How Sportsbooks Will Handle College Basketball COVID-19 Forfeits in 2021-22
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Mucius (1) of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The recent surge in the Omicron variant of the coronavirus around the United States has affected sports — and its betting markets — in a profound way.
Dozens of players across the NFL, NBA, college basketball and other leagues have tested positive in the last few weeks, which has forced cancelations and forfeits en masse.
Already this week, four college basketball games in major conferences have been forfeited. That includes Boston College to Wake Forest, Seton Hall to St. John’s, DePaul to Seton Hall and Georgetown to Providence.
These cancellations affect the betting markets differently at different sportsbooks.
At BetMGM, any wager placed on a game that is forfeited due to the coronavirus will be voided. If a game is postponed and won’t be played within a week’s time, wagers placed on that game would also be voided.
BetMGM had accounted for the possibility that forfeits would come into play this season and did not host bets on regular-season champions as a result. A team may very well win a regular-season conference championship on the backs of a forfeit or two, especially if Omicron keeps up its current pace.
The sportsbook is still hosting bets on whichever team wins its conference tournaments, however.
BetMGM representative John Ewing said that any conference tournament game that is canceled or forfeited would have its wagers refunded.
Meanwhile, at PointsBet, any wagers placed on college basketball games that are forfeited would still be honored.
For instance, Georgetown was forced to forfeit against Providence on Wednesday due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Hoyas’ camp. Those who bet on Georgetown to win on PointsBet lost their money. Those who bet on Providence won.
A PointsBet representative said the sportsbook would roll with the NCAA’s ruling on which team is granted a victory to determine how it will pay out games this season.
At DraftKings, any bet placed on a college basketball game that is forfeited or canceled will be voided.
FanDuel has said that it reserves the right to choose whether or not to grant winning tickets on forfeited college hoops games.
FanDuel spokesperson Kevin Hennessy had told The Action Network earlier this year that, in the event of a forfeit, the sportsbook would “always try to do right by the customer.”