How Different Sportsbooks Are Handling COVID-19 PostponementsBetting
Major professional sports leagues in North America are unfortunately dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks among many teams, forcing many to make significant adjustments to their planned schedule.
This is the first time this season for the NFL, NBA and NHL that they’ve had to reschedule games due to COVID-19 outbreaks, but it may not be the last as the virus is spreading rapidly throughout much of the world once again.
If you have placed a legal sports bet on a game or event that has been postponed or rescheduled due to a COVID-19 outbreak, you might be wondering how your sportsbook is handling the situation. The answer isn’t quite so straightforward, unfortunately, as many sportsbooks are taking slightly different approaches.
Games That Have Been Postponed
Before the season started, the NFL stated that it would not postpone any games due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Instead, they would force teams that couldn’t field enough players to forfeit.
That didn’t happen in Week 15, though, as three games were pushed back a few days because of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The game between the Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas Raiders originally scheduled for Saturday, December 18 was moved to Monday, December 20. Games between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, were also moved from Sunday, December 19 to Tuesday, December 21.
The NBA was forced to postpone some games in the last week, too, due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Formal makeup dates haven’t been announced for those games yet, but the league does have plans to still play those games.
As for the NHL, the league initially put a few teams on pause due to outbreaks. Then, this week, the NHL announced they would be shutting down the league a few days earlier than planned for the holiday break due to so many outbreaks.
Three games originally scheduled in that timeframe were postponed, with no makeup dates announced just yet.
How Major Sportsbooks Are Handling These Games
For now, we have to assume that the games that have been postponed without a makeup date will eventually be rescheduled. That’s important, as it would affect future wagers such as over/under on total team points or team wins for the season.
As for the NFL games that were simply moved back a few days, some of the major sportsbooks handled them in different ways.
BetMGM Sportsbook, for instance, said it would give freedom to the player on how they wanted to proceed with any wagers they made on the games that were postponed. Bets with that operator were to automatically remain in effect, but bettors had the option of requesting to cancel them.
Customers didn’t have that choice over at FanDuel Sportsbook. The operator said that all of the bets would stand for the NFL games that were postponed a few days. In explaining that decision, the operator cited their house rules, which state any games played within one week of the original scheduled date would stay active.
The same thing goes at DraftKings Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook, which both have similar house rules.
PointsBet Sportsbook had a completely different take on it. All wagers on those three delayed NFL games from Week 15 were considered void. That’s because that operator’s house rules say any postponements that are longer than 24 hours are automatically void.
So, what can be learned from all of this? With COVID-19 spreading rapidly again, it’s important as a sports bettor that you know all the house rules of the sportsbooks where you are placing wagers. This will help you understand what will happen to your pending wagers if a game is postponed.