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Can You Still Bet on the Presidential Election Today?

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in Politics

Nov 3, 2020 · 6:58 AM PST

Joe Biden at a rally.
Joe Biden is a heavy favorite in today's election. Photo by Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia Commons).
  • Today is Election Day in the United States
  • Some sportsbooks have left their Donald Trump vs Joe Biden odds on the board
  • That may not last all day

While nearly 100 million Americans cast their ballots for the 2020 presidential election early, Tuesday, November 3rd, is officially “Election Day”.

Some sportsbooks removed their US political futures overnight, but others have left their odds for Donald Trump and Joe Biden winning the White House on the board.

2020 Presidential Election Odds on Election Day

Candidate Odds at WIlliam Hill
D. Trump +150
J. Biden -175

Odds as of 9:29 am ET, Nov. 3rd.

As of Monday, November 2nd, Trump’s average odds were sitting at +157. Biden’s odds to win the White House were -188.

The Odds May Come Down Soon

When a football game, tennis match, or bike race begins, sportsbooks always take their pre-game odds down. One of the biggest fears of any sportsbook director is bettors having more information than they do. They won’t allow wagers at the same odds once bettors see – even briefly – what is happening on the field/court/rink. The advent of live betting came fairly recently, and sportsbooks were only willing to allow live betting once their software was fast enough and reliable enough to recalculate win probability (and the like) in real time.

When it comes to today’s election, some polling stations have been open since 6:00 am ET, but everyone – meaning sportsbooks and the general public – remains on a level playing field in terms of knowledge. Everyone has access to the advanced-vote numbers, and the results from Election Day proper won’t start rolling in for hours.

Once results are being reported, sportsbooks will do one of two things: (a) take their odds down if they are not comfortable monitoring the situation, or (b) adjust their odds (like live betting during an NFL game) based on the results as they come in.

Anyone who is desperate to get a last-minute wager in should do so soon. But remember that there is no sure thing in betting, no matter the sport. Nate Silver reminded everyone on Sunday that Donald Trump still has a path to victory.

Once today’s election is decided (which could take days or even weeks), attention will immediately turn to 2024. Props have already been posted on who will represent the Democratic and Republican parties four years from now. SBD’s election odds tracker will be monitoring the situation closely for the next 48 months.

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