What To Look For When Selecting an NBA Betting Site
The best NBA betting websites have all the standard features that bettors expect to see: a variety of NBA betting markets, bonuses and free bets, competitive odds, and a seamless betting experience. Combining these factors makes for the actual best Illinois online gambling experience, and we'll cover the most important factors here.
NBA Betting Lines and Odds
While all NBA betting sites offer the same NBA betting markets, the best basketball betting sites give users competitive lines and odds, lucrative bonuses that result in a free bet or free bets and other perks, and other competitions and tournaments to make every day of the sports calendar exciting and enticing.
Remember, too, the importance of having multiple options when it comes to basketball betting sites because of the potential small but significant difference in spreads, totals, odds, and betting markets. To successfully bet on NBA games, understand the basics of what these NBA betting sites including BetMGM Illinois offer.
Types of NBA Bets Allowed in IL
From the basics like spreads and totals to something more obscure like individual NBA props on a certain statistic, every NBA basketball game has hundreds of different betting markets. The most trusted NBA betting sites have these options readily available for all games, so a variety of NBA betting odds are critical to making the most of your NBA wagering experience.
NBA Bonuses and Rewards
As NBA online betting sites like FanDuel Ilinois and BetRivers Illinois battle for sports bettors’ business, bonuses are becoming not just a perk but a standard part of the process. No matter which NBA betting site you turn to, there will be some combination of bonuses, a free bet or free bets, or additional games that can yield significant benefits for bettors. Users get these bonuses because every best betting site knows it keeps them active. At the same time, it’s a mutual victory for bettors because they receive free bets or some other kind of additional perk that usually has an easy playthrough bonus.
These bonuses come in all shapes and sizes: odds boosts can provide more favorable payouts on spreads; betting a specific amount of money on a team’s spread can yield a $3 bet for every 3-pointer that team makes in the game; risk-free bets on the first NBA wager; and much more. These bonuses are typically most lucrative on basketball bets when the NBA season is at its peak, including Opening Night, Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the postseason.
Major NBA betting websites do a good job promoting the bonuses they offer for betting online, so bettors should have a good idea of what’s available to them when considering where to place bets.
What good is an online sportsbook if it’s difficult or simply unpleasant to use? No matter what kind of bonuses, tournaments, or other perks a sportsbook offers, its interface will always be the most identifiable attribute to its users. It’s difficult to say which factors are the “best” or most important because not all bettors are created equal and not all bettors are looking for the same things.
What we can say is that bet slips should populate effectively, spreads, totals, moneylines and the accompanying odds so all of them should be easily digestible. Users should always be able to easily access their account information, including their current balance, bonuses and free bets available to them, and responsible gaming resources (including customer support). What’s more, the sportsbook’s mobile app should feature the same options as its desktop counterpart, so users get the same experience on either. Which is exactly what you get from the Illinois DraftKings app and betting site.
Deposits and Withdrawal
One of the most important perks of gambling on legal online betting sites in the United States is the simple deposit and withdrawal methods. Unlike offshore sportsbooks that don’t always accept traditional deposit methods and can take months for withdrawals to come through, legal online sports betting sites such as PointsBet IL are easy to use, simple to understand, and incredibly efficient.
Having several different deposit options is a crucial aspect of how we rank our online NBA betting sites. Those with online banking, PayPal, eCheck, and credit/debit card options rank higher as it allows for user flexibility. Typically, those same options are available for withdrawals, which can be helpful if one of those methods isn’t working at a given time. Withdrawal times can take anywhere from 1-5 business days, but in our experience, we’ve found deposit and withdrawal times at most NBA betting sites can go through and be accessed almost instantly.
Bettors should know exactly what kind of options they have before signing up with an NBA betting site. The top NBA betting sites continue to add options, so it’s likely that whichever one bettors choose, they’ll find one that works for them.
The most prominent sportsbooks, and the best NBA betting sites, that we recommend are incredibly reliable with fair odds, quick response times, and credible withdrawal and deposit options. But some issues inevitably will arise, which is why it’s paramount to choose a reliable NBA betting site with a reputable customer support option like Unibet Illinois .
This can come in a phone number, email address, live chat option, or social media direct messaging. While all NBA betting sites that we've reviewed have some sort of customer support, we rank those with live-chat functions higher than those that require players to fill out a form or send a message with delayed response time.
NBA Betting Apps
We understand that bettors like to gamble on the go or simply like the mobile experience over desktop. It’s why our analysis of apps is such a significant part of our review. Our ranking of the best NBA betting apps are the ones that have excellent response times, bet slips that populate quickly without taking up the entire screen, and live betting options that generate quickly so bettors can get in on in-game NBA betting action without any lag time.
Betting on the National Basketball Association moves quickly nowadays – both in-game and with injury reports that can swing NBA odds in an instant – that odds are constantly changing in real-time. It might not seem like a big deal, but a mobile app that quickly populates and accepts a bet can be the difference between getting great odds and missing out on a steal when betting on the NBA.
Is Betting On NBA Games Legal in Illinois?
Yes, you can bet on the NBA in Illinois. Since July 2020, NBA online betting has been legal in Illinois. Since then, seven different operators including William Hill Illinois have been licensed for basketball betting in the state.
How To Bet On The NBA Online
Online gambling offers a way for bettors to more effectively take part in sports betting. Rather than physical sportsbooks that have just one set of odds, gamblers can bounce around different basketball betting sites to find more lucrative odds based on the market or other sports they're interested in. There's no waiting in line, no physical betting slips to retain, no difficulty in making live bets, and you have the ability to take your online sportsbook on the go with apps.
Betting online begins by signing up for an account. While the steps can be unique on different sports betting sites, users will need to register with an email address and a password, use a Geolocator to prove they are within the state of Illinois, provide the last four digits of a Social Security number to prove they are of legal age, and then enter any promotional codes to unlock a free bet or free bets. The best NBA betting sites require these steps in one form or another, but all the highest-rated NBA sportsbooks have made this a seamless experience.
Most Popular NBA Bets
The most prominent NBA games will have hundreds of different bets to choose from, though the most popular include moneylines, spreads, totals, live bets, player props, team props, and futures, including conference winners, NBA Finals winners, and individual award winners such as MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Sixth Man. The best NBA betting sites will offer all these and more. Here are the top NBA wagers:
The moneyline consists of the odds given to each team that they will win the game. It is not concerned with the spread or total. There is a favorite (given minus odds) and an underdog (given plus odds).
For example, if the Milwaukee Bucks are -320 favorites against the Chicago Bulls, a bettor would need to wager $320 to win $100. The Bulls as +250 underdogs would yield $250 on a $100 bet. If you've taken part in any type of sports betting, you've seen a moneyline bet. NBA sportsbooks are no different.
NBA Live Betting
NBA live betting follows the same rules as the moneyline, spreads, and totals, though it occurs during the game. Most prominent betting sites will have constantly updating live moneylines, spreads, and totals for bettors to wager on over the course of a game. Bettors will need to be quick to get their bets in because these odds update in real-time after every possession.
Parlays offer bettors the ability to combine two or more different bets that hold more favorable odds, with the catch being that all legs of the parlay must hit to win. For example, if a bettor were to parlay the Bucks (-300), Bulls (+150), and Pistons (+200) moneylines, he would receive better odds if all three teams were to win their games. If zero, one, or two of the bets were successful, the bettor would lose the parlay.
Parlays can include moneylines, spreads, totals, and at times player props. The best NBA betting sites offer same-game parlays, which are becoming more common among online sportsbooks but are still not fully offered everywhere.
Betting the Spread
Point spreads are typically the most popular type of NBA bet. Oddsmakers determine the spread based on several different factors that essentially even the playing field among two teams. Each game has a favorite, designated by a minus spread, and an underdog, designated by a plus spread.
For example, if the Chicago Bulls were +6.5 against the Milwaukee Bucks (-6.5), a bet on the Bulls would “win” – referred to as a cover – if they won the game or lost by fewer than 7 points. Add 6.5 to the Bulls’ final score to determine if they covered. Likewise, subtract 6.5 points from the Bucks score to determine if they covered. Most point spreads have odds between -105 and -115.
As NBA offenses have become more successful and efficient, betting game totals have become increasingly popular. NBA betting totals are straightforward: Every NBA game has a total – 228.5, for example – and bettors can wager on the combined scores of the two teams either being more (over) or less (under) than that specified total. Overtimes are included in the total. Most NBA betting totals have odds between -105 and -115.
Though NBA games are the most popular form of betting, futures bets are also becoming increasingly popular. Bettors can wager on the future outcome of a conference winner, the NBA champion, or individual awards such as NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man, or Defensive Player of the Year.
These NBA odds can fluctuate significantly by sportsbooks, so bettors will want to shop around to make sure they have the most lucrative odds for the future on which they're wagering.
NBA betting has more individual star power than any other major sport, making NBA props an increasingly popular play. There are dozens – sometimes hundreds – of different NBA props available, including over-under on individual point totals, rebound totals, 3-point totals, whether a player will or will not record a double-double, among countless others.
NBA betting team prop bets are available to bet on, including which team will score 10 points first or whether a game will go to overtime. Like futures, numbers can fluctuate among online sportsbooks, so bettors will want to shop around for the best odds.
NBA Playoffs and Finals
The NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals are different animals for the players, and the same can be said for NBA bettors. Strategy changes when teams and players are part of a seven-game series, with shorter rotations, star players logging more minutes, and home-court advantage meaning more than it had during the season. Users can take advantage of strategy and trends pieces we provide before and during the postseason, culminating with the NBA championship in June.
NBA Betting Strategy and Tips
While there’s nothing like a gut feeling when it comes to betting on the NBA, that isn’t always going to be the most profitable way to go about it. Besides understanding what goes into a point spread, what exactly a player prop is, or how parlays work, an effective betting strategy is the only real way to give yourself the best chance at long-term success.
While there’s no such thing as a guarantee in sports betting – wouldn’t that be nice? – bettors can improve their chance at success by understanding betting strategies and determining which ones work best for them to use at our recommended NBA betting sites.
Never bet more than you can afford to lose. Even if you've fallen in love with a spread, a total, or a future bet, it's wise to never bet more than 1-3% of your total bankroll on a single outcome. Play the long game and manage your bankroll, so you're never overly invested in a single game. Remember, this is supposed to be fun.
Bet High Totals
The NBA has never seen scoring like we're getting in today's NBA on such a high volume and accuracy of 3-point shooting. This theory was developed by Allen Moody, that betting the over on games over 220.5 was a winning proposition. The theory likely needs some work since teams are now routinely scoring in the 110s and most game totals are set higher than 220.5, but the theory remains that high totals are high totals for a reason.
Shop The Lines
Of course, this one is our favorite and one of the main reasons we love online sportsbooks. Ever lose a bet by a one-half point or miss the over because of a meaningless 3-pointer? It's why you should always shop lines to see which sportsbook is giving you the best spread, total, or odds for the game you're interested in. You want to bet the Bulls tonight, and one sportsbook has them at -3 while the other has them at -4.5. You just saved yourself a whole bucket by just shopping around. Maybe both sportsbooks have them at -3 but one book lists those odds at -105 and another is -115. You just saved juice by shopping.
Get Familiar With The Schedule
Not all games are created equal. Don't simply look at a matchup on paper and take it at face value. Is a team ending a West Coast road trip? Are they playing on the second half of a back-to-back? Is it their fourth game in five nights? Have they played three straight games in three different time zones? Analyze NBA schedules to see what a team has done in terms of travel and games played before placing a bet.
Bet The Blowout System
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was famous for saying that "everyone can play in this league." Even the worst NBA team still consists of 13 professional basketball players. This trend follows that an NBA team is unlikely to blow out a team on back-to-back nights; blowouts are becoming more frequent with the onslaught of offense in the NBA, but it's tough for teams to do it consistently.
The Martingale System is the act of doubling your losing bets until you win back your original loss. For example, if you lose a $100 bet, you then bet $200 the following game. If you lose that $200 bet, you bet $400 the next game. The logic follows that eventually, bettors will pick up a win somewhere down the line and, thus, make back their original $100 loss. This is obviously a risky play that requires a significant potential investment.
The Tunnel Betting Strategy
The Tunnel Betting Strategy is one of our favorites. It follows that different NBA betting sites offer different spreads, totals, and moneylines despite having the same odds on each game. It allows bettors to wager on both sides of a bet and have the potential to win both if the final falls in between.
For instance, if one sportsbook has a Bulls-Cavaliers total at 222 and another has it at 224.5, a bettor could bet over 222 and under 224.5 and potentially win both bets if the total was 223 or 224 points. It requires serious analysis of lines in real-time but has the potential to hit more often than you'd think.
When Does The NBA Season Start and End
The NBA regular season consists of 82 regular-season games and four best-of-seven playoff rounds. Most recently, the league instituted a play-in tournament for the Nos. 7-10 seeds to determine the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds in each conference. The NBA basketball season typically begins in late October and ends the second week of April. The postseason takes around two months to complete, ending the second or third week of June.
Illinois NBA Betting FAQ
The best NBA online betting site depends on each bettor and his or her style. When we evaluate sites, however, some things are universal. The sites we like most have a clean and easy-to-understand interface, competitive odds and bonuses, and good customer support options.
Yes, NBA betting is legal in Illinois. The state passed legalizing online sports betting laws in July 2020, and bettors in Illinois can bet on the NBA in-person as well as at NBA betting sites online.
Bettors can place legal online bets on NBA games in any of the online sportsbooks available to anyone located in the state of Illinois.
A bet cashout is when sportsbooks allow bettors to cash out a live bet for a certain portion of the full wager before the game’s final outcome.
Mark Strotman is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports. He covered the NBA Playoffs in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as Team USA Basketball in 2014 and 2016. He has also covered high school football and was nominated for a Midwest Emmy in 2016 for his work on a documentary featuring local Chicago product and NFL prospect Miles Boykin.