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Why Are Some Games Off The Board?

Punters should be on the lookout as to what are the circumstances that are present once sportsbooks decide to put a match "off the board." Learn the signs and tips on how bettors go around OTB matches.

Published on 22 Feb 2022

The best players in any major sport – the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL — usually gather in a draft for the last-placed teams to pick them as fast as they can. Once they get chosen in the first round, these blue-chip players become out of the market, or in sports circles, they become “off the board.”The concept of “off the board,” or OTB, is not so different in sports betting, but instead of removing the best players off the market, placing bets in particular games will become off-limits by sportsbooks to punters. Check out why bettors have to be on the lookout for bookies planning to place some games as OTB for all bets. Punters who have eyes and ears on most bookies can either jump the gun before sportsbooks make that call or wait it out before these games are removed from their “off the board” status – if ever it reaches that point.


A particular game becomes “off the board,” or OTB if a bookmaker does not accept any bets from punters.Injuries to marquee players, especially in crucial games in any sport, are mostly the reasons why a sportsbook has to tag matches as OTB. Imagine LeBron James and Anthony Davis missing the game for the Los Angeles Lakers in a last-minute injury report update hours before they face the Miami Heat. Such a development shifts the lines quickly, knowing that the Lakers can easily beat the Heat with a complete lineup. The bookie has no choice but to mark the game off the board.Crazy weather situations come into play in sports played outdoors, like in the NFL and MLB. There are times that unpredictable weather will change the outcome of the game, prompting bookmakers to stop accepting bets from punters and marking such games as OTB.


Bookmakers have the discretion to make the call, so bettors must always be on the lookout for such changes. Bookies can post an opening number while keeping the matchup OTB entirely to avoid any uncertainties.Another option for bookies is for them to post odds on the game but likely with lower betting limits, at least until there is clarity regarding James’ health or the status of Tom Brady before a Super Bowl match.Bookmakers can also avoid posting an opening number and keep the game OTB until there is final confirmation regarding a marquee player’s injury and playing status. Only when there is final confirmation will the sportsbook release the line.


Savvy bettors who know something most punters don’t have the option to beat bookmakers to the draw and place their bets before games are put on OTB. Once punters have already placed their wagers before a game is tagged OTB, those bets remain valid and with the odds at the time of the wager.Other punters wait for sportsbooks to remove the game from being OTB before they place their bets. However, bookies often change the odds at that point, depending on the official and final injury report on a team’s marquee player.Bettors must also be on the lookout, especially if they still decide to place bets on spread betting on a particular match that was marked OTB before bookies make it available again on the market.

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