This time last year, I was putting together the finishing touches on my annual Wrestlemania odds and thought to myself that the surest bet in the history of betting was on the Undertaker winning at Wrestlemania. Forget about trends and whatever counter-arguments people made about Taker’s Wrestlemania streak coming to an end. I even said that despite the Dead Man getting 1/9 odds against Brock Lesnar. Well, we all know what happened then. I’m recounting this story because here I am, one year later, bruised ego and all, to once again dive into Wrestlemania odds, or to be up to the times, Wrestlemania 31 odds.
It’s worth mentioning that not every sportsbook offers Wrestlemania odds, largely because leaked information on who wins in the event is enough of a deterrent that the negatives outweigh the positives. But some books do offer these types of bets and one of them, Paddy Power, has always been front and center on the action. This year, Paddy’s back with the opening betting odds for the so-called “Showcase of the Immortals” and just like in previous years, these odds could also serve as potential spoilers, albeit with a few swerves mixed in as I found out the hard way last year.
In typical WWE betting fashion, you rarely see any match that features close odds. One guy is always heavily favored over the other and it’s more of the same this year with one notable exception.
First up is the main event at Wrestlemania 31 between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Much has been made of Lesnar’s recent contract dispute with WWE and his rumored return to the UFC so it’s easy to see why the reigning WWE World Heavyweight champion is a noticeable underdog at 9/4 odds compared to Reigns’ who is a 2/7 favorite. While I’m tempted to say that WWE has been working extra hard to put Reigns over ahead of his scheduled title run, I still have scars from Wrestlemania 30. That said, I don’t think that WWE would spend so much time pushing Reigns only to yank the carpet from under him with a Lesnar win. It may have fooled me once, but I’m certain that there won’t be a second time.
Meanwhile, the betting odds on the undercard for Wrestlemania 31 also offers a glimpse on what plans WWE’s booking team has for the card. Take for example John Cena. He’s a huge favorite to beat Rusev for the WWE United States title at 1/7 odds compared to 4/1 for the defending champion. The same numbers are also being used on the Sting vs Triple H match with the Stinger posted as the heavy favorite. Then there’s the Undertaker, one year after his famous Wrestlemania streak came to a shocking end at the hands of Lesnar. As much as it brought people’s jaws to the floor when he lost last year, I don’t think WWE is brave enough to make him lose for two straight years, this time against Bray Wyatt. So now, Taker’s at 2/9 odds compared to Wyatt at 11/4 odds. I’m afraid to say that I learned my lesson, but like I said, WWE is unlikely to put any more stain in that 21-1 streak. Taker should beat Wyatt even though I’m not as confident of that happening as I probably should be.
The only one-on-one match that’s really close on the betting lines is the Randy Orton – Seth Rollins match. I personally don’t know where this is going, but Paddy Power seems to think that Orton will take this one, hence the 8/11 odds compared to Rollins at even odds.
But if you really want a crapshoot with no clear-cut winner being predicted, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is the match to bet on. Right now, Damien Sandow is favored at 8/5 odds, but others like Sheamus (9/2) and Mark Henry (6/1) have odds that should raise your eyebrows.
The one other match to keep an eye on both from a betting and spectacle standpoint is the Intercontinental Ladder Match. Anytime ladders and Wrestlemania are involved in the same sentence, you know something special is about to happen. Dean Ambrose opened as the 4/6 favorite but keep an eye out on Daniel Bryan’s odds ahead of the event. He’s 3/1 right now, but I can’t find a scenario where Bryan, unquestionably the most popular superstar in WWE right now, loses here. The other competitors in the match are Bad News Barrett (9/2), Stardust (8/1), Dolph Ziggler (11/1), Luke Harper (19/1), and R-Truth (35/1).
So there you have it, folks. Remember, always tread carefully when betting on Wrestlemania. Try to keep your eyes and ears open, too, because if there’s a change in the booking at the last minute, these odds could turn upside down faster than the 3-count that ended the Undertaker’s 21-0 streak.