Update on Status of Betting Markets -- A Dead Heat or Trump Slightly Favored

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

 

After a curious period of little or no polling in the aftermath of the Republican convention, yesterday we are starting to see some polls taken over the past 5-7 days which show a race which has substantially tightened in terms of the national ballot preference, and more importantly in terms of key individual states that likely hold the key for the winning candidate.

Last week I did this story on the betting markets on overseas betting markets which had dramatically narrowed the advantage they were giving Biden in the contest – a move which began on the day Biden announced that Kamala Harris would be his running mate, and continued right up to the day after Pres. Trump’s speech accepting the nomination one week ago.

Updating those odds now, you can see that President Trump became a minor favorite over Biden two days ago, when the market moved to the following position:

Sept. 1

Trump:  -118

Biden:  -104

Those numbers mean that a bettor would need to wager $118 in order to win $100 on President Trump.  Alternatively, a bettor would need to wage only $104 to win $100 on Joe Biden.

This is a reversal from July 28 when a bettor would have needed to wager $177 in order to win $100 on Biden.

In proposition betting, moving from $177 down to $104 is a HUGE stand against Biden’s chances to win.

Various polling in the first week of August had Biden ahead anywhere from 3 to 9%, with Trump support in the low 40s.

Several polls out this week have the race from 4 to 10%, with Biden still leading.

And that shows you the flaw in polling, and the influence of pollster’s models on how they drive the results.

Bettors have only one motivation — to be on the correct side of the outcome by carefully studying the available data.

Bettors say — with their money — it’s Trump’s race to lose.

Pollsters are trying to drive the narrative that the race is almost over, and a Biden victory is inevitable.

Bettors learned their lesson in 2016. With the polls all predicting a comfortable Clinton win, the proposition bet numbers for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the following just prior to the election:

Nov. 1, 2016:

Clinton -300

Trump +275.

Bettors were suckered by the polls into a position where you need to bet $300 on Clinton just to win $100.  Clinton lost and the overwhelming number of bettors got killed.

That’s not happening this year.  The polls in Biden’s favor are not meaningfully different than the polls which were in Clinton’s favor.

But the bettors and bookies aren’t falling for it again.

Their money has been pouring in on Trump for weeks.

NOTE:  The release of several polls yesterday has caused a slight move in the “Daily” line in favor of Biden.

September 3:

Biden -110

Trump -110

A dead heat.