What to Look for When Choosing an NFL Betting Site
There are several online sports betting sites in Illinois that allow NFL betting, but what truly makes a great NFL betting site? Deciding which one is the best for you depends on how you bet and what type of experience you want to have betting on the NFL. Some sites have a better mobile experience while other NFL betting sites are easier to use on a desktop or laptop. Depending on how much you plan to bet via a mobile device might decide which NFL betting website you decide to use.
Some online sportsbooks allow players to use same-game parlays while offering more pre-game prop bets on players and teams. The best advice we can give is to sign up for multiple online sportsbooks to find the most value in betting markets as well as the bets that make the sense for you.
Types of NFL Bets Allowed in IL
There are so many different ways to bet and enjoy the NFL in Illinois, from moneyline to point spread to futures, player props and more. The top NFL betting websites on our list will offer all these online NFL betting options and more. When we look at the overall online betting experience, the first thing we look for is the breadth of NFL betting odds offered.
With a wide variety of NFL lines, sign-up bonuses and rewards, it's important to choose the best online sportsbooks for your needs. Having the different options and bets is the first thing to consider when picking your favorite NFL football betting sites.
NFL Betting Lines and Odds
Online sportsbooks in Illinois such as DraftKings IL and FanDuel IL offer highly competitive lines and odds to give players the best potential experience. Odds are updated 24/7 with live lines also available during NFL action. Players should always explore two or three sportsbooks and their odds on NFL games before placing bets to find the best value and payouts.
NFL Betting Bonuses
To attract players, many online sportsbooks will offer rewards to first-time players who place a deposit. Fanduel, for example, offers up to $1,000 in a risk-free bet just by joining the site. All of the sportsbooks that we recommend to users will offer some sort of risk-free bet or reward. Players would be wise to make deposits at multiple NFL betting websites to receive all of the available bonuses and rewards.
It's also worth mentioning that a few of the most popular online sportsbooks in Illinois will offer "Odds Boosts" on NFL action periodically. These are different from the sign-up bonuses as they require no additional deposit. Odds Boosts are promotions from NFL gambling sites that give inflated odds on a game or prop. Be sure to look out for these boosts as they happen frequently on all of the top football betting sites.
One of the most important decisions an NFL bettor will make is what sportsbook(s) the bettor will most frequently use. Most of the time, players will gravitate towards the site that is the easiest to use. Luckily for Illinois betters, the user interface on the top sports betting sites are all easy to use. However, they do differ. The mobile experience is also different from site to site, so make sure you review and test out the mobile online sportsbook to see which one best suits you.
Deposits and Withdrawal
Depositing and withdrawing funds from online sportsbooks has never been easier. Players have several ways to make a deposit including all of the following:
- Credit Card/Debit Card
- Checking Account (the most popular way to deposit funds)
Withdrawing funds is just as easy as placing a deposit. Players can receive funds through online banking, PayPal, etc. Withdrawal times can vary, but the fastest way to receive funds is through PayPal or online banking. You don't have to live in the state of Illinois to place a bet on the NFL. As long as you are present in the state, you are eligible to place an online NFL bet.
Having a quick and reliable way to contact customer support is extremely beneficial to all players. All of the top sportsbooks offer 24/7 customer support in some form. Most offer a hotline or chat that will allow players to get their problems solved quickly. While most sites offer online support, others will also give players the option to email customer support. Having a reliable customer support staff on hand at all hours of the day is just another reason why betting online on the NFL in Illinois is the way to go.
NFL Betting Apps
Betting on the NFL no longer requires players to be home on their desktop or laptop computers. Now, NFL bettors can wager on their favorite sport from their mobile devices. Mobile sportsbooks have come a long way over the last few years and they are much more responsive and easier to use than ever.
All of the top sportsbooks in Illinois allow players to bet on the NFL quickly and easily. The sleek mobile sites of FanDuel and DraftKings, for instance, allow players to create parlays, place live bets and check out all the latest odds. For bettors on the move, be sure to check out all of the mobile sportsbooks to find out which one best suits your needs.
Is Betting on NFL Games Legal in Illinois?
After years of uncertainly, legal NFL betting is now allowed in the state of Illinois. The first sports bet took place on March 9, 2020, at the Rivers Casino Des Plaines, but now players are able to bet online on the NFL from the comfort of their homes. However, there are only five current sportsbooks that are allowed to take legal action in the state:
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- William Hill Sportsbook
Originally players had to visit a physical casino in order to create an online sportsbook account, but that is no longer the case. Players can sign up from their home computer or mobile device and begin legal sports betting in Illinois.
How to bet on the NFL Online
The NFL is the United States' most popular sport and it's also the sport that sees the most bets on a weekly basis. With the NFL becoming more open to betting and now even partnering with online betting sites such as BetMGM Illinois and William Hill Illinois, betting on NFL games has never been easier.
NFL bettors have several ways to place bets and hundreds of ways to win money. One of the recent advantages for NFL bettors is the sign-up bonus, rewards and odds boosts available to players in the state of Illinois. Bettors aren't tied to one sportsbook or casino and that allows players to search for the best odds and values quickly.
Another advantage of an online NFL sportsbook is that players can quickly place bets from the comfort of their home without having to go to a physical casino. Winning bets are deposited directly into NFL bettors' accounts and can be withdrawn nearly instantly.
To start wagering on an NFL betting site, players have to provide a username, email and password to create an account. From there, a site will ask a few simple questions for tax-related reasons and after a deposit, players can start wagering on their favorite team, such as the Chicago Bears.
Best NFL Bets
While there are many ways to wager on the NFL, here are some of the most popular, fun and profitable bets that players can make in the state of Illinois.
Betting on the "moneyline" is the easiest way to bet on the NFL. Sports bettors will pick who they believe will win a singular game, such as Bears vs. Packers. The odds are based on a $100 bet with the favorite being listed with a (-) symbol and the underdog being listed with a (+) sign. As you would expect, the best NFL odds will come when betting on an underdog as it will pay more than what you risked in a bet. Here is an example of what a moneyline bet would look like:
Chicago Bears (-175) over Green Packers (+143)
Because the Bears are favored in this made-up game, a player would need to bet $175 to win $100. If a player wanted to bet on the Packers to win, a $100 bet would pay out $143.
NFL Live Betting
While moneyline bets are most frequently made before an NFL game begins, players in the state of Illinois now have the option to live bet games. Players can live bet NFL action throughout the course of a game, wagering on the moneyline, point totals and spread. Be sure to check out all the top NFL betting sites as live betting lines can often differ drastically from site to site.
A trendy way to bet on the NFL is to combine multiple moneyline or point spread bets into one bet. This is called a parlay. The advantage of parlays, especially moneyline parlays, is that players can win bigger payouts. It's important to note that if one "leg" of a parlay fails to hit, the entire bet is deemed a "LOSS". Here is an example of a three-team moneyline parlay:
Bears (-200) over Packers, Lions (-177) over Vikings, Cowboys (-175) over Steelers = +272
In this three-team moneyline favorite parlay, the new payout is +272, which means a $100 wager would pay out $372. Adding more underdogs would increase the payout as would the number of teams to the bets. It's also worth noting that players can combine money, point spreads and point totals all into one parlay on most legal NFL betting sites.
Point Spread Betting
The most common way to bet on NFL games online is by using the point spread, which is also called betting against the spread. The way that point spreads are created is to balance two unequal opponents to get betting action on both sides. Typically, a home team is given three points against the spread as home teams have a higher winning percentage than road teams.
Here is a quick example of what a point spread with the odds could look like in the NFL:
Minnesota Vikings (+3, -110) vs. Chicago Bears (-3, -110)
In this case, the Bears are a three-point favorite over the Vikings. For the Bears to cover the spread, they would need to win by more than three points. For the Vikings to cover the spread, they would need to win outright or lose by less than three points. If the final score is Bears 27-24, this would be deemed a push. Payouts are often at -110 (or around there) for point spread bets.
Another way to bet on the NFL is by betting on the point total. This is another simple way to bet on a game as a player wagers on how many total points will be scored in a single game. The appeal to totals betting is that an NFL bettor can wager on a game without being invested in who wins. New players will often bet on the OVER as this allows them to root for points to be scored. If you are unfamiliar with how NFL total betting works, here is an example:
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Over 49.5 (-110)
Under 49.5 (-110)
NFL betting sites will set a line (point total), and players will be tasked with betting the over or the under. In this case, if 50 or more combined points are scored, this would be considered a "WIN" for all OVER bettors. If 49 or fewer points are scored this would be considered a "LOSS" for all OVER bettors.
Before betting on the point total, make sure you do your research on each team's offense, defense, weather, etc as these can all greatly decide how many points will be scored in a game. It's worth mentioning that totals bets can often be combined with moneyline or point spread bets into parlays if a player wants to gain greater odds.
NFL futures betting is exactly what it sounds like. A player will bet on an NFL event in the future, such as NFL MVP, division winner or Super Bowl winner . The advantage and appeal of futures bets are that players get to watch and root on their bet for the entire NFL season. The disadvantage is that the payout will often occur months after the initial bet has been placed, as these bets aren't paid until the end of the season or the end of the playoffs, depending on the bet.
Futures bets are a great way to bet on the NFL if you want an extra incentive to watch a specific team or player. Be sure to check out the top NFL betting sites to find the best odds and value on futures bets as the betting odds can vary from site to site.
One of the newest ways (and most fun) ways to bet on NFL action is by placing a prop bet. Player prop bets can be as simple as Bears QB Justin Fields to throw for more than 229.5 yards (-110) in a single game. Players are asked to bet the OVER/UNDER on specific stats, such as passing yards, total touchdowns, etc. These bets are typically more "fun" than straightforward moneyline/point spread bets as players can now wager on their favorite players to succeed (or fail).
NFL sportsbooks typically offer several prop bets on every NFL game with primetime contests and playoff games having even more prop bets available. Make sure to shop around your favorite NFL sportsbooks to find the best value and lines as they can differ from site to site. The difference in a -110 to -105 over the course of an NFL season can be quite big. Think of it as free money, as long as you continue to shop around for the best NFL lines via the top NFL gambling sites in Illinois.
NFL Betting Strategy and Tips
When betting on the NFL, it's always wise to do your research on the upcoming games before placing a bet. Check out all the reviews and shop for updated odds before placing a bet to ensure you're using legitimate NFL betting sites. Here are some other key strategies and tips to keep an eye on before wagering on the NFL:
Home Versus Away
In most seasons, home teams win a higher percentage of their games than their road opponents. However, some teams are better at home than others. Besides just the moneyline, some teams have a higher cover percentage at home while others may have a higher winning percentage at home but struggle against the spread. Before placing a bet, make sure to check out all the latest trends and historical data on how teams perform at home versus on the road.
Betting NFL Underdogs
Because the NFL is a league built on parity, several underdogs will typically win outright each week. Deciding which teams with underdogs to back each week is entirely up to you. There are many reasons why a team might be considered an underdog, so be sure to check out the latest injury report, betting trends, weather, etc., before betting on an NFL underdog.
Reverse NFL Line Movement
Reverse line movement is where bettors track line movement and search for value across multiple NFL sports betting sites. Occasionally, sportsbooks will move lines in the wrong direction (reverse) of what makes sense to sharp bettors.
The goal of NFL football betting sites is to attract as much action as possible and they will often move lines in the wrong direction to try to get the total bets closer to 50/50. When sportsbooks do this, it can sometimes create value for players if spotted early. Before placing a bet, be sure to study the lines throughout the week, as they can often change dramatically from Monday to Sunday morning.
Betting Smaller NFL Markets
Sports bettors often flock to big markets and primetime games when it comes to betting on the NFL. However, value can be found when betting on smaller NFL markets and less appealing games. These games can often have a higher difference in pricing and value as sports betting sites might not have the same grasp on these contests as "bigger" games.
If you want to find a market inefficiency when it comes to NFL wagering, consider betting on smaller, less important games to find value over the course of the season.
NFL Halftime Betting Lines
When betting in Illinois, players can live bet NFL games, and that allows halftime bets. These lines will obviously change from the pre-game and allow players to find value on the point spread, moneyline, or point total. One of the best NFL betting strategies we can recommend is checking in on the moneyline and point spread at halftime of a game you are watching. Often, this is where you will find value as players can generally get a good grasp of how a game will play out after the first two quarters.
Live Betting Strategy
One of the best parts of betting on the NFL is being able to live bet a game. On nearly every play, the odds on the point spread, moneyline, and even point total can change. An obvious tip for live betting includes actually watching the game. This allows players to get a feel and flow for how the game is going and which team might emerge victoriously.
Live betting allows players to find value on underdogs or good teams that may have fallen behind early on fluky plays. But it's important to not chase bets, such as if you continue to live bet a favorite that is suddenly down two scores because you played a larger pre-game bet. Know when to accept a loss and move on rather than hoping to double down on a live bet.
Illinois NFL Betting Sites FAQ
Signing up for an online betting site in Illinois is simple. Just follow these three steps and you will be placing an NFL online bet in no time! 1. Players must enter an email address, username and password. Some sites also allow players to sign up using their Google accounts or Facebook account. 2. Players will be asked to give some personal information, including the last four digits of their SSN, their full legal name and their address for tax purposes. 3. After your account is created, players will be asked for bank information and will then have the chance to make their first deposit on the site. It is worth mentioning that players do not have to deposit any funds at this time.
What NFL sports betting site you decide to use is up to you. Some sites offer better lines and frequent odds boosts, while others have a better mobile experience. It's also important to know how each site pays players, whether it's via PayPal, direct deposit, check, etc. Make sure you research what online sportsbook makes the most sense for how you want to be on NFL games.
There are several different sportsbooks in Illinois that offer bets on the NFL, including DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to shop around for the best prices, lines and bonuses before placing a bet. It's also wise to sign up for multiple sportsbooks given that lines can differ from site to site.
The easiest way to bet on the NFL is by betting on the moneyline. A moneyline bet is simple as a player wagers on which team they believe will win a game. However, the most common NFL bet is a point spread bet. But the best part of betting on the NFL is that there are so many different ways to bet and consume the NFL. Be sure to read up on all the bets available and which one suits you best.
Signing up for an NFL betting site is simple. It usually only takes a few minutes to sign up for the site, and once funds are deposited, players can start betting right away.
Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for IllinoisBet.com. The managing editor of The Raiders Wire is also a contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly and FanSided, and previously wrote for FanRag Sports. He hosts Locked On Cowboys Podcast.