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2012 Presidential Election Odds

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Updated October 31, 2012
NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the odds as of Oct. 30, 2012.

The odds have dropped considerably on Obama in the past 10 days, as the incumbent has gone from a -340 favorite to a -220 favorite. Those numbers will be explained in greater detail down below for those unfamiliar with them.

2012 Presidential Election Odds

A lot of the excitement has been removed from the 2012 presidential election, at least from a betting perspective. The probability that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are going to win their respective parties' nominations, give bettors one less thing to wager on.

Before we get to the odds listed at several different sportsbooks, novice bettors should be aware that the odds are listed using what is known as the money line.

Those wanting a detailed explanation of the money line can read Understanding Money Lines, otherwise I'll give you the quick explanation once we see some odds.Different sportsbooks will have different odds on events and the presidential election is no different.

First, we'll look at the odds from The Greek, one of my favorite sportsbooks, although they no longer accept wagers from United States-based gamblers, due to the country's asinine gambling laws. The Greek offers just one bet:
Political party to have the next USA President: Democrats -250
Republican +210

For those unfamiliar with the money line and didn't want to read the longer article, the -250 after the Democrats means that you have to wager $250 to win $100 if you wager on the Democrats to capture the White House. You do not have to wager that much money, however, as you can wager $37.50 to win $15 or $50 to win $20. You are risking twice as much as you will win, which is often the case when betting on a solid favorite.

The +210 after the Republicans means that you will win $210 if you risk $100 and again, you aren't requited to wager that much. You can wager $10 to win $21 or risk $20 to win $42. You are essentially risking $10 for every $17 you hope to win.

The difference between the -250 and the +210 is how the sportsbooks and bookies make their money. In a perfect world for the bookie, I will come and risk $250 to win $100 on the Democrats and you will come right behind me and wager $100 to win $210 on the Republicans. If the Democrats win, the bookie will take the $100 you lost and give it to me, so he is not out any money of his own. But if the Republicans win, he will take the $250 I lost and give you $210 and pocket the remaining $40.

Now, we'll look at another sportsbook, Intertops, where they did offer two different wagers: Party to win the next Presidential Election:
Democrats -227
Republicans +165
NOTE: This bet has been removed.

The lone wager is now:
Who will be the next President?
Barack Obama -227
Mitt Romney +160

The odds on Obama are worse here than at The Greek for both Obama and Romney.

The odds will change a bit as we get closer to the election and you may see several other wagers added later.

It is interesting to note that Wayne Allyn Root, who first came to prominence as a sports handicapper/sport tout and still releases sports recommendations via his sports service. He was the 2008 Libertarian nominee for vice president and still believes that Romney is going to win the election fairly easily, suggesting you take him at the +280 odds as of Oct. 6 that are being offered.

Root recently left the Libertarian party in order to support Romney, so maybe it isn't all that big of a surprise to see him making such a prediction, especially after some of his comments about Obama, who graduated from the same 1983 class at Columbia University as Root, although Root claims he, nor any of his other classmates, ever heard of Obama while in school.

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