Value in the Current Electoral College Betting Lines

Value in the Current Electoral College Betting Lines
President Donald Trump. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

Things are getting even worse for Donald Trump. But is the sitting president the best value on the political odds board now that Joe Biden has taken the lead?

When we last checked in on the 2020 U.S. presidential election race, Donald Trump was not a happy man. Trump had fallen considerably behind Joe Biden, both in the polls and on the politics odds board; Biden was available as high as –170 to win the presidency this November. Now, at press time, Biden is the –180 favorite at BetOnline, with Trump at +150 in their head-to-head matchup.

It’s possible Trump could sink even lower than this. But as dark as things look for the sitting president, he is the incumbent, and he has the Electoral College to back him up – just like it did four years ago when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton despite losing the popular vote. Trump can also count on the assistance of a number of outside forces to help him win this election. I think you know what I’m talking about here. So is Trump the better value for your politics picks?

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Fargo North, Decoder

Possibly. In addition to all these irregular angles, there’s the coronavirus itself, and the impact it could have on voting; Biden and the Democratic Party could have an even bigger advantage if large swathes of the population are allowed to vote by mail. On the other hand, Trump and the Republican Party could use the pandemic as an excuse to restrict voting even further – which would presumably be to their advantage.

Because of these unknowns, we’re more inclined to look elsewhere for our picks. Just like last time, we’re more interested in what’s happening at the state level, and the fine folks at BetOnline have odds available for who will win each of the 50 states. For example, the Dems are –280 to win Michigan; that’s down from –300 when we looked at Bovada’s odds, so that should be an even better pick now, especially with Biden’s edge in Michigan increasing from plus-9.4 to plus-9.7 (according to FiveThirtyEight).

For this pick, however, let’s focus on a “red” state that should stay red no matter what happens in the next four months. Odds for Alabama and Kansas are locked down at the moment; of the remaining solid red states, Trump’s best odds are in Idaho (–3300), Louisiana (–2500), North Dakota (–2500), Oklahoma (–2500), and Mississippi (–2000). Polling is still somewhat limited at this point, but Trump’s support here appears to be highest in North Dakota, so let’s put them in our picks for a small sum.

Free Politics Pick: Republican Party to win North Dakota (–2500) at BetOnline