Donald Trump Becomes Odds-On Favorite Overnight in US Presidential Race Betting

  • The election outcome is a lot closer than what sportsbooks initially anticipated
  • Democratic challenger Joe Biden was 1/2 to win before voting ended, but is now 11/10
  • Trump won a number of key battleground states to deny an easy victory for Biden
  • The election has been a huge betting event, with Betfair expecting over £400m in wagers
  • One British gambler reportedly placed $5m on Donald Trump to win
US President Donald Trump at podium surrounded by supporters
Donald Trump’s likelihood of remaining US president for another term shifted overnight from an underdog position to the odds-on favorite among bettors. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Update: Joe Biden is once again the favorite with UK sportsbooks to win the presidential race, as per early afternoon (GMT) odds on Wednesday. Biden is available at around 2/5 versus odds of 5/2 for a Trump victory. Betting odds will continue to shift as the race tightens between the two candidates and more state results come into focus.

Changing tides

After Americans went to the polls on Tuesday to place their votes on who they want to be the next US president, Donald Trump went from presidential race underdog to odds-on favorite with UK sportsbooks overnight.

With a number of key battleground states looking to be a lot closer than many polls and experts were predicting, Trump’s odds of winning stood at 4/5 early on Wednesday. Opponent Joe Biden was the strong favorite in the weeks leading up to the election; his odds of victory were at 1/2 before the end of voting. However, Biden drifted to an 11/10 shot on Wednesday morning. 

Trump rose to a 69% chance of winning at one stage overnight

While Biden had a 70% probability of winning just a few days ago, Trump rose to a 69% chance of winning at one stage overnight.

The early returns in the Senate race show that no betting underdog has yet upset the odds, with sportsbooks so far correctly predicting the results.

Too close to call

The current president’s chance of victory has since fallen to 58%, as the race looks like it will go down to the wire. Trump has won Florida and Ohio, two large electoral vote states in which Biden was thought to have made some inroads, making it no easy victory for the former Vice President. As a result, a lot of people started betting on a Trump victory.

The outcome of voting in other battleground states is still under close observation. The counts are slow in these regions, with Pennsylvania officials warning on Wednesday morning that it could take several days for the counting to finish.

Trump already claims he has won

Democratic challenger Biden is still confident about his chances, stating in his election night speech: “We feel good about where we are.” President Trump already claims he has won despite ongoing counts.

Trump labeled the election a “fraud on the American public” when he made an appearance at the White House in the early hours of Wednesday morning, seemingly upset about legally cast ballots continuing to be counted after Tuesday. He said he plans to go to the Supreme Court to dispute the election count but did not specify what the claim would be. In the months leading up to the election, Trump voiced his concerns about the possibility of fraud due to the use of mail-in ballots, even though there has never been any evidence to support his accusations.

Massive betting interest

The 2020 US presidential election has received massive interest from bettors. Forecasts estimate that there will be at least £1bn ($1.3bn) worth of bets on the political event.

The UK’s Betfair Exchange expects to receive a handle of over £400m ($517.5m), greatly bypassing its intake for the 2016 election. Betfair’s intake in recent days included a record-breaking £1m ($1.3m) bet on Joe Biden to win. 

While no states allow legal betting on political events, many US residents use offshore sportsbooks to place these types of wagers.

According to The Sun, a British gambler and former banker allegedly bet $5m on Trump winning the election with private sportsbooks in Curacao, at odds of 37/20. If Trump wins, the payout would be $14.25m. The bettor supposedly spoke with “Trump camp insiders” before making the wager.