NFL Betting Rules at Florida Sportsbooks

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Sports betting knowledge around the country continues to grow as more states like Florida move toward legalization. While many in the industry have been at this for decades, many other sports bettors are likely to be new to how everything works. NFL fans, for instance, are expanding into betting for another form of entertainment in their sports fandom, and they are familiarizing themselves with how odds work as well as what the numbers and symbols are all about.

While those are some of the more basic items to know, new sports bettors also will need to learn the specific rules for their preferred sportsbook. With any wager you make, it is important to know the rules, and legal sportsbooks should be forthcoming, with a dedicated rules page and quality customer service. Always be sure to read the fine print.

On this page, we will guide you through some of the issues you might run into when wagering on the NFL and how sportsbooks handle those issues. Different sportsbooks may vary in their implementation of the rules, but they are often similar across the industry.

Betting rules particular to the NFL

Most NFL games will not have to deal with any of these circumstances. Though they may be rare, however, sportsbooks need to have rules in place in the event they do occur. Let’s take a look at some of the requirements for bets to have action and note how some sportsbooks will handle situations to the contrary. Again, it’s very important to know the rules at your preferred book because they are not always the same across the board.

Date changes

For a variety of reasons, the NFL could postpone a game. That could be due to weather or, as during the 2020 season, due to special circumstances like the pandemic. If the NFL changes the date of a game for whatever reason, often sportsbooks will allow bets to proceed so long as the game takes place within seven days of the original date, unless specified otherwise. For example, if there is a game scheduled for Thursday Night Football, that game could take place up until Wednesday of the next week for your wager on it to be valid.

Additionally, some sportsbooks, like DraftKings Sportsbook, will note that games must take place within the same game week, which is from Thursday through Wednesday during the season.

Venue changes

This does not happen all that often, but sometimes an NFL game will need to change locations, and it’s usually due to the weather. When a game venue changes, DraftKings Sportsbook FL, for instance, will allow bets to stand as long as the home team remains designated as such. If the road team changes to the home team due to a venue change, DraftKings will void bets and hand out refunds. On the other hand, a sportsbook like Caesars Sportsbook notes that any change in venue will result in refunds.

Shortened games

This is extremely rare, but shortened NFL games must subtract five minutes or less of scheduled game time for the bets to go through. With a 60-minute NFL game, that means 55 minutes or more of game time must take place. If the game is suspended before it hits the minimum time, the game must end within 48 hours of the scheduled start date, according to DraftKings. If that does not happen, the sportsbook will void and refund bets.

Overtime

Overtime is great news for some bettors and disastrous for others depending on which wagers they have on the game. So what is the NFL betting rule for overtime? Overtime generally counts in full-game wagers even though the extra time is not expected unless noted otherwise. However, it usually doesn’t count with bets that involve specific quarters.

Shortened seasons

The futures market is a popular one for bettors, especially in the NFL as the sport still receives a lot of coverage during the offseason. Sportsbooks continue to offer a variety of futures betting odds like who will win the Super Bowl, division, conference, etc., in addition to projected season win totals for bettors of every team to check out. So how does a sportsbook react when a season is shorter than normal?

For something like season win totals odds, sportsbooks could say a team must complete all scheduled regular-season games unless the remaining games would not have any impact on whether the bet won.

For futures, like bets on the Super Bowl champion, a shortened season might not necessarily matter. Some sportsbooks will honor a wager like this as long as there is an official Super Bowl winner.

Rules for different NFL bet types

Point spread

A point spread bet gives the underdog a certain number of points as the oddsmakers’ way of evening the betting field. Bets on the team that covers the spread win.

Moneyline

A moneyline bet is simply the bettor picking which team will win a game, and the payout would be higher for correctly predicting the underdog than betting on the favorite due to the odds.

Totals

The point total, which you will also see as the over/under, is a bet on the total combined points in a game. The sportsbook supplies a number, and you can bet whether the actual combined total will be over or under.

Live betting

With live betting, you can bet on an NFL game as it is taking place. NFL lines and odds will shift based on what is happening in the game. The rules and regulations for live betting are not all that different from betting on a full game.

One example of a live bet would be to place a wager during halftime because you think one team is better at making adjustments. If you bet on the outcome of something like the second half or the fourth quarter, sportsbooks may rule that the relevant period of play must be completed for the bet to have action unless the result had already been determined.

Another in-game bet could be on which team will score next, and one important item to note with that wager is sportsbooks do not count points after touchdowns — like an extra point or two-point conversion.

Parlay rules

Many of the same rules will apply to parlays as they do with a single-outcome wager. If one leg of the parlay doesn’t count, the sportsbook generally will eliminate that piece of the parlay. For example, if you have a parlay that included four games with one that was void, that parlay could now be a three-game parlay.

Game prop rules

Important rules for NFL game props include results for wagers like the race to a certain number of points. For something like this, all bettors would get their money back in the event neither team is able to reach that point total, as long as “neither” is not among the options to bet on.

Player prop rules

Regarding NFL player prop bet rules, some sportsbooks will void all proposition bets on an individual player if that player never appears in the game – whether he is listed as inactive or simply didn’t play at least one snap. For season-long bets on individual players, the player’s Week 1 team must play all scheduled games from Week 1 for bets to have action unless the result had already been determined in fewer games.

More NFL sportsbook rules explained

Procedures for returned/pushed bets

A push on an NFL bet could result if, for instance, a team is a three-point favorite and it ends up winning by that specific number. In that situation, everybody who bet on that number would get their money back. The money you bet should return to your sportsbook betting account shortly after the result of the bet is available.

What happens when sportsbooks make mistakes?

This will not happen often, and, when it does, it receives quite a bit of news. First of all, if you believe there was an issue in your payout or something like that, reach out to the sportsbook’s customer service department to figure out what exactly happened.

Many sportsbooks will void bets if there is an error, which could mean any number of things, including a misprint or even a technical issue. Whenever a bet goes through that otherwise the sportsbook never would have accepted, that’s a bet in error, and the mistakes that led to such situations can be pretty obvious.

Do sportsbooks allow correlated parlays?

A correlated play is a bit complex, and sportsbooks try to go out of their way to make sure they are not available to bettors. A correlated play is basically multiple wagers where the outcome of one part of the bet would contribute to the outcome of another. An example would be betting on a favorite that is favored by a ton of points and taking the over in the point total as well. If the favorite is able to cover the spread, the over is likely to cash. Sportsbooks are designed to minimize risk as much as possible, so they will crack down on just about all the ways bettors might find an edge.

Minimum/maximum bets

Sportsbooks will determine the minimum and maximum betting amounts for each specific event depending on if it’s a single-game wager, a season-long bet, or anything else that you can place a bet on. Sportsbooks are often going to differ on these numbers, so be sure to check with your book of choice.

Can I use free bets and bonuses to bet on the NFL?

With how much competition there is among sportsbooks, they often are willing to take a short-term hit in order to gain new users for a long-term investment. They understand how difficult it is for bettors to turn a profit in the long term due to how sportsbooks tilt the gambling odds in their favor.

While it is important to check the promotions page on your sportsbook every once in a while, it’s equally as important to check the fine print about those sports betting promotions. Sometimes they can be too good to be true, and it’s up to you to determine if it’s worth taking a look at.

Many Florida sports betting promos will have a playthrough requirement where you’ll need to wager a certain amount of money in order to be able to withdraw the cash you received through the promotion. These are going to vary depending on the specific promotion and sportsbook, and different sportsbooks may offer different terms and conditions that you need to satisfy.

Why sportsbooks can refuse bets

Most sports bettors will never run into this, but sportsbooks could turn away bets for a number of reasons. As we had previously mentioned, there are certain maximum and minimum dollar amounts that bettors must abide by. A sportsbook may also refuse a bet that happened due to an error on the sportsbook’s part. Another reason a book could refuse your wager is if you are doing anything it deems improper. Sportsbooks are always on the lookout for extreme outliers and would launch an investigation if they notice a trend of suspicious wagering.

What recourse do you have for disputes?

This is very unlikely to ever be an issue if you bet at regulated Florida sportsbooks. Prior to May 2018, US sports bettors outside of Nevada needed to go through an offshore sportsbook or a bookie. Because those operations are unregulated, you were unlikely to have any sort of recourse for not receiving a payout. Now if a legal sportsbook does anything out of bounds, it would face legal consequences and at the very least a public relations hit that could be devastating to its reputation.