It’s that time of the year again when one of the “big four” WWE events takes place — the 2018 Royal Rumble pay per view! The odds have been shifting like crazy for the past two weeks so with short time to go here’s a closer look at the final lines going into the huge spectacle Sunday night in Philadelphia, airing live on the WWE Network.
A quick note before going into those odds though. When you’re looking at the lines on “sports entertainment” they are not the same as traditional sports. These odds don’t necessarily reflect the athletic prowess or even physical size of the competitors in the ring for a match. If that were truly the case then Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman would be the automatic favorites in every contest, but sometimes they are and sometimes they’re not. In reality the odds reflect the booking decisions of WWE and Vince McMahon. Who is more important right now? Who is our top star? Who has an important story we’re trying to tell? Longer odds mean they’ll “stick to the script” but sometimes heavy dogs are a good bet when Vince decides everything is too predictable and “shakes things up.”
Now then for the men’s Royal Rumble, Daniel Bryan has been a surprising line given that he isn’t even medically cleared to wrestle for WWE right now. Nevertheless if you’re so inclined he’s a +1,100 dog against the field, a field which there’s no way of knowing he’s even a part. The favorite is Shinsuke Nakamura at -280 trailed by Roman Reigns at +500. Anybody else on the board is a severe long shot from Elias at +4,000 to Chris Jericho at +6,500. The truly insane might place a bet on Vin Diesel at +30,000 or Floyd Mayweather Jr. at +75,000 as surprise celebrity entrants.
As for the women’s Royal Rumble, the odds on favorite is Asuka at a slim -105, followed by the heavily rumored entrant Ronda Rousey at +125. Honestly the fact she’s been promoting that she’s overseas filming a movie and her line is still that close to being a favorite suggest it’s all a smokescreen and she might have flown into Philly on a private plane overnight. We’ll just have to see. The odds drop off a cliff from there ranging from Becky Lynch at +1,100 to Stacy Keibler at +7,500. Place the latter bet if you’re a fool and you like to be parted from your money.
Finally as for the non-Rumble matches on the show we have Brock Lesnar as the triple threat favorite at -1,500, AJ Styles at -825 in a two on one handicap match, Cesaro & Sheamus at -245 to take the tag team titles from Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (who is currently injured), and Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin at -260 in a two out of three falls match with The Usos for the other tag team titles. As always previews are for entertainment purposes and if you wager please only spend what you can afford. Enjoy the Royal Rumble live from Philadelphia!