How Event Postponement, Cancellation, and Venue Changes Impact Your Football Bets
While it is not always the case for NFL games to get cancelled, delayed, or postponed, it does happen sometimes. These three outcomes could happen for various different reasons from unfavorable weather conditions to public safety.
A classic and more recent example was last season's Week 15 showdown between the Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas Raiders, which got postponed due to health concerns. The Browns were hit hard by COVID and the NFL had no other choice, but to postpone the game.
There is a possibility that you may have placed a bet on a good line at FanDuel before the unforeseen happened. So, it's only right to wonder, what happens to your bet if a game gets cancelled, delayed, or postponed?
There's no definite answer to this as the outcome of your bets will be determined by the terms and conditions of the sportsbook you use. In other words, your bet may stand or be considered void depending on how the book operates.
Some books require a game to start within two days from its normal schedule, some others give it seven days. Nevertheless, these are the four likely events that may occur and how sportsbooks respond:
For games that have started: your bets won't count until after 55 minutes have been played.
For postponed matches: some sportsbooks will allow bets to count if the games are played within 48 hours. Some others have a next Wednesday after the game deadline for bets to count.
For change in venue: some books will void all wagers if there's a change in venue, but some will allow the bet to stand if the home team remains the home team.
Four games that are postponed after kickoff: this rarely occurs, but most sportsbooks have a 48-hour deadline for bets to count.
How FanDuel Reacts
Games cancelled before kickoff must be played on or before the following Wednesday for bets to count. For pro and college Football betting, wagers will only stand if the game hits the 55-minute mark. FanDuel rules NFL bets on an abandoned or postponed game void unless the game is played within the same week it was originally scheduled to be played.
The sportsbook cancels bets in the event of a change in location, irrespective of the home-away status of both teams. In addition, a bet will only stand after 10 minutes of fourth quarter action.
Unlike FanDuel, some sportsbooks allow a 7-day waiting period for bets to count. This means that the bets will count even when the game is played outside the scheduling week, which is Thursday to Wednesday for NFL games, as long as it doesn't exceed 7 days. There are also sportsbooks that hold a 48-hour policy for bets to count.
There are also a few sportsbooks that allow bets to stand only if there's five minutes left on the clock should the game be postponed after kickoff. If the game is stopped with more than five minutes to go, and not completed within 48 hours, bets will be cancelled.
How Sportsbooks Respond to Preseason Bets
For most sportsbooks, the same rules apply during the preseason. However, it's good you check your sportsbook's terms and conditions to be sure if that is the case.
Cancellation, postponement, and change in venues are more likely during the preseason than in the regular or post season. The logic to this is simple: preseason games are just exhibition matches that don't count for much, so there's no point fixing a new date or changing locations when unforeseen events are encountered.