There might be no better time for a football fan than late summer.
As the calendar turns to August, the National Football League starts playing its exhibition games, ahead of an early September start to the regular season.
In the NCAA college football ranks, the season begins even earlier: you will start seeing some games in late August, with a huge push for the Thursday-Monday period on Labor Day weekend.
In short, August is a time to get ready to start wagering on football all over the shop.
So here is a look at some of the ways you can bet on football in the Prairie State.
As of now, here are the sports books you can use in Illinois:
PointsBet IL offers new signups the chance to get 4 risk-free bets. Just sign up and place two real-money wagers within Illinois borders. You’ll be refunded with free bets if your initial wagers lose. One bet is refunded as a fixed-odds bet while the other is a PointsBet wager. Promo code 1000POINTS.
Eligible clients are entitled to a maximum four (4) refunds. Two (2) refunds worth $250 each in Free Bets for first and second PointsBetting wager should it lose and Two (2) refunds worth $250 each in Free Bets for first and second fixed price wager should it lose. No refund are payable for winning, void or wagers resulted as a push.
Here are some that should/could be online before the tournament begins:
Top five sports books in Illinois as of July 2021, along with their free bet offers
- BetRivers Sportsbook: get up to $250 matched with your first deposit
- DraftKings Sportsbook: welcome match up to $500 plus $500 risk-free first bet
- FanDuel Sportsbook: risk-free wager up to $1,000 on your first bet
- PointsBet: get up $250 matched with your first deposit
- William Hill: get up to $300 risk free wager
Can I bet NCAA Football and NFL on those sites?
In fact, the NFL and NCAA college football betting are probably still the two most wagered sports in America (although European football might be catching up quickly).
What are the best bet types to wager on football in Illinois?
There are numerous ways to win money betting on either the NFL or NCAA football in Illinois.
The first way to bet is the straight bet, on either the money line or the point spread. Many people take the point spread when they bet on football, but the money line can be a good way to make money, especially if you place a parlay on two or more favorites.
So what is a parlay? You place a wager on two or more teams, and the combined odds give you a better chance to win more money: but every team in the wager has to win (or push) for you to win the bet. If one team loses, you lose.
You can wager pre-game or in-play (live betting), something that has become much more popular over the last couple years. You can bet on the over/under total, on any number of prop bets, which number into the hundreds for each game. Before (and during) the seasons, you can also bet on teams to win division/conference championships and overall titles in the futures markets
Basically, if you can think it up, you can bet on it.
Best bets for the season
Right now, if you are looking for some team to bet in NCAA football, it really does not matter much from season to season: there are about four or five teams that have a realistic shot to win a title.
Alabama (current 2021 odds +225), Clemson (+300), Ohio State (+400), Oklahoma (+650), and Georgia (+700) have set up recruiting dynasties, and one of those teams will win the title in most years. Sometimes, a team like LSU sneaks into the conversation, or maybe an Oregon, but you have to check from year to year.
In the NFL right now, it is all about quarterback play, so find a team with a good one and back them: Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Los Angeles, and Baltimore are all near the top of the odds every year right now. Cna Justin Fields help the Bears break into that group? Time will tell.