What Sportsbook Odds Say About WWE in the Medium Term
As scripted entertainment, professional wrestling does not really make a perfect bedfellow for gambling. But as we know, wrestling, even WWE, can still be unpredictable. Consider, for example, Brock Lesnar going over on Roman Reigns on at Wrestlemania this year. There was a betting market for that match, and Reigns was indeed the overwhelming favourite, coming in around -400.00 in the moneyline odds. Vince McMahon’s late decision to keep the belt on Lesnar would have cost those who though they were on to a sure thing with the “Big Dog”.
But, by and large, the sportsbooks get their sums right when it comes to predicting the big WWE events. Shinsuke Nakamura, for example, led the Royal Rumble odds all the way through December and January, and, as we know, the Japanese star delivered on the night. In light of that, some of the current odds offered by Sky Bet, a popular online gambling company, are discussed below, showing us pointers (possible spoilers) for the coming year in WWE.
The Universal Title
Like the rest of us, sportsbooks aren’t too sure who will take the Universal Title from Brock Lesnar once Vince decides to crown a full-time champion. Money in the Bank briefcase holder, Braun Strowman, leads the way with decent odds of +162.50. Bobby Lashley, a possible SummerSlam opponent for Lesnar is close behind at +187.50. If you want odds a bit more ambitious, Drew McIntyre is a massive +3300.00.
Raw Women’s Title
There is a firm belief that WWE will pull the trigger on Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam. Alexa Bliss is +225.00 to win, whereas Rousey is -300.00. However, that is to win the match only, so it might take a little longer to crown the former UFC star.
It’s not quite clear which direction WWE wants to take A.J Styles and the WWE Title over the coming month. Samoa Joe is the leading contender to be next champion at -120.00, but Daniel Bryan (+400.00), the Miz (+400.00) and Rusev (+500.00) are all intriguing candidates.
Smackdown Women’s Champion
As with the men, the Smackdown Women’s division hasn’t got a clear roadmap for Carmella dropping the title. Asuka is co-favourite, with the suddenly hot-again Becky Lynch. Both wrestlers come in at +125.00 and, it has to be said, both would make worthy champions.
The men’s Rumble is tough to call six months in advance, but the consensus seems to be that WWE could right the perceived wrongs of 2014 and 2015 by giving Bryan the win. He comes in at +350.00, and Bryan will perhaps get even more backing now he has reportedly signed a new contract. Seth Rollins, many people’s MVP of 2018, is second-favourite at +450.00. The value bet might be Samoa Joe, priced at +3300.00.
The betting markets for WrestleMania 35 are intriguing to say the least. Despite the accusations of backwardness sometimes thrown at WWE, it has done a lot to advance women in sport in recent years. The fact that Charlotte Fair vs Ronda Rousey is odds-on (-110.00) in the market to be the headline match at the event is a testament to how far the women’s division has come. Few could argue that the pair wouldn’t make for a fitting main event. If, and it’s a big if, WWE can book them smartly in the lead up to the event, we could be in for something truly special.