Yes, you can bet on the 2020 US presidential election. A few years ago, this would have been tough to do, unless you were making a friendly wager with an acquaintance.
You can’t bet on elections at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but online sportsbooks have bettors all over the world making deposits, selecting their wagers, and withdrawing their wins, all with a few clicks.
Why are political bets made in sportsbooks, among all the NFL, UFC, and NASCAR odds? Well, let’s just say that this election—like any sporting match–feels very “winner takes all.”
Here are some reasons why Trump voters might want to bet on their preferred outcome in the election.
If Trump Wins, your Payout Will Be Generous
When you look at sportsbook odds, you will notice that each team or contestant (or, in our case, candidate) will be assigned a number with a plus or a minus in front of it.
The number tells you what you can win if that choice triumphs, and the plus or minus lets you know if you will make more cash back on your win than you put into bet, or less.
Right now, BetOnline has Trump’s odds to win at +180. This means that if you put $100 on Trump to win, and he defeats Biden in the election, you will receive $280. This $280 equals the amount you bet ($100) plus the $180 you won.
If you log in to XBet, one of my favorite sportsbooks for how easy it is to find your way around the site, you will find the tab for the 2020 US Presidential Election right at the top of the sports betting choices.
XBet has the odds of Trump winning at +130. As you can see, the odds can and do vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Fun fact: XBet is already running odds on the 2024 US presidential election!
Another top online betting site, MyBookie, is also taking bets on the election. Unlike XBet, where the presidential odds are at the top of the sportsbook menu, at MyBookie the election numbers are right below the NFL bets. (Because, football.)
The MyBookie odds for Trump to win currently stand at +130. However, this can change from hour to hour depending on news and emerging data points.
This brings me to an important point: each sportsbook can and will change the odds at any given moment. If you have already placed a bet, don’t worry; the odds that were posted when you made your bet are what you will receive if you win.
If you wait to see the odds change, as some bettors do, beware that you run the risk of having the odds go in the opposite direction you desire.
Prop Bets Add Entertainment to Election Day
The best sites for betting on the presidential election are also offering side bets on the election. These side bets are called “prop bets” at sportsbooks. You will find them listed right below the presidential race winner bet/odds.
At Bovada, for example, you can not only bet on the winner of the 2020 presidential election, but also on who will win the popular vote. As we now know, these two winners are not always the same person.
If you think the Republican candidate will win the popular vote this year, you can make a $300 cash win on every $100 wagered. That is a significant prize.
There are many prop bets to consider for this year’s election, and plenty of money to be made.
It Is an Easy Introduction to Sports Betting
If you are already proficient with betting on sports in Las Vegas and at online sportsbooks, then you will be able to put money down on the presidential election without a thought.
However, if you, like many, are somewhat intimidated or confused by the world of sports betting (and the unfamiliar number/symbol combinations) then betting on the 2020 US presidential election is a great way to become familiar with the system.
With the presidential election, there are only two contenders. Making a choice is pretty simple. You are not trying to make your first bet on, say, Wimbledon, which may have dozens of players with varying chances and odds from which to choose.
Even baseball can be a challenging way to learn sports betting, given the two and a half dozen teams, and the 160 games played every week.
So, logging onto a user-friendly site like XBet and making an easy deposit, then choosing one candidate or the other, is simple. And you suddenly “get” how it works.
You are now an experienced sportsbook user, someone who can pop in a deposit via credit card, debit card, bank transfer, or even cash and Bitcoin, and browse all of the offerings across all sports and whichever political contest is currently upon us.
Challenge Your Friends on Political Knowledge
In addition to betting on who will win the presidential race, various sportsbooks will have prop bets that are strictly election based. Yes, as we’ve discussed above, there are some very entertaining prop bets on everything from the color of the candidates’ ties to whether a fly will land on anyone’s head.
However, there are also prop bets on who will win the senatorial race in every state. You can place one of these bets on your own state’s candidates, or make several educated guesses about who will win the seat (or even just which party will win the seat) for all of your nearby states as well.
Let’s say you live in North Carolina. You see that MyBookie is offering bets on who will win the state’s senate race. The odds are -160 for Cal Cunningham and +120 for Thorn Tillis.
You consider their chances and place your bet. But you also have an interest in who wins the senate race in South Carolina, so you check out the odds between Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison. New Yorkers will be interested in who wins in nearby New Jersey, and Oklahomans will be riveted to see who Texas chooses.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
So, you think President Donald Trump stands a solid chance of winning re-election. You cast your ballot and return home to pop popcorn and settle in to watch the results pour in from around the country.
It’s an exciting day, and you’ve made your preference known. But if you have placed a wager to match your ballot, you have “upped” the excitement of the day and proven to yourself that you really stand behind your idea that he can win.
As any sports bettor will tell you, all of the mathematicians and statisticians in the world can’t always predict an outcome.
This is why sports (and sports betting) are so popular; you can look at the numbers and make your calculations, but there is so much more to the world than what we are able to calculate in any given moment that quite often the underdog causes an upset and takes the trophy.
Numbers Don’t Always Add Up
If the numbers and other data were always a perfect indicator of how things would go, then fantasy football players would never lose. After all, they are crunching numbers on each player to build the perfect team, right?
But then the actual, live game happens, an overlooked player gives a stellar performance, or a coach drops the ball and takes a humiliating loss, and suddenly, all the numbers you crunched are worthless.
Life has taken over, and all we can do is shake our head in wonder, noting once again how life never fails to upend the predictions.
Need more convincing? Just four years ago even Trump’s closest allies knew he had little to no chance of achieving the presidency. And yet, this morning he brushed his teeth and got dressed in the White House.
Some Final Thoughts
The entire nation (and many people abroad) are going to be riveted by the election proceedings on November 3rd. Since you are going to be glued to the election results anyway; you might as well spice things up with a few prop bets.
If you think that betting on which candidate’s head a fly will land on is silly, then consider this: many bets made on the Super Bowl concern themselves with which side of the coin will “win” the toss, whether the National Anthem will take longer than two minutes, or less time. You can even bet on which color of Gatorade will be consumed by the teams that day on the sidelines.
As you can see, political and sports betting can become quite creative when it comes to prop bets. The sites can offer different odds, each online betting site will offer various promotions (sometimes doubling your deposit) and various other ways to keep the play exciting.
Scientists tell us that betting dates back to the Paleolithic period. There is something about a game of chance, the surge of excitement and possibility, and the fact that fate can rest on the roll of a die, that gets under the skin of us humans. We have engaged in it since time immemorial, and will continue to do so long into the future.