several reasons. Finding and exploiting bad NFL betting lines is a major key to being a successful football bettor.

NFL betting mistakes to avoid

While the above tips are great and extremely important to help you be successful, these betting mistakes to avoid are just as important.

1. Chase your bets

You should never chase your bets. Chasing your bets is how you deplete your bankroll quickly. Losing is a part of sports betting, and new and experienced sports bettors alike always have an urge to chase their losses but never should. If you lose, call it a day and wait for the next research play. Chasing your bets is often sporadic and is never a good idea.

2. Bet too much/Bet every game

This is another major mistake to avoid. On Sundays, the NFL board can be big as there are usually 12+ games being played. That doesn’t mean you should make a play on every game. You should only bet on games that you have researched and are confident they will win. You should also never bet too much on a single play. The standard rule for how much to wager is 1%-5% of your total bankroll. This will help you prevent depleting your entire bankroll quickly.

3. Bet while drunk/Impaired

Another huge mistake that needs to be avoided is placing wagers while intoxicated. When we are intoxicated, we usually make wild choices, and this is never smart when betting your real money on sports. Betting while intoxicated can lead to placing large sums of money on un-researched plays. This is just something that simply needs to be avoided at all costs.