Damage from Hurricane Ida has already caused the relocation of the NFL’s week one game between the Saints and Packers to Jacksonville. But Ida, which is now a tropical storm and still spitting out rain and winds, may also impact the Week #1 home game of the New York Giants, scheduled for New Jersey.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency late Wednesday evening after his state was hammered by Ida, causing flash flooding. Residents are being advised to stay off the roads and shelter at home. The devastation is the worst weather-related crisis since 2012 when Hurricane Sandy shut down the New Jersey Transit’s commuter rail operations and knocked out power to more than 2 million households.
The Giants may have multiple games impacted by Ida: their Week #4 game in New Orleans is currently being considered for a location change, according to the NFL due to the devastation in Louisiana. But their season opener on September 12, where they host the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, could also be in jeopardy due to deadly flooding in New Jersey that has already claimed nine lives.
How Sportsbooks Handle Relocated Games
Should a game be relocated to a new venue, sportsbooks will handle the situation in different ways. Some sportsbooks void bets when a location is changed, some have rules that govern what happens if the contest is moved so many miles away, and others make no changes.
The Giants are listed at +110 against the Broncos currently via DraftKings. BetMGM sportsbook has the Giants at +120 in their opener.
The Saints are underdogs in their “home” game in Jacksonville against the Packers. BetMGM has them listed at +170, and DraftKings has New Orleans at +185 for the rescheduled season opener. The Saints may have to ready themselves for weeks away from their home stadium. On Tuesday, head coach Sean Payton admitted as much.
“We are preparing to be away for [as long as] a month,” Payton said in a conference call with media.
Previous Weather Events Also Affected Saints and Giants
East Rutherford and MetLife Stadium, which also serves as the home of the Jets, are located across the Hudson River from Manhattan and are inland from the Atlantic Coast, so it’s unclear how much the storm damage will impact the ability of the NFL to hold the regularly scheduled opener for the Giants. The Jets play their first game in MetLife on September 19.
Ironically, in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina damaged the Louisiana Superdome, the Saints were scheduled to play the Giants in their first home game. The league shifted that game to Giants Stadium in New Jersey, and the displaced Saints served as the home team in name only.