Is now the time to be betting against Barack?
Several people on the site have been making the point in the past couple of days that Betfair and other UK betting firms are trailing behind the US-focussed markets on the McCain-Obama battle. Quite simply, given recent polling, this is much tighter than the betting prices here might suggest.
Thus the automated telephone pollster, Rasmussen, is reporting today that its tracking poll now has McCain ahead by one point and across the range the Obama leads have tightened.
Two things seem to be driving this: adverse reaction to Obama’s overseas tour and an aggressive new range of TV ads from the McCain camp with a message attacking the “celebrity” status of Obama and his apparent changes in policy stance since getting the nomination.
So how should you be betting? My approach is to bet AGAINST OBAMA rather than FOR MCCAIN. The reason is that this covers you in the eventuality of something untoward happening to either men. You can do this by laying (betting against) the Democrat on Betfair or, as is my preferred option, selling Obama on the above SportingIndex spread market. The effective prices are about the same but with SPIN and IGIndex, you can get credit terms which means you don’t have to hand over any cash now.
Thus a Â£100 a point SELL on Obama above at 19.5 would expose you to a maximum loss of Â£550 if he won but a profit of Â£950 if he was runner-up in the race.
This is a bet you can get out of at anytime simply by buying for the same amount. If the price has moved in your favour then you can pocket the profit there and then without having to wait until the election itself.
My guess is that the prices on the contenders will get closer by the end of the conventions in early September.