Home Politics Swing State Betting Markets for the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election

Swing State Betting Markets for the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election

by Scott Kacsmar
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2024 US Presidential Election Swing States cover

While there are 50 states in the United States, you could argue that anywhere from 1-to-6 of those states are all that really matter in deciding who wins the presidential election. The margin has usually been that small in recent elections, coming down to a few swing states.

With some sites predicting an election as close as 270-268 in the electoral college, even a state like Nevada with its 6 electoral votes could be the difference maker this time around.

In 2024, the 6 swing states that experts have identified as being crucial to reaching 270 electoral votes for victory for incumbent Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are the following:

  • Arizona (11 electoral votes)
  • Georgia (16 electoral votes)
  • Michigan (15 electoral votes)
  • Nevada (6 electoral votes)
  • Pennsylvania (19 electoral votes)
  • Wisconsin (10 electoral votes)

A political betting site like BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more) has added betting markets for which party will win the 6 swing states in the 2024 presidential election. Let’s look at the odds and where the numbers are leaning at the statewide level right now.

As a reminder, Republican candidate Donald Trump is the betting favorite to win in November with -160 odds at BetOnline. Incumbent Joe Biden has +155 odds to win a 2nd term for the Democratic party.

But let’s get into the swing states.


Arizona

The current odds to win Arizona at BetOnline:

  • Republicans (-165)
  • Democrats (+125)

Historically, Arizona has backed the Republican candidates, which made Biden’s upset win in 2020 one of the bigger surprises in that election. It was only the 2nd time since 1952 that Arizona wasn’t won by the Republicans. The last time before Biden was Bill Clinton in 1996.

However, the margins have been heading in the direction of the Democrats. Mitt Romney carried Arizona over Barack Obama in 2012 by 9 points. That dwindled to a 3.5-point win for Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, then Biden closed the gap and won by just 0.3% in 2020.

Even though Democrats have been winning other elections in Arizona since 2020, FiveThirtyEight’s latest election model has Trump winning Arizona 56% of the time in 2024. That would imply roughly -127 odds, so the -165 is overvalued while the +125 odds for Democrats look properly priced.


Georgia

The current odds to win Georgia at BetOnline:

  • Republicans (-300)
  • Democrats (+200)

It seems like every Georgia election goes to a runoff these days with how close things are down there. But this is also the state that Trump still faces criminal charges over for interfering in the last election when he made that infamous phone call to the Secretary of State to find him the 11,000 votes he needed.

This is another state that has been trending Democratic in recent years after being reliably Republican for decades. In 2012, Romney carried the state by 7.8 points, which shrunk to a 5.1-point win for Trump in 2016, then Biden flipped it blue last time with a tiny 0.2% margin.

But of the 6 battle states, Georgia currently has the most favorable odds for one party with Republicans at -300, which implies a 75% chance of victory.

FiveThirtyEight agrees this is the least competitive swing state in 2024, but so far, Trump is only getting the victory in 61% of simulations. With Biden winning 39% of the time, a number that could improve as we get closer to the election, odds of +200 for the Democrats (implied chance of 33.3%) look like good value.


Michigan

The current odds to win Michigan at BetOnline:

  • Democrats (-140)
  • Republicans (+100)

Michigan has been crucial in recent elections. While Obama won it easily with a 9.5-point win in 2012, Trump pulled off a huge upset in 2016 when he beat Clinton by just 0.2%. However, Biden was able to get things back to the blue team in 2020 with a 2.8-point win.

Democrats won Michigan for 30 years in a row before Trump’s upset in 2016. Other seats in Michigan, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer, have largely gone to the Democrats in recent elections.

A warning sign for Biden is that there is a significant Arab community in Michigan, and more than 100,000 voters selected “uncommitted” as their choice over Biden in the primary election. This stems from the dissatisfaction with Biden’s relationship with Israel in the conflict in Gaza. When the state can be decided by a small margin, every vote counts and Biden cannot afford to lose any after taking the state back in 2020.

FiveThirtyEight sees Biden winning Michigan in 57% of simulations, which would be about -132 odds. The Democratic odds (-140) look fair but you might want to get a better number for the Republicans than even money if they are only at 43% (implied odds of +132).


Nevada

The current odds to win Nevada at BetOnline:

  • Republicans (-175)
  • Democrats (+135)

Democrats are not favored to carry Nevada for a 5th-straight election. Their numbers have been slipping in the state ever since Obama carried it in 2008 by 13 points, which almost split in half to 6.7 points in 2012. Then Clinton and Biden both won it by about 2.4 points in 2016 and 2020, respectively.

However, the Republicans were able to win the Governor seat with Joe Lombardo in 2022. They also have a Senate candidate backed by Trump in Sam Brown, who has a shot to win in November.

The oddsmakers are favoring Trump to pull back Nevada to the red team in a big way. FiveThirtyEight mostly agrees with Trump winning 59% of the current simulations, which would be implied odds in the territory of -145. The -175 odds are a little overpriced right now, but the +135 for Democrats is right on the nose.


Pennsylvania

The current odds to win Pennsylvania at BetOnline:

  • Democrats (-130)
  • Republicans (-110)

Pennsylvania is Biden’s home state, but it was not easy pulling it back from Republicans in 2020. Biden won by 1.2 points, which was a bigger margin of victory than Trump’s 0.7% in 2016, the only time since 1992 that the Republicans won the Keystone State.

However, if you take away Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the state is very red. John Fetterman was able to beat Dr. Oz in 2022 to win the Senate seat for the Democrats, but this figures to be another tight battle for the presidency.

FiveThirtyEight is currently predicting a Biden victory in 54% of simulations, or implied odds of about -117. With Trump and the Republicans at 46% (implied odds of +117), both numbers do not look like great value right now.

Might be best to wait until it looks more like a toss-up in the odds and to lean Democrat.


Wisconsin

The current odds to win Wisconsin at BetOnline:

  • Democrats (-130)
  • Republicans (-110)

We see the same odds in Wisconsin that we saw in Pennsylvania with Democrats slightly favored. Wisconsin is in that group with Pennsylvania and Michigan as the key states to winning the election. They’re the states Trump flipped in 2016 to key his upset, and they’re the states that Biden won back in 2020 to make him the president.

It wasn’t always this close in Wisconsin. Obama won in 2012 by almost 7 points over Romney. But Trump won by 0.8% in 2016 and Biden won by 0.6% in 2020, so this could be a real toss-up in 2024.

FiveThirtyEight is at least in agreement with the oddsmakers that this is the same outcome as Pennsylvania with Biden winning 54% of simulations to 46% for Trump. But as we just observed in the Pennsylvania section, those odds of -130 and -110 are not good value for either side at the moment.

Like with Pennsylvania, you might just wait until the odds get closer to even and lean on the Democrats.


What Does the Projection Look Like?

At the end of the day, the oddsmakers and FiveThirtyEight like Biden to hold the 44 electoral votes from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, but they have Trump winning back the 33 electoral votes from Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia. If you plug that into the interactive electoral vote map, that looks like a final tally of 270 for Biden and 268 for Trump.

The only closer U.S. presidential election in history was in 1876 when Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel J. Tilden by a margin of 185-184. It was one of the most contentious elections in history and led to the disenfranchisement of Black voters and ushered in Jim Crow laws in the South for the next 90 years.

A 270-268 election involving Trump on the losing end would surely not go over well. But there is a chance this will happen if the swing states play out the way they are favored to right now.

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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