College Football Betting Rules: How Weather Cancelations, Location Changes Impact Your Bets
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ohio State Buckeyes fan waits in the rain during a weather delay at Ohio Stadium.
Hurricanes and other storms can often impact college football games. That may be the case again this weekend with Hurricane Ian hitting the southeastern portion of the United States.
And that could create a number of different situations for bettors — canceled games, changed locations, and delayed games that have already started.
Here are some common betting rules and questions about canceled college football games.
What Happens to My Bet If a Game Is Canceled?
If you bet on a game and it gets canceled, it will be graded as no action, and your money will be refunded. Even if the game is rescheduled later in the season, the lines will re-open the week before the game you’ll have to make your wager again at the new prices.
Most books will count the bet as action if it begins within 24-48 hours of the original start time — so if it’s moved from Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET to Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, the bet will stand.
What If the Game Already Started?
Most books require 55 minutes to be played before bets become official. If it doesn’t go 55 minutes, most bets will be void.
At DraftKings, the game can be resumed within 48 hours of the original start time. If it does not resume in 48 hours, bets will be void, unless the market is “unconditionally determined.”
- If a game is halted before the minimum time has been played, and not completed within 48 hours of the scheduled start date, bets will be void, unless the specific market outcome is already determined (unless otherwise stated, i.e., playoff game rule).
To me, unconditionally determined means it is impossible the statistic could change. So a player over 22.5 pass attempts would stand, because they cannot lose any pass attempts. But over 30.5 rushing yards would not, because that player could lose yards.
What Happens if the Game Moves Locations?
In 2018, Virginia–Ohio was played in Nashville due to inclement weather in Virginia, which caused drastic line movement. UVA dropped from -7 to -3 because it was no longer playing at home, while the total jumped from 41 to 51 because the weather wasn’t expected to be nearly as bad in Tennessee as it was in Charlottesville. UVA won, 45-31.
FanDuel will void all bets if the venue changes. DraftKings will let some bets at new venues stand, and others will be canceled. From DK’s football house rules:
- If a game venue is changed, and the home team remains designated as such, bets will stand.
- If a game venue is changed, and the home and away team’s listings are reversed, bets placed on the original listing will be void.
In 2019, Circa in Las Vegas made a rule that the game must be played within 100 miles of the original location for the bets to count.
What About Win Totals and Futures?
For win totals: Check with your book, but most will provide a stipulation on the ticket or in its rules — something like “MUST PLAY ALL REGULAR SEASON GAMES FOR ACTION.”
If it says that, your win total bet on a team that only plays 11 games will be canceled, even if the team easily went over or under the number.
UCF win total bets were refunded in 2017 because its game against Georgia Tech got canceled due to Hurricane Irma.
Despite the Knights’ 11-0 record, bettors who took UCF over 7.5 wins didn’t make any money.
Two years ago, Florida State’s game against UL Monroe was rescheduled for championship weekend on Dec. 2 because the Seminoles needed a win to get bowl eligible. In the process, they likely saved anyone who bet them under 9.5 wins and cost those on the over. If that game wasn’t played, all win totals would have been void.
For futures: Most futures will stand, unless a canceled game results in the team somehow forfeiting eligibility to win their conference or the national title. That seems incredibly unlikely. If the game matters for a team in contention for one of those things, they’ll find a way to make it up.
What About My Bowl Pool?
Check with your operator, but there are a few options.
- Assign the game 0, and bump every other game up 1 point.
- Make both teams as the winner, and give everyone their points.
- Re-open picks and allow users to select a remaining game.
- Pick the title game instead if that wasn’t already in your pool.
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