Pro Wrestling Gambling – A Fantasy Sport

A Betting Guide to Hell In A Cell 2018
By Andrew Terrance Kaberline

If you’ve learned anything from our podcast this year, it should be that pro wrestling is theatre. It’s not fake, but it’s scripted. It’s not competition, but it’s athletic. It’s not real sports, but you can gamble on it-

Wait, what? You can lay actual money on a scripted event?

You sure can. And with the recent legislature in sports betting legality now in the hands of each state, the odds that you will soon be able to bet on WWE from the casino, or on apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, or online in your own home, are ever growing.

Why would a casino allow you to bet on something scripted?

Well, because it’s fun! And if you, the consumer, think risking your money is fun, then the casino is happy to let you have fun with them.

You might think that you’ve finally got the edge over the house because you’ve watched so much wrestling, and you read all the dirt sheets, and you understand the booking – but the odds makers are aware of this.

The betting odds for professional wrestling rarely leave you any room to make serious money without serious risk. That, and they can ruin the fan’s enjoyment of watching the event. For gambling novices out there, something to note is that odds are ever changing. You get to play the odds that existed the moment you made your bet, but the trends in betting from other people plus any intel that the casino’s oddsmakers find closer to the time of the event, can change the odds. In the case of professional wrestling, the odds the day before/morning of a pay per view swing violently, acting as full-on spoiler alerts.

Beyond my love for professional wrestling, I am an avid poker player and gambler at heart. So, for those interested in legally (or illegally, I don’t care) betting on the events of this Sunday’s HELL IN A CELL, I thought I’d lend my expertise and advise you on your picks.

For the sake of this experiment, let’s assume that we’re walking into a casino with $100 in our pocket, and we’re going to spend all of it. When we look at the odds for each match, they are presented as a fraction, such as 9/1.

If the fraction is a/b, then a equals the amount of money you could win for every b that you wager.

In layman’s terms, if your odds are 9/1, then a wager of $1 would yield $9 for correctly picking the winner, plus you would get you $1 back, meaning you walk out of the joint with $10.

Got it? Great, I promise that will be the last big math lesson.

I’m going to run down the matches, starting with the ones that I WOULD NOT be betting on, saving how I’ll spend my virtual $100 for the end. To help with comprehension, the favorites to win each match will be bolded.


Odds are from 12:30pm on September 13th from Paddy Power

Ronda Rousey (1/10) vs. Alexa Bliss (5/1)

I’m staying away from this. Alexa Bliss wins A LOT, and 5/1 odds are tempting, but, the biggest star in WWE is Rousey and they’ve got an all-women’s pay per view to sell next month. You can bet that they will want their biggest star in the main event.

You could bet it, but don’t.

Alexa Bliss is already announced to wrestle Trish Stratus at Evolution, which is a huge match, but an attraction that doesn’t need the title attached to it. Ronda doesn’t need the title either really, but now that she has it, there is a vested interest in continuing to make her look strong, hence the 1/10 odds, which are the largest on the entire show.

So Ronda is the biggest favorite? Let’s bet the whole $100 on her!

That would leave us with a whopping $10 profit. There are better ways for us to invest.

Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre (8/11) vs. Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose (1/1)

I don’t hate that even line for the Shield. You’d have to think a nice way for this show to go off the air would be with all three Shield members in the ring with championships around their waists. But what value is there in having a quick title change here when Ziggler and McIntyre have been built up so nicely as of late?

This is the closest match up on the card, and that uncertainty makes me want to stay away. If this were real sports, I would put money on the Shield, but in an event where I should be able to use my knowledge to pick absolute winners, leaving it up to chance isn’t the smartest way to spend our money.

Rusev Day (6/4) vs. New Day (1/2)
AJ Styles (1/2)
vs. Samoa Joe (6/4)

Four matches on this card have the favorite at ½ and the underdog at 6/4. These are the two matches with that line that I’m not betting on.

The AJ/Joe feud has been wonderful, and with a screwy finish in their first encounter and lack of Cell in this match, you get the feeling that we probably haven’t seen the end of this. Expect another dirty finish, which I avoid like the plague in wrestling betting. Some sites cancel a bet with a dirty finish, others pay out who wins by DQ, and even others pay who leaves with the title instead of who wins technically. I prefer to not split these hairs.

I can see Rusev Day winning the titles to pop the crowd, but it would also be a fine decision to keep the titles on the reliable New Day team. I don’t think Vince really knows who he wants to win it either, so again, not betting on uncertainty.

Charlotte Flair (4/7) vs. Becky Lynch (5/4)

A $10 bet on red-hot Becky Lynch would net you $22.50, which isn’t bad odds for someone as popular at the moment as Becky. You could also see a quick back and forth with the title making sense with Evolution coming up, but you have to think the long term plan at the moment is for Charlotte to face Ronda at WrestleMania.

That’s a long way away, and it might be a little clunky to have both as champion at that point, but they both have to remain strong. I can also see a world in which the booking reward for Becky Lynch is to have her lose in a hard-fought match where a double-switch happens over the course of it, ala Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, except for the fact that the fans are already cheering Becky.

If you’re confident in Charlotte, you could do worse than risking the house on her. $100 would have you leave with $157

Roman Reigns (1/4) vs. Braun Strowman (2/5) in a cell with Mick Foley as ref

There is so much potential gaga that could happen in this presumed main event. There is the cell in play, and Mick Foley, and the tag team partners are likely to get involved. What I’m saying is that there is a lot of ways to end this match in less-than-clean fashion.

Beyond that, you’ve got the Money In The Bank briefcase being cashed in by a competitor who’s only lost in the last calendar year in multi-man matches, to Brock Lesnar, or to Kevin Owens (in a match where he intentionally lost). Briefcase holders win during their cash-ins an astounding 85%of the time, and one of the rare loses happened last calendar year. When you look at history, it’s crazy to realize that Braun is a 2/5 underdog.

But you have to consider that his opponent is the man who Vince McMahon has delicately been building up for four years. Even though Braun is more popular and in kayfabe a tougher opponent and has the briefcase on his side, it’s more unbelievable to think that Vince would rocket the title off of Roman Reign’s shoulder so quickly after FINALLY winning it. Right?

Look, if you came to this article looking to REALLY gamble, then this is the match to do it on. If you believe that history and Braun just can’t be denied, then put all $100 on him. If you’re right, then you’re walking away with $350. That’s a nice amount to get in these hands. (I’ll see myself out)

Jeff Hardy (6/4) vs. Randy Orton (1/2) in a cell

Daniel Bryan/Brie Bella (1/2) vs. Miz/Maryse (6/4)

You’ve made it! These are the matches I’m spending my money on!

The word last month was that Jeff Hardy would lose on Pay Per View to Shinsuke Nakamura so that he could heal up some injuries. He did lose, but he didn’t take time off since he was immediately feuding with the returning heel version of Randy Orton.

You can always count on Randy going on a winning streak upon returning, and I get the feeling that with the “danger” of the cell in play, there are lots of ways that Randy can continue to build heat while doing something mean enough to Jeff to write him off of TV believably. I’m putting $80 on Randy Orton.

I’m only spending the other $20 on the mixed tag match because I like to hedge my bets. To each their own.

In a theme of the night, there is reason to make certain females look strong before Evolution. You have to think Brie Bella will wrestle on the show, whereas Maryse doesn’t need to be on that show.

Also, The Miz got a victory over Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. If Brie were to get the pin over Maryse in this match, you even the score at 1-1 while also giving Miz ammo for his heel promo where he can claim that HE still hasn’t been beaten by Daniel (throwing his wife under the bus). This is a money feud that will likely have another installment, so evening up the score makes more than perfect sense. I’m putting my remaining $20 on Daniel Bryan/Brie Bella, which are the same odds as the previous pick, meaning that it’s like putting all my money on Randy but with a similar looking safety valve.

If all things go my relatively risk-free way, my $100 would leave the weekend as a decent $150.

Of course, this is assuming anyone can predict the mind of Vince McMahon. Bet with caution.■


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