nfl

Bengals vs. Bills: How sportsbooks, fantasy football platforms are managing Week 17


Published: 01/03/23
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Updated January 5, 2023, 3:14 p.m. ET: Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical center, but there have been a lot of positive updates to share since this article was published.

In short, though he remains with a breathing tube in place and remains critically ill, he is making progress. One of the most promising signs we've seen yet is that he appears to be neurologically intact, responsive, and is communicating with the healthcare team in writing.

One of the first things Damar asked was, "Who won the game?" Now if that's not as #BillsMafia as it gets, I don't know what is.

The Buffalo Bills Twitter account shared a video update courtesy of UC Medical Center, which you can watch here:


Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the teams' game against the Bengals on Monday night. He is being treated at the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to the Bills. Hamlin's family released a statement Tuesday afternoon, and our thoughts are with them.

The priority now is for Hamlin's swift return to full health. Here's everything we know about his status so far.

In light of the tragedy, in an unprecedented (but correct) move, the NFL opted to suspend the Bills-Bengals matchup for at least the rest of the week. Though games have been rescheduled or outright canceled ahead of time due to various weather or extreme circumstances, a live NFL game has never been postponed.

Will the Bills-Bengals game be rescheduled?

It's difficult to picture a scenario in which it's played at all, though a final call has not been made. The NFL's regular season continues for its final weekend on Sunday, and playoffs begin the following Saturday.

A rescheduled game would mean the Bills and Bengals could play three times in seven days, which feels extremely unlikely.

How did sportsbooks react to the game's postponement?

In light of the news surrounding Hamlin, most sportsbooks stayed silent on their main social media platforms. Each week, hundreds of millions of dollars are bet on the NFL leaving loads of money in limbo. Sports betting became legal on January 1st in Ohio, too, meaning Bengals fans had their first opportunity to place wagers on their team.

Here's what we know:

FanDuel

At 2:58 pm ET on Tuesday, FanDuel voided all bets on the game that hadn't been settled. For any parlays, bets involving the Bills-Bengals game were voided, and the parlay remained open. Prices were adjusted to reflect the lost leg(s).

DraftKings

At 4:53 pm ET on Tuesday, DraftKings announced it would void all wagers that hadn't been determined, refund DFS entries, and more. Details here:

Caesar's Sportsbook

At 3:35 pm ET on Tuesday, all Caeser's bets on the game were voided.

Bet MGM

At 3:58 pm on Tuesday, Bet MGM said it would void all bets that hadn't been determined.

BetRivers

BetRivers announced that they'd void any bets if the game was rescheduled for Thursday or later.

PointsBet, Wynnbet and Barstool Sportsbook did not provide any updates on Twitter about their payouts as of 3 pm ET on Tuesday.

How did fantasy sports providers react to the game's postponement?

For those unfamiliar with fantasy sports, Monday night's Bengals-Bills matchup was set to determine championships, which are typically tied to financial payouts outside of the provider's website.

Unlike a sportsbook, the money never touches the hands of Yahoo or ESPN. They just work the scoring. In all likelihood, league managers and players likely determined their own route to concluding their seasons.

Yahoo! Fantasy

On Tuesday, Yahoo provided the following update:

Yahoo Fantasy is waiting for the NFL’s decision on the resolution of the Bills-Bengals game, which was suspended when Buffalo S Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest. Once the NFL shares their plans for the game, we will make a determination on how to proceed with Week 17 scoring. While we understand this game impacts fantasy league championships, our main concern is Damar’s health at this time. We ask for your patience as we await updates. Our thoughts are with Damar, his family and the Buffalo Bills.

ESPN Fantasy

On Tuesday, ESPN provided the following statement on its fantasy football page

The Bengals vs Bills game on Monday, January 2nd has been postponed by the NFL. The current matchup period will be extended. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Sleeper

MyFantasyLeague.com

How should you settle your fantasy football championship?

That's really up to you — and of course, this is all really meaningless compared to the situation at stake. Still, it needs settling, and here are a few suggestions:

1. If Monday night's game did not include any players on either team, you're all good. It's done.

2. If Monday night's game was lopsided that a comeback was unrealistic, it seems right to award the likely winner.

3. If Monday night's game was going to be a tossup, you can split winnings as co-champions. Again, this is really up to the league's commissioner and Finals participants.

What can you, the reader, do in response to the tragedy surrounding Damar Hamlin?

1. Learn CPR. Here is an important resource from the American Heart Association on bystander CPR.

2. Donate to Damar Hamlin's GoFundMe. Originally created to support a toy drive by his family in 2020, Hamlin's page went viral on Monday, surpassing $5 million.


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