It's no surprise that politics has captured our imagination every evening on television. But you wouldn't bet that handicapping the Presidential race has drawn so much interest as well.
Many of the Elite-rated sportsbooks, including Bovada, BetOnline and Diamond Sports are reporting brisk business from people handicapping the candidates, both Republican and Democrat. And like Super Bowl futures, the odds sure have been shifting as "the season" has moved on.
The Mighty Have Fallen
You Trump supporters (and bettors) will read with glee the movement in odds from last July to the present. The Donald was looked upon then as a "novelty candidate" with a decent chance but not taken very seriously on the odds board. Here's how it appeared at Bovada in July 2015 as the Republican party choice to be the next U.S. Presidential candidate.
Jeb Bush 3/2
Marco Rubio 4/1
Scott Waller 7/2
Donald Trump 15/2
Rand Paul 14/1
Ben Carson 16/1
Chris Christie 12/1
Ted Cruz 20/1
Admittedly, I was announcing Jeb Bush as a solid 3/2 favorite with Trump having no chance. Now betting The Donald at 15/2 looks like having American Pharoah at 25-1 to win the Kentucky Derby in the future book. Scott Waller (who?) at 7-2 was money down the drain and even Ted Cruz at 20-1 was then a laughable investment. Just goes to prove again, though you DON'T get deserved odds in most future book wagers, you can make a nice score with the right timing.
Flash forward to today, this is the current odds at Bovada for the Republican choice:
• Donald Trump -400
• Ted Cruz +600
• John Kasich +600
As you can see, the horse has left the barn and you expect daily Trump headlines from now until the first week of November. It's just a matter of time. No matter what you or anyone else might think, The Donald is the starting QB and will be the Republican candidate at the polls. Unlike much larger caps on sports betting, political betting has much lower wagering restrictions and if you want to make a few bucks at very short odds, knock yourself out. Kind of like wagering a 1-9 shot in a horse racing show pool.
Missing the Hillary Train
Perhaps an equally disturbing lost opportunity was not betting on Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton to be the next PRESIDENT of the United States in late January. Don't say I didn't alert you of the opportunity.
It was only six weeks ago when Bernie Sanders was shocking the world by capturing the imagination of young voters, winning his home state New Hampshire primary and doing well in a few states on the same primary Tuesday. For some strange reason, all offshore sportsbooks seemed to overreact and sent the odds down on Hillary Clinton from -150 to Even. An indication of the best wagering opportunity since all candidate's names were put on the board for the 2016 Presidential election.
Moving ahead to "Super Tuesday" March 8th, Mrs. Clinton blew out Bernie at the polls in all key states including Ohio, Illinois and Florida. Ohio might be the biggest win of all because that could be the state that decides the electorate Presidential race. Kind of like the Patriots wiping out the Steelers by three touchdowns in the regular season.
The offshore world has reacted quickly. Now Hillary has zoomed to -200 to be our next President at most top offshore sportsbooks offering political wagering and that number is expected to climb. Maybe your last chance to at least grab some money as a November investment. Donald Trump is a lesser encouraging +175 and don't waste a dime on Ted Cruz at +2000. You would deserve at least 100-1.
It is inevitable with the new popularity of political wagering that "proposition wagering" gets added to the betting menu at offshore sportsbooks. We love it for the Super Bowl and treasure it for March Madness. Why not have something else to root for nightly? Here's a few "hypothetical" prop wagers to consider:
Number of fights at next Donald Trump rally:
An interesting prop as odds makers can reasonably forecast at least one act of violence or fight occurring. The key handicapping challenge is whether there might be two or more separate acts. As the campaign continues, this should become a tradition, like eating chicken wings or doing the wave at ballgames.
Will Hillary Clinton show a blouse button or expose her neck before April 1st?
In apparent attempt to channel Queen Elizabeth and woo every conservative voter, it seems Mrs. Clinton has decided to dress as conservatively as possible at every public event, barely exposing an ankle. This could be a suggested campaign strategy as what female presidents are expected to look like. Poor Bill. At least he knows every hidden room in The White House.
Will John Kasich resign his Republican Presidential bid before April 18th, 2016?
Yes - 110
No - 110
Threw this one in as a tough one. And how these propositions can be tricky. Saturday, March 26th is the Alaska and Hawaii primary. If Kasich doesn't run out of money over the next week and a few people in these small states give him a win he might continue his delusional dream of being U.S. President. We don't get the next big state primary until maybe April 19th when New York arrives with 291 delegates. If Kasich is still is around after then, well . . . I am waiting on Carrie Underwood to take to the prom.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.