The Royal Rumble is fast approaching and is arguably the most hotly anticipated pay-per-view since WrestleMania 28 back on April 1.
While dirt-sheets, commentators and insiders continue to speculate tentatively on potential outcomes this Sunday night, the bookmakers have already begun to lay their cards on the table.
As of writing, Skybet are offering odds on the four matches featured on the main pay-per-view card, including outright winners for the Royal Rumble match itself.
Like many pundits, Skybet appear to feel that the world heavyweight championship contest between The Big Show and Alberto Del Rio is a foregone conclusion, offering odds of just 1/8 on a Del Rio victory in the Last Man Standing match.
For those unfamiliar with UK betting, this means that a $10 stake would return just $11.25, making betting on the match an entirely futile exercise, especially given the scripted nature of sports entertainment.
Similarly, Skybet are offering odds of 1/7 on a Team Rhodes Scholars victory in the tag team championship match. This is interesting, as although Rhodes and Sandow are arguably favourites outside of kayfabe, a victory over the dysfunctional champions is by no means a certainty.
Significantly, the aforementioned bookmaker is keeping its cards closer to its chest as far as the WWE title bout is concerned. By offering chances of 1/3 on The Rock and 9/4 on CM Punk, the bookies are seemingly as prepared for a last-minute swerve as anybody in the IWC, despite offering "The Great One" preferential odds.
Arguably most interestingly of all, Skybet are offering some intriguing, yet ridiculous prices for the Royal Rumble match itself.
The favourite, unsurprisingly, is John Cena, who according to Skybet has a better chance of winning the 30-man Royal Rumble than The Big Show has of beating the much smaller Del Rio in a Last Man Standing match.
Other offers include John Morrison at 33/1, MVP at 50/1, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at 100/1, and, for some bizarre reason, Billy Gunn at 200/1.
Overall, gambling in any way, shape or form on this pay-per-view would appear to be a bad idea. Most of the odds, compared with recent past events such as Survivor Series, are poor.
My one suggestion: At 300/1, Zack Ryder could (although randomly) win the Rumble.
One dollar could become 300.
Well, maybe not.
But if Skybet, and bookmakers in general, do have a solid grasp of the intricacies and inner workings of the wrestling industry, can somebody please explain why Khali and Heath Slater are supposedly more likely to win the Rumble than Ryder?
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