2016 Presidential Election Betting Analysis

Clinton, Trump pick up big wins

Before we get into an analysis of the coming election, I first want to preface that I have no dog in this fight. To be honest, I’m not a fan of either of the major candidates.  This article is purely concerning betting market odds and the viability of placing a +EV wager.

Political Betting Article

We cover political betting markets extensively in our strategy article on political markets. Before you jump into the analysis of this year’s election, that article is well worth a read. It goes over the growth of political betting markets over the years and links to several resources for handicapping political markets.

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Odds History

Update Nov. 8 Election Day: The FBI once again cleared Hillary Clinton over the weekend and have announced she will not be charged with a crime. She is now -450 or so to win the election at most sites. I was correct in my assessment that last week was the best price one could get if they still thought Clinton would win. Trump is now a +325 underdog at BetOnline.ag.

2016 Presidential Election Betting Analysis

We can’t cover the whole gauntlet of election odds, but suffice to say, if you had bet on Donald Trump to get the Republican nomination back when he announced his candidacy – you’re a lot richer right now.

For the presidency, Hillary Clinton always held a significant lead over the field. However, her lead has waned in recent weeks after being at -600 at some sportsbooks due to the FBI reopening their investigation into her emails, and apparently, the Clinton Foundation.

BetOnline.ag currently has Clinton as -280 favorite. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, is far closer now at +220 to win the presidency. There’s a long list other possible longshot candidates, such as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, but none of the other candidates have a realistic shot.

If You Want To Bet Hillary

It’s been an up and down campaign for Clinton, who is still the odds-on favorite regarding betting odds and most predictive models. Nate Silver is an electoral forecasting expert, and while he still has Clinton with almost a 64 percent chance of winning the election – he acknowledges that Obama was in a far better position against McCain in 2008. ElectionBettingOdds.com a site run by Fox Business host, John Stossel, has Clinton with a nearly 74 percent chance of winning the election.

Even all the threats of indictments and supposed criminal behavior, Hillary, so far has come out of this without any charges. Yes, the FBI did reopen the investigation, but will they announce charges against her on Monday or Tuesday? It seems unlikely, but it is possible. Even then, can she win the election with that hanging over her head?

Most of the polls and indicators still have Clinton winning by a decent margin. As mentioned above, she’s a lot more vulnerable than before but is still nearly a -300 favorite to win the election.

In our political betting article, we talk about dumb bettors who still wager on the wrong side, even though it’s obvious from a statistical standpoint which candidate will win. This happened in 2008 in a major way, as many news outlets reported that Romney would win or that the election would be close. It obviously didn’t turn out that way.

If you’ve been looking to place a bet on Clinton throughout this cycle – now may be your best opportunity. You generally don’t want to wager on a selection that the market moves vastly against, but if you think she’s a near lock to win, you’re probably not going to get a better price.

If You Want to Bet Trump

Trump was around his current price after the first debate but then ran into issues after an audio recording where he made some lewd comments about women. Other lawsuits began to pop up against him, and by most accounts, he lost the second debate handily.

Over the last week or so, the odds for Trump went from between +400 and +500, depending on the bookmaker to around +220. As I mentioned above, that’s mostly because of the rumors of an indictment for Hillary and the reopening of the FBI investigation. It’s not a result of positive press for the Donald.

If you bet Trump a few weeks ago, a few months ago or even a year ago, congratulations. You beat the market by a huge margin and have yourself a +EV bet, regardless of the result. The fact that things are much closer now makes that wager an excellent bet.

However, with the odds shifting in a big way to a closer election, I’m not sure Trump is the best bet to make at this time. With that said, this presidential election does have a bit of Brexit feel to it. European bookmakers had ‘Remain’ as the odds-on favorite, at nearly the same odds as Clinton’s election (-300 or more) chances. The people of the United Kingdom ended up voting to ‘Leave’ the European Union.

I’m apolitical for the purpose of writing this article. However, I will say, it’s amazing to see the large crowds that Trump draws and the small groups of people that seem to show up for Clinton speeches. Maybe, just maybe, Trump will come with a victory at the polls.

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Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti - Editor-in-Chief / Sports Writer & Analyst

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent content on SafestBettingSites. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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