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About Last Night: The Crazy Swings of 2020 U.S. Presidential Odds

OK, I think we speak for everyone when we say, “How crazy was last night?” To say the political odds were swinging hard in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election would be a massive understatement.

The betting and political world was turned on its head in the evening hours of the November 3 election, and by Wednesday morning both President Donald Trump AND Democratic challenger Joe Biden had taken turns as massive favorites and underdogs.

Tracking the U.S. Presidency Odds Movement

Donald Trump walked into the 2020 election facing an odds deficit when he was tabbed by sportsbooks like BetOnline and Bovada as a +170 underdog. He had been an underdog since September 2 but then results from Florida started to come in and the race tightened by the minute:

Trump went on to take Florida and Ohio and at 9:24 p.m. ET he became the favorite for the 2020 U.S. presidency:

With those two states apparently lost, it seemed bleak that Joe Biden would make a comeback, especially considering every modern president has won Ohio in his bid for the White House.

Biden’s chances seemed even bleaker within 30 minutes of Trump becoming the favorite because the president’s odds skyrocketed to -600:

Biden’s Return To Being The Favorite For Presidency

Joe Biden and the Democrats, if they were tracking live betting odds, had to have been nervous going into the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Nearly every state the Republicans won in 2016 had been won again in 2020, including key battleground states like Florida and Ohio that were, according to political polls, ripe for the taking.

Shortly after 2 a.m. ET, Trump still had a comfortable lead, sitting at -240 odds for re-election:

By then, a lot of political analysts and odds trackers had decided to turn in after seven straight hours of madness, likely aiming to get a few hours of sleep in anticipation of trying to do it all again on Wednesday. What they didn’t realize is they’d wake up to a whole new election with Biden returning to favorite status:

How did this happen? Well, for starters, the Democrats look to be getting Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, marking the lone state that had flipped from the 2016 results and a state that wasn’t initially pegged for the Dems.

Another factor that was a polarizing subject coming into the 2020 U.S. presidential election was mail-in ballots. The number of ballots cast via this voting method is in the millions and oddsmakers had to start taking those votes into consideration.

Look at how the betting odds shifted within a 12-hour window as Trump and Biden traded the favorite label:

Here is a more intricate breakdown from our Presidential Odds Page that shows the odds changing quickly:

Live Presidential Betting Odds Timeline

TimeD. Trump OddsJ. Biden Odds
11:00 am ET+320-460
10:00 am ET+340-475
9:00 am ET+235-330
7:30 am ET+270-390
2:00 am ET-240+175
1:40 am ET-210+155
1:25 am ET-180+135
1:10 am ET-160+120
1:00 am ET-145+110
12:50 am ET-160+120
12:30 am ET-165+125
12:15 am ET-150+115
12:10 am ET-180+135
12:00 am ET-135+105
11:50 pm ET-150+115
11:40 pm ET-165+125
11:30 pm ET-190+145
11:15 pm ET-295+215
11:05 pm ET-330+235
11:00 pm ET-240+180
10:45 pm ET-270+200
10:35 pm ET-250+185
10:20 pm ET-300+220
10:10 pm ET-775+450
10:00 pm ET-370+260
9:40 pm ET-220+155
9:35 pm ET-245+180
9:30 pm ET-200+150
9:25 pm ET-120-110
9:20 pm ET-110-120
9:00 pm ET+110-145
8:50 pm ET+115-150
8:45 pm ET+135-180
8:35 pm ET+120-150
8:25 pm ET+100-130
8:15 pm ET-110-120
8:00 pm ET+100-135
7:50 pm ET+105-135
7:45 pm ET+125-155
7:35 pm ET+145-175
7:30 pm ET+160-190
7:25 pm ET+180-210
7:20 pm ET+190-220
7:10 pm ET+175-215
7:00 pm ET+170-200
6:00 pm ET+170-200

With key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Georgia still counting ballots, this race is not over and could stretch into next week to determine a winner if results are contested by either party. BUCKLE UP!!!