Trump’s reelection odds have been falling precipitously over the last month. That much is clear.
But some sites have curious numbers posted to their boards, and this is a good opportunity for bettors to learn some of the intricacies of betting on politics.
To begin with, BetOnline is seeing the biggest shift in Presidential election odds of any major offshore betting site, as Donald Trump’s second term seems to be slipping away in almost real-time at the sportsbook.
While The Donald was once enjoying a 60- to 70-point lead on Hidin’ Biden, the tables have turned, with Creepy Joe now leading the incumbent by 130 points on the boards.
This is Biden’s biggest lead at any Vegas election betting site.
However, BetOnline is consistent in its other wagers that deal with the 2020 general election. For example, no matter how the contest is framed, most of the odds reflect the same exact betting action:
- Joe Biden -180
- Donald Trump +150
- Joe Biden -180
- Field (any other) +150
- Field (any other) -175
- Donald Trump +145
- Democrat Nominee -175
- Republican Nominee +145
These lines all reflect almost identical odds, with slight variations due to the particulars of the wagers.
Yes, the Trump vs. Biden odds pay out a tiny bit better than the Trump vs. Field odds, but the difference is just five points. That’s the biggest delta you’ll find at BetOnline.
Essentially, these four politics futures are all asking the same question, and they have approximately the same odds. You’d think this would be true for all bookmakers.
But you’d think wrong.
In actual fact, this is often not the norm, and it demonstrates the importance of shopping lines across multiple books before you place any wager.
In addition to getting wholly different odds at different betting sites, you will also come across lines that make no sense in relationship to one another.
While BetOnline has taken an effort to be consistent (and Bovada is always consistent), if you’re looking for an edge to get the most bang for your buck, MyBookie seems like the place to watch.
There, you’ll see a similar array of wagers as the above, but with dramatically different lines from one another. Why this is the case – and why MyBookie (or its bettors) structure the offerings this way – is anyone’s guess.
But for the savvy bettor, if you don’t like the Biden vs. Trump odds, you can wager on the same thing and get vastly different payouts at MyBookie. Take a look:
2020 Presidential Election Winner
- Joe Biden -160
- Donald Trump +120
- Hillary Clinton +4500
- Mike Pence +5500
- Andrew Cuomo +6000
- Michelle Obama +8000
- Mark Cuban +10000
- Nikki Haley +12500
2020 Presidential Election Winning Party
- Democrat -145
- Republican +105
2020 Donald Trump Election Special
- To lose electoral college and popular vote -150
- To win electoral college and popular vote +175
- To win electoral college, lose popular vote +200
- To lose electoral college, win popular vote +2000
Here, Biden is a -160 favorite over Trump.
Given that both pols are their parties’ presumptive nominees, it seems that you could replace Biden with “Democrat” and Trump with “Republican” and get the same odds.
But instead, when you look at the parties generally, Democrats are favored at -145 while Republicans are +105 underdogs. This is a 15 point swing in both cases.
Then, when you peruse the Trump odds per the election special, you’ll see even more disparity, as a Trump loss (which would necessarily be a loss in both electoral and popular votes) is trending at -150, 10 points fewer than a Biden win (which means the same thing for all practical purposes).
Another interesting aspect of that last betting line is that Trump has better odds to win both the electoral college and the popular vote than he has to win the electoral college and lose the popular vote – which is how he won in 2016 and what should be the favored scenario for a Trump 2020 victory, as well.
So, why does MyBookie have such markedly different odds for what amount to the same exact outcomes?
It has to do with the uncertainty of specificity – or, in this case, the certainty of specificity.
Trump vs. Biden, in a matchup of those two individuals, favors Biden overwhelmingly per bettors. However, the same bettors believe that the GOP has a better chance to win the 2020 Presidential election if Trump runs against someone other than Biden or if both parties end up picking different candidates.
While the latter contingency seems unlikely at this point, it’s possible that either geriatric politician could suffer some life-altering event at any time between now and the general, in which case other party representatives would be on the ballot.
Regardless, it would serve you well to remember that sportsbooks only set the initial betting lines. After that, the action coming in on either side moves said lines, which means that bettors are solely responsible for any changes after the first batch of political props and odds are published.
The moral of the story, of course, is that you better shop around.
After all, that’s the only certainty in these uncertain times.