Loyola Chicago A Popular Bet
The Illinois Fighting Illini were one of the favorites to win the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament before it began.
Illinois dominated Drexel in the First Round before everything changed in the Round of 32.
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers controlled the entire game against Illinois, and now it is the Missouri Valley Conference school that has turned into a popular pick. Despite being a number 8 seed in the Midwest Region, Loyola has already proved that it has what it takes to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Not only are fans from across the country taking note of the Ramblers, but sportsbooks are as well. Unfortunately for Illinois residents, the sportsbooks in the Land of Lincoln cannot accept futures bets on Loyola Chicago.
Loyola Chicago is now at +1400 to win the NCAA Tournament, and they were an afterthought before the event began. There are just five teams ahead of Loyola when it comes to these odds, and the Ramblers could face one of them (Houston +900) in the Elite 8.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the betting favorite to win the title at +150, and the Baylor Bears are next on the list at +450. These odds will continue to be updated after each round, and another win would make Loyola Chicago an even popular pick.
Illinois sports bettors that wish to make a bet on the Ramblers must travel to either Indiana or Iowa to do so as betting on in-state college teams is illegal in Illinois. There has been a recent push to change these laws in the future, but not much support has come to those bills.
Most experts believed that this could finally be the year that the state of Illinois has an NCAA champion, but most didn’t expect that team to be Loyola Chicago.
Barstool Sportsbook Names Next Two Markets
The entire Illinois sports betting market got a big boost from the launch of Barstool Sportsbook, which happened just before the start of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Some of the top Barstool Sports personalities were on hand at the Hollywood Casino to promote the app and make unique content for social media.
Barstool Sportsbook is a product of Penn National Gaming, and that company is looking to be extremely aggressive in the sports betting industry. Penn National announced that it would look to launch in up to 10 states in 2021, and now more details have been revealed.
It has been announced that Barstool Sportsbook will launch in both Indiana and New Jersey by the end of May 2021. It’s unclear which launch will happen first, but both states provide a competitive and growing sports betting market.
Barstool Sportsbook is currently available in Pennsylvania and Michigan as well, leaving five other markets as targets by the end of the year. Penn National is hoping that this growth occurs before the start of the 2021 NFL season, which would require a new launch at least every month.
It remains to be seen how Barstool Sportsbook has performed in Illinois, but those numbers will be revealed by the Illinois Gaming Board in the March sports betting report.
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