Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Breaking Down the 2017 Royal Rumble Betting Odds

Joe: It's that time of year again where Lukewarm Jonah and I look at what Vegas is saying about the second biggest sporting event of the year, The Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble was my favorite event of the year growing up as a child, and honestly, it's still one of the events that I most look forward to throughout the year as an adult. Jonah, what are your thoughts on the Rumble, and are you expecting this to be a good Rumble or a bad one?

Jonah: You know I’m actually really excited for this Rumble.  No BS, the star power of this Rumble is pretty impressive.  There have been previous years where there were maybe 2 or 3 people who had an actual shot of winning the Rumble and this year there are probably 10 which makes it actually interesting.  Since I do have high expectations, that means this Rumble will probably be complete garbage.

Joe: Star power is definitely there, but a lot of the big names aren’t guys I’m particularly excited about. I’m still excited about some of the possibilities of guys showing up. Without further adieu, here are the odds (as of 1/23), courtesy of SkyBet.

Bill Goldberg 5/2
The Undertaker 11/4
Braun Strowman 100/30
Randy Orton 4/1
Finn Balor 9/2
Samoa Joe 9/2
Chris Jericho 11/1
Seth Rollins 14/1
Brock Lesnar 14/1
John Cena 16/1
Baron Corbin 18/1
Kurt Angle 20/1
Sami Zayn 20/1
The Miz 20/1
Bray Wyatt 22/1
Dean Ambrose 25/1
Roman Reigns 28/1
Triple H 33/1
AJ Styles 33/1
Shinsuke Nakamura 40/1
Kenny Omega 40/1
Cesaro 40/1
Kevin Owens 40/1
Big Cass 66/1
Shawn Michaels 66/1
Big E 66/1
Karl Anderson 66/1
Austin Aries 66/1
Dolph Ziggler 66/1
Enzo Amore 66/1
Kane 66/1
The Big Show 66/1
Luke Harper 66/1
Bobby Roode 80/1
Tye Dillinger 80/1
Rusev 80/1
Sheamus 100/1
Neville 100/1
Kofi Kingston 100/1
Xavier Woods 100/1
Apollo Crews 100/1
Mark Henry 100/1
Kalisto 100/1
Shane McMahon 150/1
Vince McMahon 250/1

Joe: Looking at the top of this list, I am totally underwhelmed by the favorites. I understand Goldberg has gotten some big pops, but does anybody want to watch him main event WrestleMania? It’s not like this guy was ever known for putting on classic matches. Undertaker gains nothing by having a belt on the line in his match, so it would really just be a waste. Randy Orton? No. And Samoa Joe isn’t ready to headline a WrestleMania even though he has been pretty great after a slow start when he first came to NXT. That leaves two of the top six guys that would actually be interesting. That leaves the only two interesting favorites as Braun Strowman and Finn Balor. Braun is just a big, strong, unstoppable giant, and I can always get behind that. Finn is still probably the best choice, as him trying to take back the title he never lost would be a good storyline, and him taking on Kevin Owens would be one hell of a match to end the show. However, we’re not sure if he’s actually healthy enough to compete, so I’m going to keep looking down this list. Jonah, what do you think of these favorites?

Jonah: Well I can certainly understand the favorites, but I think there’s some logical reasons why most of the top guys aren’t winning.  I assume Goldberg is fighting Lesnar at Wrestlemania, or they’re just going to let Goldberg dominate Lesnar throughout their entire WWE careers.  Also, It seems like Goldberg would need to make his cardio waaayy better in order to have a Wrestlemania World Title match.  Speaking of guys with no cardio hey Undertaker.  He’s super old, had some pretty serious injuries lately and works one match a year, is he really going to fight for the World Title?  I assume Randy Orton will probably be fighting Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania, and even if he’s not, no one’s excited about Randy Orton fighting for a World Title.  Balor and Strowman are clearly the most likely to win out of the favorites.  If Balor is healthy and able to compete I think he’s the most likely to win.  WWE loves having injured guys come back and win the Rumble.  Believe it or not, I think Joe has a bit of a chance.  I don’t think they’d have a guy win the Rumble in his debut but Joe has a great chance of fighting with either of the guys in the Smackdown World Title match.  He has a very long and well known history with AJ Styles and those guys would put on the type of 5 star match that it’s rumored the WWE is looking for.  Joe and Cena have also been friends for a very long time so I could see them fighting it out at Wrestlemania and Cena even putting Joe over.  

Joe: If it’s just a World Title match, I could see Joe winning. If it actually means the main event, there is no chance. I honestly have no clue as to how Smackdown is progressing that title since they have Cena facing off against AJ Styles in a completely meaningless match at Royal Rumble, because both of them will inevitably be in the Elimination Chamber a month later.

When I work my way through the middle of this list, there is obviously one name standing out at 20/1, and that is the man that I picked to win the Royal Rumble over a month ago, Sami Zayn. Is it going to happen? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be totally outrageous if it did. You make the final four Goldberg, Lesnar, Strowman, and Zayn, and how hyped would that crowd be for Zayn? Also, WrestleMania is in the home of NXT, Orlando, Florida, this year and Sami is Mr. NXT. Come on, Mr. McMahon, give me Sami Zayn main eventing WrestleMania.

Jonah: Lots of guys a little lower down the list who are interesting.  Getting John Cena at 16/1 to win anything is pretty attractive odds.  Just like getting the Big Dog Roman Reigns at 28/1 to win anything is very attractive.  The WWE sure likes it when these guys win, so you’ve got to love those odds.  Now of course either one or both of these guys could already be World Champ and therefore have no reason to enter the Rumble, but man those long odds.  In the same vein as those two picks, AJ Styles at 33/1 and Kevin Owens at 40/1 look pretty awesome as well.  Either one of those guys loses their title match, but then enter late in the Rumble and win a shot at their title at Wrestlemania.  Outside of current title holders and number one contenders, I’ve gotta love Sami Zayn too.  Maybe it’s just Joe and his constant logic about why Sami could actually win the Rumble, but I think he’s got a real shot.  You have Zayn, the ultimate underdog win the Rumble somehow.  You have your next two months of booking set up easily.  Strowman challenges Zayn for his number one contendership at the next PPV, Zayn pulls off the win proving he is Wrestlemania worthy then fights against Owens finishing their feud that started a year ago and guaranteeing a fantastic match as well.  It’s so logical and easy that there’s no way it will happen.  Joe, tell me about your favorite super long shot or shots.

Joe: Okay, I have a couple longshots. We’ll touch on the bigger bang for your buck first, as how is Rusev 80/1? Is there anybody who sees this man and goes, “Ugh, it’s Rusev?” Every time Rusev pops up, I practically get tears of joy streaming down my face like I’m a little girl seeing her favorite boy band. He’s that phenomenal at everything.

Then, can I just touch on that murderer’s row at 40/1? Can that just be a Fatal Four Way main event at WrestleMania? Obviously, Kevin Owens is there, who I still think is going to retain. Shinsuke Nakamura, who is amazing, but they’re not going to debut him and Samoa Joe on the same night, and we’re all pretty sure Joe is showing up. Then you’ve got Cesaro, who is the most physically impressive wrestler ever, as nobody should be able to do the things he does, who isn’t a terrible pick. But then you’ve got the name that is 99% not going to happen, Kenny Omega. Omega vs. Okada was one of the greatest wrestling matches ever, and he hasn’t shown up with New Japan since. Is that just a slight bit of smoke in the air? I mean, it’s probably just dust, but right now, there is no hotter name than Kenny Omega. Triple H is saying they would like to have him without using his name, and Omega is saying he’d be open to the WWE as long as he comes in as a star. I mean, there’s worse things to root for during the Rumble.

Jonah: Let’s say the WWE really decides to shake things up and have a true shocking winner of the Rumble.  I see a couple of guys that have an outside shot of shocking the world.  I love Big E at 66/1.  He’s a future World Champion and the New Day don’t have the tag titles anymore.  It’s time for them to move on and help Big E win his shot at the title.  New evil heel Dolph Ziggler is on a bit of what has to be a redemption storyline to prove he’s not a huge loser.  He’s a 66/1 underdog and has had two title matches since the brand split so he’s not exactly outside the main event even though he’s on a losing streak gimmick.  He will also put on a very good match, especially against AJ Styles since everyone will put on at least a decent match against AJ Styles.  Then there’s Rusev, who last year was one of the top guys in terms of odds at 80/1.  It’s obviously not likely that he wins, but he’s a guy who is a main event level heel who should be the top main event level heel but he’s too Bulgarian or something.  Also at 80/1 it’s Tye Dillenger.  Stop to think about that for a minute, you can get the same odds that Rusev wins the Rumble as Tye Dillenger.  Tye is awesome and a perfect 10 and needs to enter at 10, but he’s not winning guys.  Though not listed on your odds, I also like Barack Obama at 1000/1.  That guy’s in need of a job and I believe that he would generate heat unlike no other heel in the history of wrestling.  Any fun bold predictions for the Rumble Joe?

Joe: I’ll go with a surprise entrance from Chris Hero. Hero already spent years in WWE developmental, and he’s really not going to learn much at this point about how to get over in front of a crowd of 500 people; he’s been doing that for a decade. Hero isn’t going to win the thing or be put into a main event feud right away, but he is a valuable guy that you can put on the main roster and have awesome matches with. A Chris Hero/Rusev feud is definitely something I could get behind.

As for the old guy surprise entrance, Kurt Angle really wouldn’t be a surprise at this point, so let’s go with the biggest name possible, and say the Texas Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin shows up to have a few Broken Skull IPAs and hit a few stunners. This isn’t going to happen, but it’d be cool. If you want another weird one, let’s just go with somebody from DX, because the WWE won’t ever stop pushing them down our throats, even though they were never good. How about you?

Jonah: Let’s see, the Rumble is in Texas so how about a surprise Rumble appearance from Terry Funk?  Since the Rumble is pretty much about crazy returns, I’ll also say Cody Rhodes comes back at the Rumble and rejoins the WWE.  And we need one more random entrant, how about MVP?  Haven’t seen him in awhile, he can come back and be an underwhelming surprise.  In terms of a surprise that’s not a returning wrestler, I say Big Cass makes the final four even though I don’t think he has any chance of winning.  Vince is a big fan of him, and it seems like there’s always a super random guy in the final four.  Now we’ve talked about a few different wrestlers and scenarios, time to put your money where your mouth is.  Who are you taking in the Rumble?

Joe: Triple H said that nobody can predict what’s going to happen at the Rumble. That kind of gives me hope for all of my longshot picks. It could also mean that Triple H is going over, because that’s always an option with H. But I picked Zayn last month, and he did get some major momentum by taking out Seth Rollins on Raw. Also, I don’t love any of the other picks, so I might as well stick with it and have something to root for with all of my heart during the Rumble.

Jonah: My pick to win the whole thing is Finn Balor.  They’ve clearly got huge plans for Finn and as I stated before the WWE’s favorite thing is guys coming back from injury and winning the Rumble.  Also, there’s a good chance that he enters at 30 and everyone could get eliminated while he does a 5 minute entrance making him the automatic winner.

Joe: Now that would be a shocking Rumble ending. 

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