Some Vegas Election Odds Require Deeper Investigation

sherlock holmes with pipe

Here at VEO, we cover all the available election odds as they come and go at the top Vegas political betting sites.

Sometimes, weeks go by without much new intrigue or without much movement on the boards.

That can make it difficult to share advice, touts, and the like with those interested in wagering on the most depressing sport in human history.

Of course, we’re careful to mind the old adage: No news is good news.

But if you’re looking for an edge at the books, that’s not the case.

Here, no news is bad news.

So, as we’ve forced ourselves to do after the shameful 2020 election, we’re going to make a bit of palatable lemonade out of big, rotten lemons.

This week, there are four betting lines of interest – and only four – in the political realm.

None is particularly compelling for the bettor, but taken in context, they present interesting questions that – on the surface – seem absurd.

We’ll present each one, and we’ll fill in the vacuum with a bit of waxing something less than philosophical or poetic.

If nothing else, this should help condition you to dig deeper on every wager, to find an edge or an angle where nothing but an implausible hoodwink seems the motive.

Yes, the sportsbook wants your money. But no, they’re not trying to trick you.

These bets each mean something.

The first three lines come from our old standby, BetOnline Sportsbook, and they demonstrate what seems to be a logical hiccup on the boards.

But with a little investigation, you’ll see there’s a method to this madness beyond the base madness of politics itself (previous odds in parentheses):

Will Gavin Newsom be removed from office in 2021?

  • No -900 (-1000)
  • Yes +500 (+550)

Will Caitlyn Jenner be elected California Governor in 2021?

  • Yes +10000 (+1000)

Who will be Governor of California on 12/31/2021?

  • Gavin Newsom -1000 (-1000)
  • Larry Elder +600 (+600)
  • Kevin Paffrath +1800 (+1800)
  • Kevin Faulconer +5000 (+5000)
  • Caitlyn Jenner +10000 (+10000)
  • John Cox +17500 (+17500)
  • Doug Ose +25000 (+25000)
  • Kevin Kiley +25000 (+25000)

These three lines are all related to the outcome of the California recall election taking place one week from today (Tuesday, September 14, 2021).

As you can see, most of them haven’t budged since last week.

But curiously, the top line – Gavin Newsom’s chances to be removed from office – have dipped.

Before, he was at -1000 on that singular wager, and now he’s at -900.

However, in the larger bet below that one, he’s still trending at -1000.

Taken alone, his odds have slipped a bit. (Note, too, that taken alone, Caitlyn Jenner’s chances have stayed at -10000.)

So what gives?

Logically, if Newsome is recalled, he wouldn’t be governor at the end of the year.

Similarly, if Newsome isn’t recalled, he would be governor at the end of the year.

You can frequently find multiple political props about a specific event that are posed differently but feature the same odds.

For weeks, these two Newsom lines were constructed that way. But something has changed.

Because even though it seems like both sets of odds (again, the Jenner line is included merely as a point of comparison) are asking the same question, they aren’t.

Let’s rephrase:

The first bet is asking if Newsom will be removed from office this year. The second bet is asking if Newsom will still be CA governor by year’s end.  

Again, these seem like they’re presenting an identical scenario with different payouts attached.

So you must dig deeper.

Every reputable sportsbook – no matter the market – will offer more context somewhere on the boards. At BetOnline, there’s a small, green icon with an “i” inside a circle. Click or tap that for more information.

Doing so on the Newsom single, you’ll see this:

“Newsom must be removed from office via recall election, which must occur in 2021 for action.”


So, the first line is asking not if Newsome will be removed from office by any means, but specifically via recall.

That changes things, and it’s the precise reason why the odds are different.

The other line is asking simply who – of any of the listed candidates – will be governor on December 31, 2021.

This line accounts for more contingencies than a Newsom recall. This line accounts for recall, resignation, impeachment and removal, injury, death, etc.

This line covers every conceivable way Newsom might leave office.

Of course, you might think this collective line should have slimmer odds than the single bet above.

After all, if Newsom is favored at -900 to survive recall, those other contingencies should move his odds down, not up. They should shorten, not lengthen. There are more variables.

But instead, the line assumes that recall is by far the biggest threat to the Newsome governorship. If he survives that, given his age and relative health, he’ll be politically bulletproof.

He likely won’t suddenly die, and he certainly won’t be impeached – much less convicted – by an empowered Democratic California legislature.

Thus, if he gets over the recall hump – despite all the other ways he might leave office between now and the new year – he’s golden.

That’s the calculus, and it makes sense.

It’s a demonstration of pure politics.

Survive this, and he can survive anything else except Mother Nature. Just ask Matt Gaetz how that works.

The second intriguing line is at Bovada Sportsbook:

US Presidential Election 2024 – Winning Party

  • Democratic -160 (-160)
  • Republican +120 (+120)
  • Any Other +1100 (+1100)

We discussed this line briefly a week ago, and on the surface, it seems preposterous.

No third-party candidate has won a US Presidential election in the history of the nation, and the very idea seems absurd.

While plenty of spoilers might make a run a la Ross Perot in 1992, the behemoth seems resistant to such outcomes.

Nevertheless, it’s possible, specifically because that behemoth is so virulently bifurcated within the ranks of its two halves.

Consider 2016.

While it’s fantastic that Donald Trump ran on the GOP ticket and won his first term in office – and while MAGA is here to stay within the Republican Party – an even better outcome could have been on the table.

The time was right.

Instead of trouncing the hapless RINOsphere, Trump could have ceded the GOP ticket to the establishment favorite, Ted Cruz.

Similarly, Bernie Sanders could have ceded the Democratic ticket to establishment Commander in Waiting™ Hillary Clinton.

But then, with significant bases themselves, both Trump and Sanders could have run third-party: Trump as MAGA/Populist/America First/etc., and Sanders as Socialist.

All four candidates would have earned double-digit percentages in the 2016 general, and while Clinton likely would have won the race, she’d have won it with a weak plurality.

The Democrats would be rendered far less relevant and less unified.

At the same time, Trump likely outperforms Cruz, taking a close second to Clinton.

All candidates would be separated by fewer than 10 points, and a de facto four-party system would emerge.

2016 represented the first time since the nation’s earliest elections that the two-party system could have been dismantled meaningfully, trickling down to the state and local levels in the aftermath to make the change permanent.

That bit of opining aside, the line above isn’t necessarily framing such a watershed moment.

What it’s really asking is whether or not Donald Trump will run for President in 2024 as a Republican or an independent.

But the reality – or alternate reality – of 2016 is relevant thus: There is no Trump on the left this time. There is no monkey wrench in the cogs of the DNC machine.

But, and this is the key point, there could be.

Someone could emerge and make it interesting.

The establishment GOP might not want Trump back, and a Democratic challenger disillusioned by the current occupant might amass enough clout to go all in despite the party’s protestations.

If that happens – if Trump runs MAGA and some to-be-determined commie runs Commie – “Any Other” could come close to toppling the two-headed monster.

And if that happens – or even if the needle moves ever closer to that kind of political playing field – such a line may be in play during every Presidential election here on out.

Intriguing stuff, to be sure.

2021 Joe Biden Presidential Mental Fitness Test Update

Via BetOnline Sportsbook

Will Joe Biden complete his first term as US President?

  • Yes -165 (-165)
  • No +125 (+125)


Year That Joe Biden Exits Office

  • 2025 +130 (+130)
  • Not Before 2026 +350 (+350)
  • 2021 +400 (+400)
  • 2022 +400 (+400)
  • 2023 +750 (+750)
  • 2024 +1400 (+1400)

Last week, we advised that you put equal money on 2022 and 2023.

We’ve since reconsidered.

In fact, this line is more interesting that we previously understood.

Before, it was merely a compelling way to hedge your bet by going on several different outcomes to guarantee – or nearly guarantee – a win on the boards.

But on closer examination, there’s a curve ball in here, too, just as with the examples above.

And it has to do with term limits.

Here’s the law in question.

Basically, the above link explains things this way:

A US President, as we all know, is limited to two terms in office. That’s eight years.

But there’s a snag.

If the Vice President assumes office after a sitting President has served for two years and a day, that Vice President may run twice more.

Thus, that VP – in this case, Kamala Harris – can run twice and, if elected, serve up to 10 years (or, rather, one day shy of ten years).

Should Biden be lucid enough to understand this and strategize around it, and/or if his handlers understand the same and wish for Harris to be the face of the party going forward, he might hold out beyond 2022.

If the aim was to replace him with Harris to begin with, doing so in 2023 or 2024 gives Harris the longest potential tenure.

Now, we don’t think Biden can physically hack it till 2024, so we’re changing our call to 2023, all in.

Remember: In betting understanding the technicalities of the game in question can make all the difference.

Outside of shopping lines between multiple books, it’s the biggest edge you can get.

Will Joe Biden leave office via impeachment?

  • No -1200 (-1200)
  • Yes +500 (+500)


Joe Biden Approval Rating On October 1, 2021

  • Over 45.5% -120 (45.5% -120)
  • Under 45.5% -120 (45.5% -120)