Have Sportsbooks Declared a Winner in the Presidential Election?
One way you can get a true reading on how something is really shaking out is by what Vegas (or offshore) are doing with the odds on the subject matter. Sportsbooks are not in the business of predicting winners or scores. They are in the business of offering a handicapped event and making you choose the winner.
Odds are often influenced by outside factors over the actual action itself. Case and point is this election itself. Action poured in on Trump at most sportsbook to the tune of $4 on Trump to every $1 on Biden. However, despite this heavily lopsided action, sportsbooks still had Biden at almost a 2-1 favorite all the way up until election night. Their odds were based on polls and media narrative.
Games can be handicapped in the same way. Case and point for this is the fact that #21 (8-0) Liberty University is a 3.5 point under dog at NC State, a team which is 4-4. Sportsbooks put NC State out at -3.5 because they anticipate NC State is the better team because they face stiffer competition. However, at this moment sportsbooks are being exposed to lopsided action on the Liberty Flames to the tune of 70% Liberty and only 30% on NC State. The public has seemingly bought into Hugh Frees and he upstart Liberty Flames from Lynchburg, Virginia. I am sure sportsbooks are waiting on the “sharp” NC State action to come in the day of the game.
Almost every media outlet is calling the 2020 Presidential Election for Joe Biden. If you search anything to do with the topic on YouTube you will get a snarky little box that pops up telling you that the AP has already called the race for Biden. There is one problem with that however. The AP, and the media for that matter, have nothing to do with the official results of the election.
As it stands, the Trump Campaign has the legal right to challenge voting results in key areas and they are perusing that right. So, no candidate is the president-elect at this moment. And sportsbooks are not budging on this either. Most have not paid out the presidential election bets until the results become official. And this will not be one of those stunts where sportsbooks pay both sides of the wager. That is because this election was the single most bet event in BetOnline’s history. There is way too much riding on it.
Other sportsbooks confirmed not to have paid out this bet yet:
At least one sportsbook (Heritage) has graded a prop “Republican to win the White House” as a loss already.
Presidential payouts for some individual states have not been paid out either. These states include but are not limited to Georgia, North Carolina & Arizona.
Waiting to see the official results is the right move by the sportsbook. The mess that will come if Trump actually is declared winner would be almost unsalvageable.
Election bets will remain pending for the time-being.
There will most likely be recounts in a few of these states. Additionally, there will be legal challenges from Trump.
Hopefully we can grade them soon, but we need to be patient.
— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) November 7, 2020