As is the tradition every two to three weeks (most months anyway) it’s time for another WWE Pay-Per-View with all but the “big four” being divided up into separate brand events. This time it’s SmackDown’s turn up to bat for Backlash 2017, and we’re here to give you the latest and greatest odds so you can make an informed decision if you want to take a run at the lines, plus a few thoughts on why some of them are better value than others.
A word to the wise though — betting on professional wrestling is not like betting on other sports. It’s not actually the athletes you are wagering on. It would be far too easy that way — you’d simply bet on the biggest guy, the strongest guy, the one with the best amateur wrestling or martial arts background, and so on. No what you are actually betting on in this case is THE CREATIVE TEAM, the people who script the winners and losers of each match, and whether or not they (and in particular their boss Vince McMahon) will have a change of heart about the direction the story is going in. The longer the odds, the less likely a change is, unless they get SO LONG that Vince feels it’s “too predictable” and throws the whole thing out the window.
That leads us nicely to our WWE championship match pitting champ Randy Orton against No. 1 contender Jinder Mahal. A few months ago, the idea of Mahal, a perennial “jobber to the stars” as they say in the business, would suddenly be considered world title material. His work ethic impressed the higher ups though (as did his physique) and they saw in him the potential to open up a new market in India. That’s why believe it or not he’s actually the -405 favorite to win, with the long time WWE star Orton +285 as the underdog. This could change right before air time though if Mr. McMahon suddenly has a “What the heck was I thinking?” moment so you should keep a close eye on this one.
In other areas, there are some reasonable odds and some that are so long you almost expect a swerve. The Usos seem like a fairly reasonable pick to retain their SD tag titles at -455, especially because Breezango is a comedy act and at +315 the old saying is true: “funny don’t equal money.” Luke Harper over fellow former Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan feels right too at -500 to +333. Now here’s where the lines get a little wild: Kevin Owens is -720 to retain the US title over AJ Styles at +440, Natalya/Carmella/Tamina are -900 over Naomi/Charlotte/Becky at +500, and Shinsuke Nakamura is a WHOPPING -2600 over Dolph Ziggler at +1200. That one just screams “Vince is gonna change his mind,” so unless you bet the dog, it’s a line to avoid. Even then, I’d play it cautiously at best. That’s one that may change greatly before show time.
As always, these previews are for entertainment purposes only, and if you do wager, please bet only what you can afford to spend. Enjoy Backlash!