NCAA March Madness betting: What happens with bets after Oregon-VCU was declared a no contest?

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

It was unlikely that we'd get through the 2021 NCAA tournament without one game being canceled due to a COVID-19 issue. We saw that during conference championship week.

Oregon-VCU was a pretty good matchup, especially for bettors on the Saturday night of the first round. But due to a COVID-19 issue on VCU, the game was called a no contest and Oregon moved on in the bracket.

It's trivial in the grand scheme of things, but what happens to bets when a game is called off?

Oregon-VCU bets are refunded

The easiest question to answer is that all bets on the game itself are refunded. Whether you had Oregon or VCU, the over or the under, those bets are declared no action and the wager is given back on BetMGM apps (or paper tickets can be handed in for a refund).

Because there's a lot more to the NCAA tournament than single bets, a cancelation gets a little trickier than it would be in the regular season.

In the conference championship round, BetMGM announced that bets on teams to win their conference tournament would be refunded if that team had to withdraw due to COVID-19 issues. That came up for some high-profile teams like Duke, Kansas and Virginia. In this case, VCU wasn't a popular bet to win the title. Only 0.2 percent of bets made on the NCAA championship winner as of Thursday were on VCU, but those bets will be refunded. MGM spokesperson Scott Ghertner confirmed that all VCU pre-tournament future bets — to win the tournament or win the region and advance to the Final Four — would be refunded. VCU was 100-to-1 to win the tournament before it tipped off. No future bets on Oregon are affected; any Ducks future bettors basically get a free win.

Even though only a few VCU bets were affected, it's worth keeping in mind if one of the tournament favorites has a no contest.

Parlays were affected. According to MGM's house rules, if a game is a tie or no action, parlay is reduced by one team. Meaning, if you had a four-team parlay that included Oregon or VCU at 10-to-1 odds, the Oregon-VCU side is removed and it becomes a three-team parlay at 6-to-1 odds.

Hopefully this is the last game lost to COVID-19 issues. But if there are others, bets on those games will be given back.

March Madness saw its first cancelation of a game due to COVID-19 issues when the Oregon-VCU game was declared a no contest. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
March Madness saw its first cancelation of a game due to COVID-19 issues when the Oregon-VCU game was declared a no contest. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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