If ever there was a microcosm of today’s macropolitical landscape, the current Pennsylvania Senate race would certainly be an elite contender. The pending retirement of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has opened the door for Democrats to snag the seat in the Keystone State and fortify their uber-thin and extremely brittle Senate majority.
Despite the bizarre sub-plots and social media-fueled campaign tactics between Democratic nominee John Fetterman and Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Dems’ odds to win the Pennsylvania Senate seat are strong less than four months out from election day.
Pennsylvania Senate Race Odds
|John Fetterman (D)||-150|
|Dr. Mehmet Oz (R)||+110|
Odds as of July 22 via BetOnline Sportsbook
The -150 odds carry a 60 percent implied probability of winning. Dr. Oz, a pop culture icon to many, possesses +110 odds to win the Senate seat. At +110, or 47.62 percent implied probability, bettors would need to wager $100 for every $110 they hope to win should Oz beat Fetterman.
Fetterman’s Health Scare
The emotional roller-coaster that was the 2020 presidential election may have turned off some casual bettors of U.S. politics as their minds and wallets needed time to recover from the mental stress of Trump vs Biden. For those who have stepped away from daily political discourse and coverage, it would be very easy to miss the major storyline of the Pennsylvania Senate race.
Four days before the state held its primary, John Fetterman suffered a stroke. He required surgery to have a pacemaker implanted to help with a serious heart condition. More than two months later, he has yet to return to the campaign trail, but according to the latest USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, Fetterman leads Oz by nine points.
A couple weeks ago, he popped in to thank campaign volunteers in person.
“I am feeling so great, and we will be back out on the trail soon,” Fetterman said. “We’re almost at 100 percent.”
Until voters see him back on the trail, all bets are off on that 100 percent claim, right?
Before he was a Pennsylvania Senate nominee, Dr. Mehmet Oz was a successful heart surgeon and trail-blazing health expert whose rise to fame was expedited thanks, in part, to Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Oz first appeared on Oprah’s talk show back in 2004 and would become a recurring guest over the next five years before she offered to produce his own show beginning in 2009. From there, Dr. Oz became a household name and pop culture icon for many who enjoyed his syndicated show and took his health advice to, um, heart.
His present-day political ambitions become murky because although he’s a longtime resident of New Jersey, Dr. Oz’s voter registration address is Bryn Athyn, PA – at the home of his in-laws. Yikes. This could be why he won the Pennsylvania Republican primary by just 951 votes over David McCormick.
The NJ-PA dichotomy has been at the core of Fetterman’s campaign after Oz filmed a television ad from his New Jersey mansion. The Democratic favorite even went as far as hiring Snooki of “Jersey Shore” fame to record a Cameo video calling out Dr. Oz’s mixed allegiance.
Oz, who was endorsed by fellow reality show host President Donald Trump, is sitting on a net worth of tens of millions of dollars and could counterpunch Fetterman’s attack ads at any time. For now, however, the good doctor is taking the high road. In a recent video, Oz said he was happy to hear his opponent’s health was on the mend and focused his energy on attacking President Biden’s policies, rising inflation and “the crazy leftist ideas in (Fetterman’s) head.”
Bottom Pennsylvania Senate Betting Line
This truly does come down to whether Dr. Oz can ride the proverbial red wave to victory. He’s not a native Pennsylvanian nor a politician. He’s a celebrity doctor from New Jersey.
But if you believe the majority of Pennsylvania voters are fed up with the past two years of Democratic leadership in Washington that they’ll vote Republican no matter what, Oz should win easily. However, if you believe the polls and Fetterman’s health status improves in the coming months, the state President Biden won by less than 100,000 votes could flip from red to blue once more.
Doc's Picks Service
Need more winning picks? Get $60 worth of premium member picks from Doc’s Sports – a recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971.
Odds Shark Staff Fri, Jul 22, 1:33pm