These days, the line between sports and politics is as thin as ever — at least in the United States. Think about it: two teams (democrats vs. republicans) that fiercely oppose each other. They train year-round for the postseason (election) just to win the title (a political position). Seriously, aside from the athletic competition itself, the two have become the same thing. No wonder politics betting sites have arisen sharply to offer betting lines on elections.
This guide is your complete primer to this relatively-new commodity. For political junkies or even those casual onlookers, we're dishing details on the best election betting markets, deals to be had, and bipartisan — yes, that still exists — tips to win your politics bets!
Presidential Election Betting Sites
At most Presidential election betting sites, politics is a sideshow from the regular sports betting selection — which isn't a bad thing per se. Heck, we believe most bettors see politics betting in a similar fashion, as a distraction.
Unlike say football or basketball, action on politics is far and fewer in-between. Most bets are centered around public elections, which are once-a-year occurrences if that. US election betting takes the cake in terms of popularity, thanks to betting on the presidential election. Heck, at some sportsbooks, betting markets US election are all that's offered.
We had to make those expectations clear-cut before giving out our online sportsbooks recommendations. You'll be able to bet on politics at each of the below bookies, but it's a small sample of what the entire betting site has to offer. Without further ado, here's the best of the best online bookmakers today:
Bovada joins these ranks for a number of reasons. Chief among them is its reliability. Since 2011, it's been a tried-and-true destination for North American bettors looking for legal off-shore action. Its sportsbook is diverse, both in the sports and leagues offered.
Politics-wise, the selection is reserved strictly for United States diplomacy. We counted dozens of lines revolving around betting on US election. Beyond just moneylines on which candidate will win the nomination outright, there's also plenty of props on state-by-state Electoral College winners.
Ok, Bovada had a good crop of election betting, but it pales in comparison to what BetOnline is offering. In terms of props, Electoral College odds are available for every single state. All 50 — really, we're not kidding. Those are the type of betting markets Presidential election that we like to see.
Word of caution: most lines are pretty lopsided. But that's just the nature of US politics. States like California are Democratic deep to its core, and similarly, states in the South lean heavily Republican. However, you'll find much-more competitive odds for "swing" states like Florida or North Carolina.
One more thing about BetOnline — it offers a lucrative sign-up bonus. New players to the bookie will have their initial deposit into the site matched by 50 percent. If maxed out, the bonus can top out at $1000.
Imagine having $1000 in free play on-hand to fund your US president bet or other political wagers? Welp, it's completely doable on BetOnline.
Another good sportsbook option is none other than BetDSI. What's unique about this bookie is it caters slightly more to a European crowd.
While US politics is definitely on the sportsbook menu, you're also more likely to find betting lines for foreign elections, too. That includes prime minister voting held in countries like the United Kingdom or Canada, as an example.
Outside of election gambling itself, BetDSI also benefits from a loyalty program. Every time you bet at BetDSI — whether on politics or normal sports — you earn BetPoints. The amount of points you rack up during a 12-month period puts you in three different reward levels (from lowest to highest: Gold, Platinum, and Diamond).
While every tier has its own conveniences, no perk is bigger than exchanging BetPoints for cashback. This option is available at all three levels and can pay big if you bet regularly enough.
Our final suggestion, GTBets, earns brownie points for being an all-in-one betting site. A lot of the pros we pointed out about the previous sportsbooks can also be found at GTBets. The bookie has a solid sign-up bonus (worth up to $750), its own rewards program (dubbed GameTimeRewards), and has also been in business since 2011 akin to Bovada.
As for politics, US presidential election betting is once again the focal point at GTBets. The price of betting lines is mostly in-line with competitors, too.
Between any of the above four election betting sites, you're in good hands to do everything from bet on Brexit to French election betting.
How To Make Money Betting On Politics
Alright, before we get into the betting tips, we need to make one thing abundantly clear: we have no dog in this fight, as in no political slant whatsoever. Mainstream media outlets are already feeding you one side of the story enough, we don't need to do the same. Our analysis is down-the-middle as it comes.
So if you're going to be busy this political season laying down bets, we want you to consider a few things. This applies no matter the candidate and/or hot-button issue at stake, so listen up!
Take Your Emotion Out Of It
It's painfully obvious, but it bears repeating: drop your personal politics. We say that knowing it may be darn impossible to disaffiliate from your own views and opinions. After all, the influx of emotions into modern-day politics is what's fueled the polarisation we're seeing throughout society.
But seriously: don't automatically wager on the candidate you want to win. Look at it this way, you're going to be betting on a general-public election with millions of other votes, not just your own. You would have to be naive to think your exact opinions are also shared by the masses. Spoiler alert: they're probably not.
Even if this weren't politics, we'd be giving the same advice with regular sports. An unwritten rule in sports wagering is never bet on your favorite team. Ever. Those that have broken this trusty rule understand the harsh pain of losing a game (or election in this case) AND money alongside it. That's a double-whammy of ouch, folks.
A much better route to success when you bet on the next President is to spot trends and pay attention to polls (some, at least). Our next two tips we'll cover this more in-depth.
Spot The Trends
Again, this piece of advice could apply to any sports bet, little betting markets politics. But even in the political realm, we can observe trends become normalized time after time.
We're going to use United States presidential politics as a prime example. Since the 1950s when an amendment was passed limiting presidents to a max of two terms (at four years each), the oval office has experienced a common occurrence: one party holds office for two straight terms (eight years), followed by the opposite party for the next eight years.
Get this, that's happened every single time besides a period between 1976 and 1992 when the first four-year term was a Democrat followed by three straight Republican terms for 12 years. It takes a sample size this long to prove something is a trend and not just a coincidence.
Knowing this, you can draw two "safe" conclusions that are likely to follow when determining who has the best chance of winning the election: it's really tough to beat an incumbent candidate running for re-election and the country has an eight-year window before they want "change." This is just one trend, but they are dime a dozen if you look closely enough.
Ignore Mainstream Media And (Most) Polls
The normal sports bet translation here is fade the public. Seriously. We see it all too often in gambling when the masses are overconfident in one outcome, there's a strong chance the opposite will actually occur.
Once again using the US Presidency as a case study, this is exactly what transpired in 2016 and those who bet on election 2016 might remember. A Donald Trump presidency seemed impossible until it actually happened on election night.
Throughout the election betting 2016 run-up, Trump was constantly pegged as a staggering undog against Hilary Clinton by national polls. But there lied the problem: the US Presidency isn't decided by a popular vote. Instead, its the Electoral College that decides the next leader of the free world.
Keep this example top of mind. If you're going to be using pre-election polls to guide to help bet presidential election — which you very well should — be sure you're leveraging ones that actually matter. If it's a United States election, perhaps look at polls exclusively in the "swing" states with no clear-cut favorite. Of course, if you're gambling on a non-US election that is decided by a popular vote, then those general public polls do hold merit in those respective countries.
Alright, that does it for our betting on politics guide. If you've just finished reading something political and managed not to get completely triggered, then we pulled off an incredibly-rare feat.
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