Presidential Debate Betting Odds & Lines

The Presidential debates will continue to gain momentum in the coming weeks as we near the 2020 Presidential election on November 3. Debates are not only interesting and help the public learn more about the candidates, but they can also provide lucrative betting lines and odds.

Debates can also directly affect the public’s perception of a candidate as they interact with other contenders on live TV and streaming sites, either boosting them to stardom or making them hit rock bottom.

UPDATE, 9/28/2020: This first 2020 Presidential debate between Joe Biden and incumbent Donald Trump is just a day away, and barring any unforeseen developments, the event will be held as scheduled in Cleveland, OH, on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. The in-person event starts at 9:00 PM EST and will be moderated by Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace. There will be no live audience, and the event will be broadcast on all major television networks and cable news channels. If you want to get your Trump vs. Biden odds in for the first debate, now's your last chance!

Where Can I Bet on Presidential Debates?

Ironically, though most bettors search specifically for Vegas odds on politicians and elections, the Nevada Gaming Control Board doesn't actually allow political or entertainment betting. In fact, no domestic US sportsbook in any state currently has election odds of any kind. Thus, you can only bet on Presidential debates at reputable international sportsbooks. Each election cycle, these books offer odds and betting lines on Presidential debates as well as all other aspects of major state and federal elections.

The trusted and secure offshore sportsbooks we recommend on this page all provide competitive odds and payouts for betting on Presidential debates, and they offer political prop bets, too. These can get very interesting as the debates heat up and politicians begin attacking their rivals on specific issues and scandals.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting on Presidential Debates in 2020

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Presidential Debate Odds

Sportsbooks will offer odds for Presidential debates anywhere from days to hours before they are scheduled to occur. Odds for Presidential debates usually include a variety of betting lines and prop bets covering topics such as:

  • What running policies will be discussed
  • Whether or not hot topics like immigration, gun control, and climate change are discussed
  • Who will speak the most during the debates
  • Whether a candidate’s name will be mispronounced
  • What colors of clothing specific candidates will wear
  • What general terms will be said
  • How many times a given phrase will be said
  • + More

These lines are usually structured as pop bets and are simple to place without extensive knowledge of intricate odds calculations. Usually, there will be more varied wagers offered for Presidential primary debates among individual parties, as there were with Democratic candidates on the stage in 2020.

That said, the Trump vs. Biden debates should have the most interesting debate props ever, and the first batch to hit the betting boards are definitely up to the lofty standard we expect.

Trump vs. Biden Debate Odds

The Presidential debates are scheduled to occur in the coming weeks, with the first one slated for September 29. As such, betting lines will appear at top-rated political sportsbooks once all participating parties agree to the format. Lines for the first Trump-Biden debate are already up at at least one major Vegas political betting site, and the others should follow suit in short order.

Still, there's always the chance that Biden won't debate Trump as scheduled, and there are betting lines on that outcome, too. We've posted odds for the first presidential debate in 2020 between Trump and Biden now that they have been made available (via MyBookie Sportsbook).

Prop Bets For The 1st Biden Vs. Trump Debate

At MyBookie, there is currently a wide selection of betting odds posted for the first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The event is being held on Tuesday, September 29, at 9:00 PM EST, and you'll be able to watch the entire show on all the major networks and cable news channels. However, if you want to bet on the Trump vs. Biden debate, you'll need to get your wagers in ASAP, because betting at MyBookie closes Monday, September 28, at 5:00 PM EST.

Look for Candidate Trends

It is important to research which candidates will be debating before placing a wager on them. The likelihood of a candidate succeeding in a debate could be as simple as who they are facing, their experience with other candidates, whether they agree with the moderators on certain policies, and whether or not they are otherwise polarizing to some voting bloc or other.

Some candidates ramp up engagement efforts before the debates via town halls, public canvassing, namedropping other candidates, social media blitzes, and revealing new policies that become hot conversation topics, and so on.

Hedge Your Debate Bet

Hedging your debate bets is all about finding a win-win situation. This could mean wagering on two individuals in the debate who seem like the strongest contenders or the ones who have obvious policy stances that resonate with the wider population, then finding debate betting lines that relate to these policies. Again, this option will have to be specific to the debate betting lines available.

You can also watch how betting trends shift, placing a wager early and then taking the other side when the line moves too far, guaranteeing a profit no matter the outcome. This strategy is called "playing the middle," and it is ironically exactly what all successful candidates try to do with their audiences.

Trump Biden Debate Schedule For 2020

Now that the Presidential election is effectively narrowed down to two candidates (plus a pair of irrelevant third party candidates and possibly rap mogul Kanye West), the highly anticipated Trump Biden debate dates have been scheduled.

2020 Presidential Debates Schedule

  • September 29, 2020 - Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (Moderator: Chris Wallace, Fox News)
  • October 15, 2020 - Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL (Moderator: Steve Scully, C-SPAN)
  • October 22, 2020 - Belmont University, Nashville, TN (Moderator: Kristen Welker, NBC)

The above dates are all tentative. You can already find Vegas political odds on whether or not these debates will actually happen at all, and there's a strong chance that at least one of them will be canceled.

By most accounts, Biden is not a strong debater, and the common consensus is that he has nothing to gain by debating Trump. Of course, any cancellations will be blamed on the coronavirus, and town-hall-style faux debates with canned questions (and no mechanisms for the candidates to challenge one another) is a distinct possibility.

Remember, nothing about this election cycle is typical or traditional, which is the safest bet of all.

Vice Presidential Debate Schedule For 2020

Along with the Presidential debates, there is currently one VP debate scheduled before the November 2020 general election. Barring any changes, this Vice Presidential debate will take place at the following date and place:

  • October 7, 2020 - University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (Moderator: Susan Page, USA Today)

Will Biden Debate Trump?

Since participating in the debates is not a constitutional requirement of candidates, it is possible that either Biden or Trump could withdraw, thus canceling the events altogether. The Coronavirus has debate planners working overtime to manage the logistics involved.

It is possible that the debates could be held with Trump and Biden in person with a limited audience or no spectators at all. There is also a chance the debates occur remotely with each candidate in an isolated environment.

Trump is all for in-person debates and wants to hold more than the three events that are already on the schedule. Biden has made several odd comments over the last few months, and his campaign may be concerned that the debates could significantly harm his election odds if he falters on stage.

With so many other concerns on the table, Biden has an easy out if he wants to withdraw. A Biden debate withdrawal is within the realm of possibility, but Trump is all-in.

Update: As of Monday, September 28, it appears that Trump vs. Biden 1 is a go. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 29, at 9:00 PM EST, though there will be no live audience. With less than two days to go before the first Presidential debate, it looks like the two candidates will take the stage at least once this cycle. Get that popcorn ready!

Will There Be Presidential Debates In 2020?

The three Presidential debates are still on the calendar and although all details are not quite finalized for debates two and three, it appears that they will likely happen. Biden's campaign has moved at a snail's pace during the 2020 campaign, so it is no surprise that they are slow to decide regarding debate participation.

Still, withdrawal is possible if conditions are not acceptable. Also, with Biden so far ahead in the political polls and betting odds, many believe that he can only lose ground by debating Trump. The President is in favor of adding more debates to the schedule, as he is looking to close the gap and rally for the win in the fourth quarter.

Do Las Vegas Oddsmakers Really Care About The Debates?

Absolutely, but only academically. Many Vegas oddsmakers track debate betting trends and release insight about the debates and other elections, even though they don't actually offer betting lines on these events.

In Vegas, debate odds are all about marketing other betting opportunities to eager gamblers. Political betting has surged in popularity over the last several years, but it is difficult to say when exactly Vegas bookies will be able to legally take action on politics.

Fortunately, you can wager on political debates (including both Democratic debates and Republican debates) at offshore sports betting sites like those listed here. These sites have lots of experience covering American elections, and the odds available should provide loads of entertainment regardless of the pols on the stage.

2020 Democratic Presidential Debates Timeline

How Many Democratic Debates Were Held Before The Nominee Was Decided?

The original schedule called for 12 debates to be held before settling on the eventual Democratic nominee at the DNC National Convention (six in 2019 and six in 2020). However, Biden became the presumptive nominee before the full conclusion of the slate, and the 12th debate was canceled. You can see the details for each debate's date and location in the section above.

Republican Debate

The Republican party did not hold any Republican primary debates, as the Republican National Convention (RNC) chose to skip debates in support of incumbent President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. This is standard operating procedure for incumbents who don't have any credible national challengers.

However, the RNC did note they would permit a debate if they saw the need for it. In addition, offshore sportsbooks have Republican odds available for several potential party contenders, and you can also get a host of wacky Donald Trump props, and Trump 2020 election odds pretty much year-round.

Where Can I Watch The Presidential Debates?

The Presidential debates can be watched on several platforms, depending on which partner network is hosting them. These include outfits like ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, and others. These networks also offer mobile streaming apps so debates can be conveniently watched on your favorite mobile device. Many broadcaster websites will also offer live coverage on their home pages and Twitter/Facebook feeds.