Finally, the best Vegas election sports betting sites are starting to lighten up and offer a smattering of props after some two weeks of calling out sick.
While we seriously doubt that the recent dearth of political betting lines was some grand gesture of solidarity with President Donald Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis, we’re just glad to have some more political action available online. Nevertheless, bookmakers, don’t let it happen again!
Now, for the odds.
The most timely new betting lines are the following, both regarding Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett, courtesy of Bovada.
2020 Supreme Court Confirmation Odds
How Many Yea votes will Amy Coney Barrett receive in her confirmation vote?
- 51 -120
- 52 +300
- 53 +800
- 50 +1000
- 49 Or Fewer +1200
- 55 Or More +1300
- 54 +1500
It’s important to note that sportsbooks are getting more direct with their lines’ technicalities. (Maybe this was one of the reasons for their recent scaling back.) Political prop bets tend to have a lot of wiggle room re semantic interpretation, which is something we’ve pointed out from time to time.
Here, Bovada is making it very clear in the line itself that should Barrett’s confirmation vote be held after January 19, 2021, then “49 Or Fewer” will be graded the winner. Meanwhile, if Barrett is confirmed by roll call or any procedure other than a proper vote, “55 Or More” will win the bet.
As for how we’re betting this one, here’s our thought process:
The 2020 US Senate is currently comprised of 53 GOP Senators, 45 Democratic Senators, and two “Independent” Senators (Bernie Sanders and Angus King, both of whom caucus with the Democrat Party).
Sen. Mitt Romney – nominally a Republican – voted for Trump conviction during the President’s impeachment trial – so he’s likely to break ranks with the GOP on Barrett’s confirmation. Meanwhile, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) is viewed as a risk to break ranks as well, taking the number down to 51.
Should another Republican vote in the negative, that would bring the number to 50, and the Senate would be deadlocked.
However, in this case, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote, bumping the total back to 51. Thus, if you think Barrett will be confirmed along (or mostly along) party lines, betting on 51 actually gives you two outcomes: 50-50 and 51-50. At two for the price of one (or two for the price of -120), we’re taking the extra chance.
There is an option at Bovada to bet on Barrett receiving 50 votes even, which would seemingly indicate a tie, which would then require Pence to break that tie. In a full Senate, Barrett literally cannot receive exactly 50 votes when her nominating party controls the tie-breaker.
However, if anyone on either side abstains or votes “present,” that lowers the majority threshold for confirmation, so Barrett could be confirmed with exactly 50 votes. It’s a technical possibility, but it’s not particularly likely, and we like the value of the 51.
Next Supreme Court Justice Confirmation Date
- Before November 4, 2020 -3000
- After November 4, 2020 +900
When the first batch of Supreme Court odds went up at the best online political sportsbooks, confirmation before the November 3 general election was a longshot underdog.
Of course, given that we’re in the third day of a comparatively civil confirmation hearing with minimal gas lighting, it seems a sure thing that Barrett will get the green light well before Election Day. The favorite here is easy, safe money. Take it.
While Bovada’s the only book with SCUTUS odds back up, MyBookie Sportsbook has also repopulated its props with several interesting lines, though two have caught our attention. (It’s also worth noting that MyBookie is the only legal election betting site that doesn’t have Trump losing in a 300-400-point wipeout to Creepy Joe. Instead, they show the race as far tighter than the other two sportsbooks.)
The following pair of props are our favorites:
Will Donald Trump appear on Joe Rogan’s Podcast before the third debate?
- Yes -140
- No +110
Back in September, Joe Rogan floated the idea of hosting a four-hour marathon debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience (Spotify, YouTube).
Trump agreed immediately, and there were – for a brief moment – betting lines posted on whether or not Biden would agree and on whether or not he’d even respond one way or another to the invite. (Biden has neither agreed nor responded to date.)
While Trump has made no mention of Rogan’s show or a possible solo interview with the podcast icon, apparently there are whisperings that a sit-down is on the table.
And that would make a lot of sense, as bettors seem to understand: Rogan reaches a wide audience, with some 200 million monthly downloads, and his demographic – like he himself – skews left. If Trump wants a chance at convincing a few hundred thousand fence-sitters to vote for him in November, there might not be a better venue than Rogan’s podcast.
Of course, true to his MMA broadcast roots, Rogan will pull no punches, which is something the President should be wary of before going toe-to-toe with the firebrand.
Ultimately, it’s a nice idea, but the payout’s just too small on the affirmative for something this up in the air, so we’re taking the “no” at +110.
On which day will the losing candidate concede the 2020 US Presidential Election?
- Nov. 13 or later -165
- Nov. 4 +225
- Nov. 3 +400
- Nov. 5 +500
- Nov. 6 +650
- Nov. 7 +800
- Nov. 8 +900
- Nov. 9 +900
- Nov. 10 +1200
- Nov. 11 +1200
- Nov. 12 +1200
Here, we like the favorite at -165.
Several states have extended their vote counting deadlines more than a week beyond November 3, so if the race is close and a swing state takes its sweet time counting, the results will be crawling in at snail’s pace.
Further, there’s virtually no chance that this election won’t be contested in court – up to and including the Supreme Court – regardless of which candidate wins.
In the first Presidential debate, Trump wouldn’t commit to conceding to an “unfair” or “rigged” election. In the same debate, Biden said he’ll accept the outcome, though his team of 600 or so election lawyers working feverishly behind the scenes would seem to indicate otherwise.
If you’re old enough to remember Florida’s Hanging Chads™ debacle, that’ll seem like a cakewalk after the 2020 election fiasco we’re all about to experience.
Might as well make a few bucks off this thing.