2024 Presidential Debate Odds and Predictions

-

As the 2024 US presidential race kicks into high gear, all eyes are on the pivotal upcoming debate. Joe Biden and Donald Trump are set to go toe-to-toe yet again in an election matchup nobody really wants to see. Online sportsbooks have no shortage of debate odds and prop bets available heading into the upcoming showdown between the last two presidents.

In this blog, I’ll take a deeper dive into the latest betting odds and break down everything you need to know to make your debate betting experience a profitable one.

When is the Debate?

While it’s customary to have three presidential debates on the schedule in the run-up to Election Day, we’ve got just two scheduled meetings between the leading candidates on this year’s calendar. The first debate is set for Thursday, June 27th, at 9 PM ET in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia is shaping up to be a key battleground state once again this November.

You can catch the first debate on CNN. The moderators will be CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. This debate will look a little different than others, as there will be no live studio audience. The candidates have also agreed to have their microphones muted as soon as their allotted speaking time has expired. So, we won’t see quite as much of this as we did the last time these geezers squared off against one another back in 2020:

Presidential Debate Odds

Prop BetBetting FavoritePick
Will the debate be canceled or postponed? No (-350)No (-350)
Will the debate exceed 90 minutes? Yes/No (-120)No (-120)
How many different topics will be discussed? Over 10.5 (-155)Under 10.5 (-155)
First topic of the debateOther (+125)Immigration (+300)
Who will be the first to speak?Joe Biden (-240)Joe Biden (-240)
Will there be a handshake at the beginning of the debate?No (-300)No (-300)
Debate winner (per CNN polls)Donald Trump (-125)Joe Biden (-115)
Who will take the first sip of water? Joe Biden (-130)Donald Trump (-110)
Will Hunter Biden be mentioned during the debate?Yes (-300)Yes (-300)
Will January 6th be mentioned during the debate? Yes (-600)Yes (-600)
Will either candidate walk off the stage early? No (-400)No (-400)
These are just a few of the presidential debate props available at political betting sites. A few additional wagers include the tie color both candidates will wear, whether there will be a question about climate change, and how many times Trump will utter his trademark slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Pro tip: take the over on 1.5 (-190) there.

Will the Debate be Canceled or Postponed?

This has been the subject of quite a bit of speculation. Biden is over 80, while Trump turned 78 just last week. These are the two oldest people to ever run for president of the US, so it’s not unreasonable to think a health matter could pop up that causes the debate to be either postponed or canceled outright.

Let’s not forget that Trump literally had Covid during one of the debates the last time around. Remember that time he was a sweaty, clammy mess on the debate stage?

Trump reportedly tested positive three days before the debate, but went out there anyway. Just days later, Trump officially announced his diagnosis. Six days after the debate, Trump was admitted to the hospital as a result of his symptoms.

However, the debate is just a few days away as of this writing. If Trump wasn’t going to postpone it then despite being sick as a dog during the height of the pandemic, he likely won’t bow out for anything similar this time around.

Anything can happen, but there’s a reason “no” is such a heavy favorite with this debate prop. At this point, I can’t see a postponement or cancellation coming down.

Debate Prop: No (-350)

Will the Debate Exceed 90 Minutes?

CNN says this debate is on the books for 90 minutes and will include only a pair of commercial breaks. The commercial break addition is a new one. Commercial breaks were barred when the debates were run by the Commission on Presidential Debates, but that group won’t oversee this year’s event. This is also the first debate since 1976 that won’t take place in front of a live crowd.

Of the two debates between Biden and Trump in 2020, both went north of the scheduled 90 minutes. A third debate was canceled. Moderators tend to lose control of debates, but the rules this year could prove helpful. If the candidates’ microphones are shut off as soon as their allotted time expires, perhaps Tapper and Bash will have an easier time keeping the train on the tracks.

The odds on both sides of this prop are the same. I don’t think this matchup is likely to fly past the 90-minute threshold.

Debate Prop: No (-120) 

How Many Different Topics Will Be Discussed?

The first debate between Biden and Trump in 2020 – hosted by Fox News and PBS – was divvied up into six different segments scheduled to last around 15 minutes each. The allotted time was merely a suggestion, however, as the moderators quickly lost control of the proceedings. The second debate – hosted by CNN – was also divided into six 15-minute segments.

So, it’s a little interesting to see the over/under for this political prop bet all the way up at 10.5. There are an awful lot of issues out there worth discussing, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be able to jam 11 or more into a 90-minute show that includes a couple of commercial breaks. While candidates may try to change the subjects on their own, this prop will only count topics proposed by the moderators.

For some reason, this is juiced to the over at -155 odds. Take your money with the plus-money +115 odds on the under and run!

Debate Prop: Under 10.5 (+115)

First Topic of the Debate

As mentioned, Biden and Trump will have plenty of issues to discuss over the course of the 90-minute session. However, BetOnline is only giving us five choices for which topic will be broached first at Thursday’s debate. “Other” is the favorite at +125, followed by the economy (+200), foreign policy (+250), healthcare (+275), and immigration (+300).

Healthcare is the easiest fade here at the +275 odds. While it’s always an issue, it’s not as front-and-center as several of the other topics at the moment. The economy is always going to get attention. Foreign policy is top of mind with various ongoing international wars. Immigration is something Trump surely wants to discuss, while Biden may view that as one of his weaknesses.

“Other” covers plenty of bases, of course. If the first topic is something other than immigration, the economy, or foreign policy, I’d imagine it’ll be law and order. Trump was convicted of 34 felonies in New York City in May, while Biden’s son – Hunter – was just convicted on federal gun charges in Delaware earlier this month. Both candidates will try to use that as ammunition against the other, and it’s a topic that will surely come up on Thursday night.

“Other” is a worthy favorite, but I’m not too interested in the +125 odds. I’d rather take a stab at something else with slightly more upside. Immigration stands out the most at +300 if you’re looking for a smart value wager.

Debate Prop: Immigration (+300)

Who Will Be the First to Speak?

CNN says it flipped a coin to determine podium placement and which candidate will get the final word at Thursday’s debate. Biden won the flip, and his campaign chose the right podium position on the stage. That gave Trump the chance to choose whether he would like the last word, which he did. So, Biden will make the first closing statement.

Whether Trump getting the last word will impact which candidate gets to speak first on Thursday remains to be seen. Biden is the sitting president, of course, so could he get the first question? Trump got the first question at both debates in 2020 when he was in office and Biden was his challenger. With the script flipped this time around, I think it’s fairly safe to assume the incumbent will get the first question in the first rematch.

Debate Prop: Joe Biden (-240)

Will There Be a Handshake at the Beginning of the Debate?

While it’s extremely silly and counterproductive in something as deeply stupid as politics, it sure seems as though Trump and Biden have real animosity for one another. It’s also worth noting that the two men didn’t shake hands at the beginning of either debate four years ago, though that may have had something to do with the pandemic.

Their relationship hasn’t gotten any more rosy since then, however. While it would admittedly be nice to see a couple of grown adults put aside their differences for one fleeting moment, I won’t be holding my breath expecting it.

Debate Prop: No (-300)

Debate Winner (Per CNN Polls)

It’s hard to imagine, but there are still some in America who appear to be undecided between voting for Trump or Biden. These are a couple of old men who’ve been in the public eye for decades, yet, apparently, there are still people out there who need convincing one way or the other.

CNN gets slandered by its detractors – including Trump – for being a left-leaning network. Its viewers likely skew in that direction, though it may be a bit more centrist overall than either Fox News or MSNBC.

CNN viewers said Biden won both debates in 2020. Six in 10 debate watchers said Biden fared better than Trump in the first debate in September of 2020. 53% of those polled after the second debate in October went for Biden, as well. The sitting president has a lot more debate experience under his belt than Trump – a relative political newcomer – does. It won’t be a big surprise if a majority of those polled by CNN on Thursday say Biden got the better of his opponent in the next matchup.

Debate Prop: Joe Biden (-115)

Who Will Take the First Sip of Water?


Debate Prop: Donald Trump (-110)

Will Hunter Biden be Mentioned During the Debate?

Trump will be chomping at the bit to mention Hunter Biden as often as possible on Thursday night. Biden will want to do the same with regard to Trump’s legal woes, so bringing Hunter into the equation is Trump’s natural retort.

If anything, I wish BetOnline were offering us over/under odds on how many times Trump will mention Hunter. I’d even consider an over on 5.5. Hunter coming in up in some form or fashion is an absolute lock, yet the -300 odds don’t quite reflect as much.

Debate Prop: Yes (-300)

Will January 6th be Mentioned During the Debate?

Back on January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters rallied and attacked the US Capitol while Congress was in the process of ratifying the election results. Trump was ultimately impeached for his role in the matter, though the Senate declined to convict the ex-POTUS.

Attacking Trump for the mob’s actions has been a popular refrain for Biden and Democrats ever since. On the flip side, Trump has suggested he could pardon January 6th offenders who have been subsequently charged and convicted if he’s voted back into the White House. The moderators seem rather likely to ask both candidates whether they’ll accept the results of the upcoming election. Trump famously refused to say he would either way back in 2020, which effectively paved the way for the so-called insurrection.

Debate Prop: Yes (-600)

Will Either Candidate Walk Off Stage Early?

While it’s safe to expect some heated moments from both candidates on Thursday night, it’s hard to imagine things will get so bad that either will consider rage-quitting. Trump is certainly the more likely of the two to simply walk out early if he thinks he’s being treated unfairly, but he also has to know doing such a thing would make him look weak in the eyes of many. There aren’t many things Trump fears more than looking like a snowflake, after all.

So, no, neither candidate is going to dip early before the debate ends.

Debate Prop: No (-400)
Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
About the Author
Kody Miller
Click to Contact
Kody Miller has over a decade of experience in the sports betting industry, where he has worked closely with content, marketing, and SEO teams. With a deep understanding of the field, Kody's goal is to deliver the highest quality content to readers, ensuring they have access to accurate, engaging, and insightful information.