Betting Rules for College Football Weather Cancelations, Location Changes

Aug 29, 2019 04:56 PM EDT
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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ohio State Buckeyes fan waits in the rain during a weather delay at Ohio Stadium.

  • College football games in early September are often affected by hurricanes and other inclement weather.
  • We answer some frequently asked questions about bets made on games that are canceled or move locations.

Hurricane Dorian will hit Florida this weekend, forcing at least one game to move its location.

Florida State will play Boise State at home in Tallahassee instead of in Jacksonville, a change that voided bets at many sportsbooks. The Seminoles were -4.5 at most books before the move and re-opened at -6.5 now that they’re playing at home.

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 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 prior and you’ll have to make your wager again at the new prices.

What Happens if the Game Moves Locations?

Last season, 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 (UVA won 45-31).

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

This year, 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 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.

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