Regardless of what happens on November 3rd, the 2020 United States elections will go down in history as one of the most unique. It’s likely that voters will head to the polls, face masks in hand, to cast their ballots, while researchers and scientists continue to develop a coronavirus vaccine. It’ll be fascinating to see how all of these tangible factors impact election betting odds in the coming weeks and months.
Gamble Online’s United States election hub’s purpose is to educate you on all 2020 election betting from Trump vs. Biden odds to political prop bets to which party wins the Senate. We’ll cover:
Take a look at this infographic to see the fluctuation of US presidential odds in the last year:
As you can see in the graphic, President Trump was the favorite to win the 2020 election the last four months of 2019 as his odds improved during his impeachment Senate trial and after he was acquitted. Only after the president continued to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic, which resulted in a national quarantine for much of the United States in March and April, did Biden’s odds to win start to improve and close the gap on President Trump.
If you’re new to political futures betting, you may be wondering what does the (-) and (+) prefix symbol mean and how do they relate to percentage odds.
The minus symbol indicates that betting option is the favorite to win whereas the plus symbol indicates the underdog of the moment. The number associated with the symbol can also be calculated into an implied probability of occurring. For example, if Joe Biden’s odds to win the presidency are -130, that means he has an implied probability to win of 56.52 percent, whereas if his odds were +160, he’d be considered an underdog with an implied probability to win of just 38.46 percent.
|Date||Biden Odds||Trump Odds|
|September 16, 2020||-115||-105|
|September 14, 2020||-115||-105|
|September 9, 2020||-115||-105|
|September 7, 2020||-115||-105|
|September 2, 2020||-110||-110|
|August 31, 2020||-115||-105|
|August 24, 2020||-135||+115|
|August 17, 2020||-145||+125|
|August 12, 2020||-160||+135|
|July 31, 2020||-170||+145|
|June 27, 2020||-140||+120|
|June 3, 2020||+105||-115|
What a difference a pandemic makes. When it comes to the evolution of 2020 presidential election odds, look no further than what they were pre-coronavirus and what odds are today. If you flip back through the calendar to mid-to-late February, less than two weeks before the height of the pandemic, President Trump’s re-election odds were around -180 and nearly kissed -200 at one time.
Since then, Joe Biden’s presidential election odds have gone from nearly 20-to-1 to being the favorite to win for the better part of the past 3 months. However, betting partners like Bovada have reported that through late-August, as many as 60% of bets placed were on Trump. While the Democratic challenger enjoyed a comfortable odds lead for much of the summer, President Trump rallied in the days following the Republican National Convention and once again became the favorite to win the 2020 election at several major online sportsbooks.
If the 2016 U.S. election taught us anything, it was that the voting public should take political polling numbers with a grain of salt the size of Trump’s ego. Practically every national poll had declared Hillary Clinton the winner in a landslide. Despite the heavy lead in the polls, some online sportsbooks featured Donald Trump as better than a 2-to-1 underdog in the weeks leading up to election day, which – when compared to the polling data – was outlandish to think.
You see, polling data is accumulated by dozens of media outlets surveying small sample sizes of U.S. voters over a specific set of dates via telephone and online. Whereas 2020 election betting odds are set by online bookmakers and bettors alike, polling odds are often referenced by outlets like FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver. The theory goes if the betting public has skin in the game, i.e. have wagered cash, current political odds provide a more accurate snapshot of the state of the election compared to polling data where it’s a “likely” voter’s opinion on any given day.
We recently highlighted the discrepancy between poll numbers and election odds in a featured article that explained that though President Trump trailed Biden in many polls, 60% of bets were placed on him to win the 2020 election.
In most cases, those interested in betting on the 2020 U.S. election are most focused on who they believe will win the presidential election. However, it’s worth noting that most online sportsbooks offer more than just presidential election odds and include other future bets like:
There are also event-based and time sensitive political prop bets and exotic specials that pop up on oddsboards from time to time. We’ll touch on that betting option more in detail below.
If you’re interested in betting on the 2020 election, it’s super easy to get started. Just head over to our online sportsbook review page and click your preferred vendor. We typically use Bovada and BetOnline when researching writing our political odds feature articles, but shop around – you might find better odds on the board at another outlet.
As one of the oldest sports books on the internet, Bovada offers a massive variety of sports & entertainment bets. Take advantage of their great bonus offers for more chances to win at America’s #1 sports betting site.
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As we mentioned earlier, some online sportsbook will offer odds tied to 2020 Senate elections. Currently, Republicans own the majority in the Senate, 53-45 with two independents, while the Democrats own the majority in the House, 232-198 with four vacancies and one Libertarian. It’s worth noting that the Dems flipped the House in their favor during the 2018 midterm elections. Most recent polling* suggest the party has a strong chance to retake the Senate, too. See the graphic above for historical data following the number of seats held by each party in the last four congressional elections.
*Take with grain of salt
Election prop, also known as proposition, bets are more for bettors who like to live life outside the ballot box. Rather than wager on who you think will win the presidential election or if President Trump or former vice-president Biden win Ohio, election prop bets feature unique option like “How many presidential debates will be held for the 2020 election” or “Will President Trump be kicked off Twitter before January 1, 2021.” Election prop bets come and go. So, if you’re interested in wagering on one, be sure to place a bet early because it might not be on the board next time.
Yes, most online sportsbooks offer several betting options on the upcoming 2020 United States elections including odds to win the presidential and which party will win more seats in the Senate.
When futures odds feature a + (plus symbol) before the number, that means the betting option is the underdog. So, for example, if President Donald Trump is +110 to win the election, that not only means he’s a slight underdog, but also means if you wager $100 and President Trump wins, the bettor wins $110 in addition to recouping the original $100 wager.
Negative odds means the betting choice is the favorite. For example, if Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s odds to win the 2020 election are -130, he’s the betting favorite with an implied probability to win of 56.52 percent.
Whereas members of Congress, mayors, governors, etc are elected via popular vote, like a final score in sports, the United States president is elected via electoral college. Without getting into the weeds of the “why”, just know that each state gets a certain number of electors based on Congress representation. Each elector casts one of 538 votes and whichever candidate earns 270-or-more wins the election.
The popular vote in U.S. election is a simple counting vote. For context, Hillary Clinton earned 65.8-million popular votes compared to Donald Trump’s 62.9-million, but because then-candidate Trump earned 304 electoral college votes, he won the 2016 election in a landslide.
Presidential approval rating fluctuates daily and depend on which polling outlet you read. There are dozens of polling reports released on a regular basis.