Illinois takes its hockey seriously. It’s easy to see by the sheer number of college hockey players in the state. Countrywide, Illinois produces the fourth-most college hockey players just behind Minnesota, Michigan, and Massachusetts. The only thing holding this state back is its lack of an advanced program- Illinois remains the only state so far without a Division I program.

But that hasn’t dampened the Prairie State’s spirit especially when it comes to sports betting. After months of dealing with an uncertain future, legalized online sports betting in Illinois finally received the green light. Online sports betting in the state has been live for some months now, which means that punters and hockey lovers now have a variety of options when it comes to sports betting providers, casinos, and sportsbooks.

 Governor Pritzker’s emergency declaration, which he made earlier this year temporarily lifting an 18-month in-person sportsbook registration requirement has also really helped to amp things up. Bettors in the state can wager on hockey through their phones, laptops, or desktops.

BetRivers was the first app in the state to go live in late June, but more and more brands are expected to join the rapidly burgeoning Illinois sports betting industry. Things are finally looking up for Illinois but it hasn’t been a smooth ride.

After state lawmakers formally gave the go-ahead approving sports betting in 2019, brick and mortar sportsbooks in the state quickly started taking bets in early March, right before the NCAA Tournament was scheduled to begin. The rush was only short-lived thanks to the pandemic, which caused a countrywide lockdown that saw all sports leagues and live sports take a back seat.

Since the state had not yet issued any online licenses and because all of the brick and mortar locations remained inaccessible, bettors in the state had no way of placing a wager on anything, let alone hockey. The situation is much better now after the return of live sports and although the pandemic continues to present changes for individual states, the future of sports betting in the state looks bright.

Unlike other states such as New Jersey, which currently stands as the king of online sports betting, the Illinois market is yet to mature. This is great news for bettors, shareholders, investors, and operators alike because there is still so much room left for growth and the opportunities are boundless.

So far, punters in Illinois have picked soccer has been the most popular sports to bet on, which has drawn almost $24.8 million in bets followed by baseball, which has drawn approximately $18.5 million.

Why Illinois betting has become popular in the NHL

There are 4 major professional sports leagues in the country but the NHL is the second oldest. The NHL boasts a total of 25 US-based and 7 Canada-based teams, which has only helped the sports to become more popular as time has progressed.

Like all sports, NHL has some of the most devoted followers in the country. Punters in the state have demonstrated their great deal of interest in the various championships in the league, especially the Stanley Cup, which is the granddaddy of all hockey tournaments in the world. Ever since the NHL announced its return on May 26th with 24 teams vying for the Stanley Cup, hockey sports betting in Illinois has gone up considerably.

And it’s not just Illinois that has experienced a considerable rise in the number of people betting on hockey. States such as New Jersey have also seen a spike in the number of hockey bets made as explained here: https://www.njgamblingfun.com/nj/nj-sports-betting.

The Stanley Cup tournament commenced on August first with the Stanley Cup qualifiers with teams existing in bubbles over fears of the virus spreading. For the first time in the leagues’ history and the 1st with its current team members, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

So what have people been betting on?

The NHL is definitely one of the most preferred leagues to bet on. Punters get to enjoy odds all year round thanks to the Stanley Cup and the playoffs. So what have people been betting on this year:

NHL Moneyline

When people bet on NHL the Moneyline, they typically bet on who they think will win the game. Punters can tell which teams are the underdogs and which ones are the favorite simply by looking at the sign placed before each of the odds. In NHL Moneyline bets, the home team is more likely to be favored so is the team with the best goaltender.

NHL spreads

NHL spreads are very similar to MLB bets. NHL’s wagering version of the spread bet is referred to as the puck line bet. When bettors make puck line bets, they are usually deciding whether their preferred team will win by 2 goals or more.

Typically, most hockey games’ final scores end up being determined by a goal or two. As such, these types of wagers offer punters opportunities for some extra betting action.

NHL totals

Over-under betting is also done quite frequently during big-time tournaments and events such as the Stanley Cup final. When one wagers on NHL totals, they are essentially wagering on the number of goals that will be scored in a match.

NHL futures

People make future betting when they place bets on an event that is scheduled to happen way off in the future such as the Stanley Cup finals. People also frequently bet io conference and division winners, as well as on player titles and awards such as MVPs and the Hart Trophy.

Parley wagering

Like all other sports, parley wagering offers NHL fans a chance to bet on multiple games or event outcomes. In a parley bet, the punter makes several bets over one wager. For the punter to win, all the picks made must hit. If there is a loss, the entire bet will end up in smoke.

Final Thoughts

What’s there not to love about hockey action? The revving and skidding of the skates, the whooshing of the pucks, the speed, skill, and strategy of it all is simply electrifying. So if you haven’t been wagering on the NHL, then it is time you gave it some serious thought.