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College Football Betting Rules: How Weather Cancelations, Location Changes Impact Your Bets

College Football Betting Rules: How Weather Cancelations, Location Changes Impact Your Bets article feature image

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 affect college football games. And that will 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 games.

What Happens to My Bet If a Game Is Canceled?

Bets on canceled games that haven’t started will be graded as no action, and your money will be refunded. Even if the game is rescheduled, the lines will re-open the week before the game you’ll have to make your wager again at the new prices.

Some books will count the bet as action if it begins within 12 or 24 hours of the original start time.

If the game has already started, most books require 55 minutes to be played before making it official. If it doesn’t go 55 minutes, all bets will be refunded, even ones that have already hit (like a player prop or total going over).

What Happens if the Game Moves Locations?

In 2018, Virginia-Ohio was played in Nashville due to inclement, which caused drastic line movement. Virginia 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.

That was a unique situation that most sportsbooks don’t have rules for, so contact your book to find out.

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 (so FSU-Boise bets were voided). But again, most books don’t have stipulations in place and will handle it on a case-by-case basis.

What About My Bowl Pool?

Check with your operator, but there are a few options.

  • Assign this 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.

What About 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.

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