Deja Vu…Big Bets Rolling in on Trump Ahead of Election Day
For BetOnline.ag, it’s starting to feel like 2016 all over again.
In the weeks leading up to America’s last Presidential Election, widely-respected political polls and predictive models suggested a somewhat breezy win for Hillary Clinton.
RealClearPolitics and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight both projected Clinton’s chances of becoming the nation’s first female president around 70 percent. Other websites were even more bullish on Clinton, and so were the bookmakers.
“When there’s a fishy line or movement in sports betting, the old adage is that ‘Vegas knows something,'” Dave Mason, brand manager at BetOnline.ag, said. “But in 2016, it was the bettors in the know. The oddsmakers make a living being on the right side, but they were dead wrong that year.”
Money flooded in on Donald Trump in the weeks and days leading up to the 2016 Election. But BetOnline and other bookmakers worldwide were firm in their position and continued to offer great value on the underdog.
“Everyone was shellshocked. Heck, I even think Trump was a little surprised,” Mason said of the outcome. “But to say the bookies took a bath that Election Day would be a gross understatement.”
Fast forward four years and we’re sitting in a very similar spot.
FiveThirtyEight is giving Joe Biden even better odds than Clinton, currently predicting an 89 percent chance the former VP will be elected. RCP‘s national poll average shows Biden winning by a small margin.
But the betting action, again, is telling a different story.
Since Monday, 85 percent of the presidential bets have been on Trump, which has greatly swung the numbers in terms of liability. As of this post, BetOnline stands to lose a sum in the low seven figures if Trump is re-elected.
“Political stances aside, we’re all rooting for the favorite next week,” Mason said. “That’s uncommon in our industry, but we need Biden in a big way.”
The 2020 Presidential Election is close to becoming the biggest decision in BetOnline’s 20-year history of bookmaking. The political betting markets this year have already surpassed the straight bet handle for Super Bowl LIV. In total, the website has booked an amount in the mid eight-figure range.
Currently at BetOnline.ag, Biden is a -180 favorite to win the 2020 Presidential Election while Trump is a +160 underdog.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the betting public will be on the right side of the odds again, but it’s certainly interesting to see the same betting patterns emerge.