After a two year hiatus, the Elimination Chamber returns with a vengeance this Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona — the same venue that played host to UFC’s BJ Penn vs. Yair Rodriguez card just a month ago. Why do I bring this up? Because both events took advantage of the spacious confines of the building to CONSTRUCT A LARGE CAGE at center stage for their broadcast, with the principle difference being that WWE will only use it for one match, while UFC used it for their entire show. As I always do for these WWE betting previews, I’d like to differentiate from real sports (such as mixed martial arts) by pointing out that no matter how physically intimidating Baron Corbin might look, or how physically unimposing Mike Mizanin might look, size (in a direct repudiation of Scott Steiner’s old catchphrase) doesn’t matter. These odds do not reflect the physical gifts of the talent, nor their ability to execute athletic maneuvers, and ONLY reflect the whims of WWE’s writers and in particular the CEO Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Long favorites usually mean McMahon won’t change his mind, but excessively long dogs sometimes lead him to think it’s “too predictable” and change the script last minute. That’s what we’re working with here. Now that we have that out of the way, the star attraction of the pay per view (or WWE Network per view) is the cage match the show is named after, and the current betting odds for that match is most likely what people are looking for. John Cena is the champion going in, having beaten AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble last month, but things are looking bleak for “The Champ.” The aforementioned Bray Wyatt, creepy cult leader (and cult favorite) of The Wyatt Family, is a substantial -2,000 favorite as of this writing. Long time Wyatt fans have to love this as it would not only be his first singles title on the main roster but his first world title EVER. Cena is a +300 underdog to somehow retain against Wyatt and the other four men who will enter the chamber, and it only goes downhill from there. AJ Styles is +850 to get his title back. Baron Corbin is +1800, and that’s probably only because Daniel Bryan keeps talking him up on Talking Smack. Dean Ambrose is an almost non-factor at +2,250 which ties him for The Miz at dead last in the betting – but I’d wager (pun intended) he still has a better chance than Mizanin. Elsewhere on the card we have Nikki Bella as a -600 favorite over Natalya (+400), American Alpha as -335 favorites against the field in tag team turmoil (+245), Alexa Bliss as a -600 favorite over Naomi (+400) to retain her SmackDown Women’s Title, Mickie James as the favorite over Becky Lynch at -340 to +247, and Randy Orton as a sizable -1,850 favorite over occasionally reluctant Wyatt Family member Luke Harper (+900). This comes full circle as Royal Rumble winner Orton will probably be going on to challenge Wyatt for the title at WrestleMania 33. These previews are for entertainment purposes only and if you do wager please only spend what you can afford. Enjoy Elimination Chamber 2017!
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