Updated South Carolina Primary Odds: Joe Biden Surges to Be a Massive Favorite, Bernie Sanders’ Chances Slipping

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Sean Rayford/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Biden

The stakes have been crystal clear for Joe Biden heading into Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic primary.

This is the state where the former vice president and his campaign need to win and anything less would effectively end any real chance of him becoming the party’s nominee.

Biden entered this week as a slight underdog to current Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders, but the odds have since shifted quite dramatically in his favor.

Updated South Carolina Primary Odds

If you’re unfamiliar with betting odds, -1200 means that if you bet $1,200 and Joe Biden wins, you’d profit $100. And +700 means if you bet $100, you’d profit $700.

  • Joe Biden: -1200 odds, 84.4% implied probability
  • Bernie Sanders: +700 odds, 11.4% implied probability
  • Tom Steyer: +6600 odds, 1.4% implied probability
  • Amy Klobuchar: +10000 odds, 0.9% implied probability
  • Elizabeth Warren: +10000 odds, 0.9% implied probability
  • Pete Buttigieg: +10000 odds, 0.9% implied probability

Via Ladbrokes. Note: Implied probabilities are juice-free


Check out the best online sportsbooks in the U.S. and download our FREE app to get more political odds and betting analysis.


The irony in these shifting odds is the fact Biden has led in all major South Carolina polls, which pointed to some bad initial numbers attached to the former United States senator from Delaware.

Biden did see his range of leads in South Carolina shrink after poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, which came before a welcomed second-place showing in Nevada. However, he saw a major reversal in those same polls following Tuesday’s debate in Charleston that looked more like the numbers we saw months ago.

Biden soared to 41% in the latest Emerson College poll, released Thursday. It put him a surprising 16 points ahead of Sanders (25%), followed by Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer, who tied for third place at 11%. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar were a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.

Biden will be banking on a diverse electorate to carry him to the win in South Carolina, where his popularity is unrivaled among the state’s African-American community, which makes up roughly 60% of voters.

Biden’s momentum in South Carolina has had a tangible impact on his betting odds to win the overall Democratic nomination:

Updated 2020 Democratic Primary Odds

If you’re unfamiliar with betting odds, -110 means that if you bet $110 and Bernie Sanders wins, you’d profit $100. And +250 means if you bet $100, you’d profit $250.

  • Bernie Sanders: -110 odds, 47.5% implied probability
  • Joe Biden: +250 odds, 25.7% implied probability
  • Michael Bloomberg: +600 odds, 12.8% implied probability
  • Pete Buttigieg: +1400 odds, 6.0% implied probability
  • Hillary Clinton: +2200 odds, 3.9% implied probability
  • Elizabeth Warren: +4000 odds, 2.2% implied probability
  • Amy Klobuchar: +10000 odds, 0.9% implied probability
  • Michelle Obama: +10000 odds, 0.9% implied probability
  • Tom Steyer: +20000 odds, 0.4% implied probability
  • Tulsi Gabbard: +40000 odds, 0.2% implied probability

The biggest winner of the past week is clearly Biden, who had 10.7% chance to win the nomination after Tuesday’s debate, according to the betting market.  Biden’s current odds ahead of Saturday’s S.C. primary: 25.7%.

Michael Bloomberg has taken the biggest hit, dropping from a 25.7% chance to be the Democratic nominee to 12.8%.

If the polls in South Carolina prove to be correct and Biden wins by 20+ points, expect Biden’s odds to win the nomination to continue to improve.

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