WWE Summerslam 2014 Closing Odds and Results

Brock LesnarThis Sunday saw the annual summer spectacular of pro wrestling, as World Wrestling Entertainment invaded the Staples Center in Los Angeles for Summerslam. Aside from Wrestlemania and potentially the Royal Rumble, no event on the WWE calendar is bigger than Summerslam, and this year’s show lived up to the hype. Betting on professional wrestling is always a tricky proposition. Many people are confused and even surprised that sportsbooks will take wagers on a scripted show, and wonder how that can be profitable. The simple fact is: if it weren’t profitable, it wouldn’t be offered. Looking at Summerslam, two outcomes on the card seemed extremely obvious from the get go. Those were Roman Reigns defeating Randy Orton — since Reigns is being pushed as the next big star in WWE — and Bray Wyatt beating Chris Jericho — as Wyatt is another rising star, while Jericho is a part-timer who is heading back out on tour with his band, Fozzy. Aside from that, there was at least some doubt about every result from the time odds were posted at 5Dimes Sportsbook on Wednesday until Sunday afternoon, when the results became obvious based on how the betting lines moved. On Sunday morning the odds reflected that sentiment, as only the betting lines for the two bouts mentioned above were over -1000. However, by the time the PPV hit the air, every favorite on the card was at least that high. This was a bit of a departure from recent events, which have seen several closing underdogs pick up victories in their matches. In the main event, Brock Lesnar captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from John Cena in an atypical title bout. Rarely has a pro wrestler the stature of Cena been made to look so weak, but the outcome was perfect to make Lesnar look like the monster who defeated The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. In fact, the match was so one-sided that onlookers on twitter were concerned that the -6000 favorite (bet $6,000 to win $100) was going to lose, as these types of bouts simply don’t happen. Lesnar was as low as -280 earlier on Sunday. The aformentioned Reigns also closed as a -6000 favorite over Orton, and was victorious in a far more traditional match. The popular theory is that Reigns will be groomed to face Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31, but he’s still a ways off from being ready for the main event. A match that was a bit surprising in how well it played out was Stephanie McMahon versus Brie Bella. After being nearly a pick em bout up until Sunday afternoon, McMahon closed as a -2000 favorite, and once again the late money was correct. For someone who hasn’t competed in the ring in about ten years, McMahon performed quite admirably, and was the better part of this feud, as she has been all along. The other bout which seemed easy to call all week was Bray Wyatt’s eventual victory over Chris Jericho. This outcome seemed obvious ever since Jericho beat Wyatt (as a +600 underdog) at the Battleground PPV last month, as Jericho is known for helping the younger talent get over. Wyatt was one of the larger favorites all week, and closed at -4500. Another match that had people guessing the outcome all week was between Seth Rollins and Deam Ambrose. The two former stablemates were competing in a lumberjack match that made excellent use of all the other participants. Rollins emerged victorious as he used his ‘Money in the Bank’ briefcase to pick up the pinfall. Another bout that was going back and forth on the books all week saw late money pour in on Rollins, and he closed at -4500. The opening three bouts of the card all saw the same trend in terms of late money being correct, however all three eventual winners were listed as betting underdogs up until Sunday afternoon. Rusev (-1500) defeated Jack Swagger in a flag match, Paige (-1200) captured the Divas title back from AJ Lee, and fan-favorite Dolph Ziggler (-2000) finally put gold around his waist once again by pinning The Miz for the Intercontinental title. The next time WWE odds will be offered is at their Night of Champions pay-per-view on September 21st. Normally considered a ‘B’ event, this year’s Night of Champions should be a bit more impressive since many WWE Network subscriptions expire in September, and those individuals may need some convincing to stick around.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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