We live in a strange time.
With the mega-hyped Mayweather vs. McGregor bout coming up, and—more importantly—the start of college football season right around the corner, I brought up an important question with my college buddies:
What do you think Trump’s odds are?
My friend, Vidur, actually responded with a screenshot of the current money line being offered by Bovada.com
Immediately, last line jumped out at me: Will Donald Trump complete his first term as President of the United States? “No” is the currently favored outcome with a money line of -150.
For those not familiar with sports betting, +120 means that a 100-dollar-bet will win you $120, while -150 means that that a 150-dollar-bet will net you only $100. In simple terms, the “minus” bet is the favored outcome, because the sports book is offering you less reward for winning that bet.
Currently, you’d have to lay down 400 dollars to win $100 for a bet on Mayweather. On the other hand, if you bet 100 dollars on the underdog, McGregor, a win would net you $300.
For the statistically inclined, money lines can be converted into percentages (https://www.bettingexpert.com/how-to/convert-odds). A -400 money line means that Vegas is assigning an 80% chance of victory for Mayweather, while a +300 implies a 25% chance of victory for McGregor.
Of course, these are not predictive probabilities like the ones you might calculate for where a ball will land on a roulette table, or even the algorithmic probabilities of weather forecast (i.e. what are the chances of cloud cover during the Great American Eclipse tomorrow?!). These are artificial odds, assigned with profit in mind and adjusted based on incoming wagers. In fact, you might note that the sum of both sides add up to greater than 100%—this is the cushion that allows the bookkeeper to profit (i.e. the house always wins).
With that in mind, what about Trump?
As of this morning, the betting line in Vegas implies Trump has a 60% chance (-150) of NOT completing his first term. Like I said… it’s a weird time to be alive.
But say you wanted to get more specific, and bet on HOW Trump goes out? Impeachment is better than a coin flip at 55% odds (-120). And WHEN might Trump bail? Vegas is giving you 17% (+500) for 2017, 29% for 2018 (+250), and 17% (+475) for 2019.
After a round of discussion, most of my college buddies felt that Trump would much rather resign before letting himself get impeached. So we looked this up:
It seems like Vegas disagrees with my small sample of sports-savvy college-educated millennials, placing the odds of resignation at 52% (-110)—slightly below that of impeachment.
I am not a betting man, and this article is meant to be informative and does not condone gambling in any way. But seems like if one were sizing up the perpetual conflict between our scrappy underdog, Donald Trump, and… well, seemingly everyone else… impeachment is currently the solid favorite. Although, if you are looking for a value bet, resignation might be where the money is.