Illinois Fighting Illini ODDS

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Betting on the Illinois Fighting Illini

The Fighting Illini are in position to make some noise.

Illinois Men’s Basketball History

Three of Illinois’ five Final Four appearances came in a four year span during the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. It was tough sledding after that for the Illini until Lou Henson took control of the program.

Even in Henson’s first few years, the team couldn’t get into the Big Dance. It wasn’t until 1981 that the Illini began a run of consistent excellence that fans had yearned for.

From 1981-1990, Henson and Illinois made the NCAA Tournament every year except one, and they reached the Final Four as a 1-seed in ’89.

Although Illinois has never won a title, they have come close several times. There was that 1989 season, an Elite 8 appearance as a 1-seed in ’01, and a loss in the championship game in ’05.

Ironically, all three occurred under different head coaches. ’89 was still the Lou Henson era, ’01 was part of Bill Self’s brief stint, and the ’05 title game came under Bruce Weber.

Weber’s ’05 Illinois team is arguably the school’s best and most memorable as it was led by guards Deron Williams and Dee Brown.

The Illini finished that season 37-2, including the 5-point loss to North Carolina in the championship game.

Now, Illinois has worked to re-establish itself as a Big Ten powerhouse the last few years.

Betting in Illinois

Both online and retail sports betting were legalized in Illinois in 2019, although they did not launch until 2020.

BetRivers Sportsbook launched in the Land of Lincoln on June 18, 2020, making online sports betting a reality in the state.

By the end of 2020, four online operators were live and accepting wagers in Illinois. Now, Illinois is a major player in US sports betting as most of the industry’s leading sportsbooks offer their product there.

Fans and backers of the Fighting Illini can expect to see something like this when navigating one of Illinois’ many options:

·        Illinois +3.5

·        Purdue -3.5

Here, the Illini are 3.5-point underdogs. Someone placing a spread wager on Illinois needs them to either win the game or lose by fewer than 4 points.

If Illinois falls to Purdue by 4 or more, Purdue covers the spread and Illinois backers lose their bet