It may seem like WrestleMania 32 was just the other day, but four weeks have gone by and it’s already time for the annual WWE Payback PPV, which as it has for two of the last three years will emanate from Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois – so close to Chicago it feels like a part of the city itself. In fact when WrestleMania 22 was held there, it was basically advertised and promoted as WrestleMania returning to Chicago. If you called it “the greater Chicago area” it certainly wouldn’t be an exaggeration or a stretch — you’d pretty much be on the money. Speaking of money I need to offer you the standard disclaimer about placing wagers on professional wrestling. We all know the outcomes are scripted and predetermined, so you’re not placing a bet on who is the better athlete, or who has more momentum going into a match. You’re essentially putting your money down on Vince McMahon and his team of writers. The odds reflect whether or not WWE will “stick to the script” and do the expected outcome, and the heavier a favorite is on these lines, the less chance there is Vince McMahon tears the script up for the sake of a “swerve.” Therefore if you’re looking for a sure thing this go around put your money on Roman Reigns. I know he gets booed out of the building by fans, but McMahon is a contrarian by nature, and the more that fans reject him the harder he’ll try to shove Reigns down all of our collective throats. He’s the -260 favorite over AJ Styles (+180) with good reason. If WWE was serious about AJ being “the guy” as Reigns likes to say, wouldn’t he have won his match with Chris Jericho at WrestleMania? Even with the possibility that AJ’s friends Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson interfere, that just means Reigns wins and retains his WWE title by virtue of Styles being disqualified. What’s really odd about this whole scenario is that Dean Ambrose is a heavy -650 favorite to beat Jericho. Ambrose got tossed around like a rag doll at Mania by Brock Lesnar, which is exactly what we all expected and predicted. So get this – AJ loses to Jericho at Mania but becomes a #1 contender a day later, while Ambrose gets creamed by Lesnar at Mania and yet is the favorite to beat the guy WHO BEAT THE #1 CONTENDER. That’s why you don’t bet on this like “sports,” you bet on it like it’s “sports entertainment.” Other lines of interest for Payback include Charlotte and Natalya, with the women’s champion Flair a -300 to retain over the daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart at +220, even with her uncle Bret Hart in her corner (and Ric Flair in his daughter’s corner). Your best underdog bet is probably Sami Zayn at a narrow +135 in his feud with Kevin Owens at -175. If you don’t bet on it though don’t worry – they’ll keep doing this match for the rest of their respective lives – you’ll have another chance. Please bet only what you can afford and remember that these previews are for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy WWE Payback!
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