Last month at WWE Battleground we got an unexpected swerve in the main event between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. Lesnar was the -180 favorite to take the title back from Rollins, and although I was “technically” right when I said the underdog Rollins would retain, he didn’t do it on his own. Thanks to interference from The Undertaker, Rollins was awarded the win via disqualification and retains his WWE World Heavyweight Championship… for now. The surprise appearance of “The Dead Man” could only mean one thing – he wants revenge on Brock Lesnar for ending his undefeated streak at WrestleMania – or at least that’s the story WWE is telling here. As I always like to point out when doing a sports betting preview for professional wrestling, you’re not placing a wager on the physical battle in the ring – that’s scripted and predetermined. You’re placing a bet on what the WRITERS are doing behind the scenes. They’ve decided that the idea Undertaker could “Rest In Peace” after what Lesnar did to him wouldn’t fly, and more importantly, the concept of WWE’s most tenured superstar challenging WWE’s most physically dominant athlete is an unquestionable lure to make fans pay to see it. In fact ticket prices for SummerSlam are the highest in five years on the secondary resale market. So what do the odds makers have to say about this epic rematch over a year in the making? As of this writing the line is fairly close. Undertaker is -155 on the immediate ruling, and -170 on the end of broadcast ruling, with Lesnar +115 and +130 in both situations. The fact he is such a small underdog right now probably means Vince McMahon hasn’t made his final decision, and you may want to check the latest lines right up to an hour before the pre-show on August 23rd. My personal belief is that there won’t even be a finish in this match, since this bout has WrestleMania written all over it. Kane may even return to get revenge on Brock Lesnar for injuring him on Raw last month. Some of Sunday’s matches have really close odds, and some are so far apart as to come across like a sure thing. Sheamus is a -825 favorite over Randy Orton in the end of broadcast ruling, and that makes me suspicious Vince McMahon will write a swerve and have the +475 Orton go over. After all Sheamus’ Money in the Bank briefcase is not on the line, so even if he loses he’s still got a guaranteed title shot any time that he wants. Other really long odds that may make you suspicious of a swerve include Ryback (-900) against The Miz and Big Show (+500) for the Intercontinental Title, Stephen Amell and Neville (a whopping -6,000) vs. Stardust & King Barrett (+2,000) and Kevin Owens (-530) over Cesaro (+350). I’d avoid Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler – at -185 to +145 respectively there’s no good action either way and it’s too unimportant of a match for it to not be rewritten based on McMahon flipping a coin. As always these previews are for entertainment purposes only and if you choose to wager you should do so responsibly and bet only what you can afford. Enjoy SummerSlam!
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