Florida State’s 55-0 victory over Savannah State that was halted Saturday night in the third quarter because of lightning never happened.
At least, that’s how Nevada’s sports books treated the contest that had one of the most lopsided point spreads in history. Florida State was favored by as much as 70 1/2 points earlier in the week, the biggest college football betting line of all-time.
The game will be considered an “extra game” in the eyes of the handful of sports books that took action on the non-conference tilt since the 55-minute threshold wasn’t met, former longtime race and sports book manager Richie Baccellieri told FOXSports.com on Saturday night.
“Since this game ended in the middle of the third quarter, there is no wager,” said Baccellieri, a cast member of web series “Linemakers” and former head of the sports books at the MGM, Caesar’s Palace and the Palms.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Savannah State coach Steve Davenport agreed to a running clock for the second half before the game was halted a second and final time 42 minutes into the contest.
“This rule has been around a minimum of 30 years,” Baccellieri said. “I’m guessing at some point, a bookmaker had a huge bet on a game that was called in the third or fourth quarter led to this rule.”
While rare, the guideline has come into play a handful of times over the last couple of seasons. Two games during the opening weekend of the 2011 season — West Virginia vs. Marshall and Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan — were halted before the 55-minute mark because of weather.
The game was available for bettors in only about a quarter of the Nevada sports books since Savannah State — an FCS school — wasn’t a team most books normally carry, Baccellieri said. Bettors who put money on the game at those casinos will get the bet back.
In the case of a parlay bet, the game would be treated as a non-event, for example, turning a five-leg parlay wager into a four-leg parlay.