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The story of the night on the betting markets

November 7th, 2018

At one point the Republicans were favourites to take the House

I love these charts from Betdata.io showing the dynamic movement on the Betfair exchange elections markets.

The odds on the Betfair Exchange, of course, are not determined by the bookmaker but rather by how individual punters are seeing it with some making wagers and others laying specific bets.

What is intriguing knowing what we know now is that at one stage during the evening, as the chart shows, the Republicans edged into the favourite’s slot to take the House. This was mostly due to the results that were coming in early in each state and generally those tended to be the smaller precincts.

A lot of the betting, I guess, was influenced by the commentators on the American networks most notably CNN which, of course, has a much bigger audience in the UK.

Looking through the comments thread between 0100 and 0200 GMT  quite a few PBers were talking about an extraordinary Republican victory against the odds. It wasn’t to be.

What tends to happen with American elections is that the bigger cities are much later adding their totals to the state or the congressional District totals and this can change perceptions.

From a personal perspective I had a good night. I thought but Beto O’Rourke was going to do well but given the strong Republican tradition in Texas it was a massive challenge for him to win the state. As it was he’s come within a couple of percent and my strategy of selling Cruz’s winning margin on the Spread markets has made this a nice earner.

What we don’t know yet is the overall turnout level on which there was also quite a lot of betting. I was a buyer on the spreads at 43.5% and I’m expecting to pick up quite nicely on that.

Mike Smithson