Monday, 26 June 2017

Hypothetical Proposition : Pricing Up Lesnar .vs. Joe (Week 3)

For the past few Mondays, I've published a series of posts where I've asked a person who worked in the betting industry how he would price the upcoming Brock Lesnar versus Samoa Joe match for WWE Great Balls of Fire if he were able to do so. The plan was to price it up and then return numerous times along the way to see if any angles or breaking wrestling news forces him to readjust how he would tackle the market.

When we last left off, my friend had lowered Samoa Joe's odds from 9/2 to 7/2 because the angle, where Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe were in a pull apart brawl at the start of the June 12th edition of WWE Raw, had received a high number of views on YouTube and he felt that WWE might think it had something big in Joe and have the match result in a double count-out or disqualification.

Following last Monday's Raw, where Roman Reigns challenged the eventual winner for a match at SummerSlam 2017 and then wrestled Samoa Joe in the main event, the trader has decided to revert back to his original estimate and have Joe out at 9/2  (+450 US) while the WWE Universal Champion - Brock Lesnar - move back to 1/8 (-800 US) from 1/6.

The reason why the compiler has decided to swing back to the original pricing is because he has factored in the possibility that WWE has changed course and that the SummerSlam main event will see Reigns challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title rather than WrestleMania 34.

Another thing that made him decide that Brock Lesnar's price had to be cut back down was because the company gave away Reigns .vs. Joe on last week's Raw, He felt that the company wouldn't have gone to that match if it was the planned Universal Championship match for SummerSlam.

Brock Lesnar is scheduled for tonight's episode of Raw, so it'll be interesting to see if anything that happens on the show prompts another adjustment.

You can read previous Hypothetical Proposition posts by clicking on 'Hypothetical' in the labels below.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Cena's Rumble 2018 Odds Lowered Again

John Cena's odds to win the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble have been cut from 6/1 into 9/2 since I last checked in with the markets at Paddy Power and Betfair on Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, I published a post noting that John Cena versus Roman Reigns could be a plan for WrestleMania 34 if - and it is a big if - WWE has decided to have Roman Reigns challenge, and defeat, Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam on August 20th.

In the post, I pointed out that - with Cena now able to float between Raw and Smackdown as a 'Free Agent' - his chances of winning next year's Royal Rumble should be greater than they were when he was tied only to the Smackdown brand.

A victory in the battle royal for John Cena could create a storyline where he has to choose whether to set his sights on the Universal or World Champion when WrestleMania season is upon us.

With all that said, it's hard to ignore the reports that Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar was the original plan for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34 and that Brock Lesnar versus Braun Strowman was rumoured to be the main event of this August's SummerSlam. Therefore, everything could be playing out the way it's meant to.

We will get a better idea what's happening once WWE Great Balls of Fire is completed in a little over a fortnight.

For what it's worth - Reigns' odds to win next year's battle royal have moved back up to 2/1 following Cena's price lowering. They had opened at 2s, but were recently backed into 15/8 before drifting back out this week.

Odds correct as of 2pm BST today. When available, the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble markets can be found on Paddy Power's WWE Betting Page as well as Betfair's 'Special Bets' Page.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Settling The MITB 2017 Observer Ratings Specials From The Weekend

In the days and weeks leading into WWE Money in the Bank 2017, a couple of sports betting agencies published proposition and specials markets where customers could wager on how Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor, Dave Meltzer, rated certain aspects of the show.

The markets were to be settled in the days following the release of the newsletter issue. It came out in the early hours of this morning.

In this post, I'll go through all of the specials that were available leading up to Money in the Bank 2017. I'll point out how the wagers will be settled if they haven't been already.

Paddy Power's Wrestling Observer Specials

The Paddy Power Sportsbook released four specials that focused on Dave Meltzer's star ratings. 

Dave Meltzer To Give 4 Stars Or More To The Women's Ladder Match
This was first installed on Monday June 12th. The odds stayed at 10/11 from day one right up to the time of closing. I wasn't too keen on this market, so didn't bet on it. Dave Meltzer ended up rating it three stars, so my instinct was right to avoid it. This will be settled as a loss.

Dave Meltzer To Give 5 Stars To The Women's Ladder Match
If I didn't like the 4 stars option, I certainly didn't like the 10/1 for Meltzer to rate this match five stars or more. The odds were way too short. I'll get to my reasons why later on. As you're sure to have figured out, this was a loss.

Paddy Power's WWE MITB 2017 Specials For Women's Ladder Match
Click on image to expand
Dave Meltzer To Give 5 Stars Or More To The Men's Ladder Match
Just like with the '5 Star' or more market for the women's version of the ladder match, I didn't like the chance of this one coming in. The 7/1 odds were far too short as well. Keep reading if you want to know why I thought the odds were too short.

Dave Meltzer To Give 4 Stars Or More To The Men's Ladder Match
This was a selection I did like. I published a post on Saturday June 10th giving reasons for backing this one to come in. From there, the odds fell continuously from 5/6 and closed at 1/5. 
The match was given four-and-a-half stars, so this will be settled as a win when the traders find out the results.

Paddy Power's WWE MITB 2017 Specials For Men's Ladder Match
Click on image to expand
Kambi's Wrestling Observer Specials

The oddsmakers from Kambi published their Observer Star Rating Specials on the Friday before the PPV. 

Any Match To Be Given 5 Stars

MITB 2017 Any Match To Get 5 Stars Betting Odds From Kambi
Click on image to expand
Remember earlier in this post where I wrote about disliking the '5Star' offerings from Paddy Power? Well, here's why. Kambi have been offering between 15/1 to 20/1 on any match being graded five stars or more on a show in the months that they have been releasing these specials. For Money in the Bank, the offer was 15/1. It didn't win, but there was value in backing the 15s - and having every match on the card in contention - than there was in taking the 10/1 (Women's) or 7/1 (Men's) at Paddy Power.

WWE Championship Match Over/Under
The oddsmakers published a proposition where clients could wager on the WWE Championship match - which saw Jinder Mahal defend the strap against Randy Orton - having over or under three stars.

WWE Championship Star Rating Over/Under Betting
Click on image to expand

As the betting points to, the punters took the 'Under 3 Stars' option in the latter part of betting. After opening at 9/10, the option was at 18/25 by 11:30pm BST on Sunday night.
The match was rated three-and-a-half stars, so the underdog, if you can call it that, was the winning selection. It opened 4/5, but was EVS late on Sunday.

Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match Over/Under
Just like with the above market, the Kambi trader priced up an over/under prop where clients could wager on how the male Money in the Bank ladder match would received by the newsletter's editor. The line was set at four-and-a-quarter stars.

Men's Money in the Bank Over/Under Star Rating Betting

The late bets came in on the match being credited with more than 4 1/4 stars as it went from the opening 18/25 into 3/5 by Sunday afternoon. Then - by 9pm BST - it had been cut to 1/2. I checked back in at 11:30pm and the odds were still at 1/2.
As you already know, the match was given four-and-a-half stars, so those that backed the over were on the right side.

Highest Rated Match Of The Night
The oddsmakers put up a market where customers could bet on what they thought would end up being given the most stars in this week's issue of the Observer. Unlike most of the previous editions of this kind of market, the traders put out two options - 'Men's Money in the Bank' or 'Any Other Match'.

Highest Rated Match at Money in the Bank 2017 Betting
Click on image to expand

The ladder match was backed almost instantly as it had been cut from 1/2 to 21/50 within the first few hours of the market being installed. The odds had fallen to 2/5 within the first day. It was 1/3 by Sunday evening. 
The punters were spot on. No other match on the card beat the **** 1/2 that the men's MITB ladder match scored.

I'll return with a look back at the Great Balls of Fire Observer Ratings bets on the Thursday following that PPV. I know I'll be doing this because Kambi has already installed an Observer O/U market for the Great Balls of Fire main event. You can read about it in this post

The markets above were available on the following pages:

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Women's MITB Situation And Cash-In Bets

Last night's episode of WWE Smackdown followed up on the controversy from Sunday's women's Money in the Bank ladder match with the announcement that there will be a rematch on next week's show.

This obviously means that - for the time being at least - Carmella is no longer the holder of the women's Money in the Bank briefcase.

I suppose this would lead some to wonder what becomes of the cash-in prop markets that were available from some bookies leading in to Sunday's pay-per-view.

The Kambi and Paddy Power oddsmakers installed proposition markets where clients could bet on a successful or unsuccessful briefcase cash-in.

Kambi's oddsmakers made it clear from day one that any bet would remain in play if a change were to be made in regards to a  briefcase carrier:

Kambi's rules for the Women's Money in the Bank cash-in (Click on image to expand)

I've highlighted the important part of the rule. It determines that 'Bets will remain valid in case of eventual changes to the recognized briefcase holder'.

Paddy Power's market looked like this when its market first went up:

Click on image to expand
I can't speak for Paddy Power's rule on this. I can only presume that it'll be similar to Kambi's in that it focuses on the 2017 briefcase physically being cashed in regardless of who is the holder at the time.

I state this because we have seen Money in the Bank briefcases put on in the line in matches before they were cashed-in. For example, 2007 winner - Ken Kennedy - lost his briefcase to Edge. The latter went on to cash in the contract shortly afterwards.

It's worth noting that, on Sunday, the odds for there to be an unsuccessful cash-in fell sharply. In hindsight, this should have been an indcator that something controversial was brewing ahead of the night's action.

Closing odds for 'Will The Women's MITB Cash-In Be Successful?' (Click image to expand)

The option to back an unsuccessful cash-in closed as an 1/18 favourite when the market was taken down at 10pm BST on Sunday.

I think it's safe to presume that the 'No' option was backed by people who were aware that the match result would end in controversy and - on the following edition of Smackdown - the briefcase would be held up. 

In my opinion, I believe that those who took the 'No' to send it into favouritism have botched things up believing that Carmella being stripped of the briefcase would result in the market being settled in favour of an unsuccessful cash-in. 

There has been no cash-in, so - if we're going by Kambi's take - all bets should still be pending.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Something To Think About Regarding SummerSlam, The Rumble And WrestleMania

Here's something to think about.

Earlier today, I was listening to this morning's edition of the Wrestling Observer Radio podcast. When discussing Roman Reigns' SummerSlam announcement and everything else that happened on Raw - Dave Meltzer brought up something that might explain why we could be seeing Roman Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam rather than at WrestleMania 34.

The newsletter writer mentioned that, if the SummerSlam main event turns out to be Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns - a match that was reportedly in the plans for WrestleMania 34 - then the deviation from the original path to Mania may be because the company has decided to have John Cena versus Roman Reigns as the big match for April 8th.

Despite coming to the theory, Meltzer did stress that he hasn't been told of a change. So, everything we are witnessing on TV could still be leading to Brock Lesnar .vs. Braun Strowman on August 20th and then have Reigns chasing Lesnar during Mania season.

For what it's worth, I still think they're on the course to Brock Lesnar .vs. Roman Reigns as the Mania main event will be a contest between the only two wrestlers to have defeated The Undertaker at a WrestleMania.

However, If the plan really has changed, this should put John Cena as the favourite to win the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble.

In previous Rumble and WrestleMania prop posts, I noted that Cena should be one of the favourites to win the Rumble because his Mania storyline could be all about his quest to gain his seventeenth major championship.

I pegged Cena and Reigns as early Rumble favourites when the markets were first published shortly after this year's battle royal was completed. I'm actually leaning more on John Cena now due to the fact that he'll be floating across both Raw and Smackdown due to his televised status as being a 'Free Agent'.

If Cena is still being referred to in this manner - or simply not being aligned to one brand - come January, there's a perfect set up storyline-wise where a Rumble win would put him in a spot where he has the choice to challenge for either the Universal or World Championship at WrestleMania 34.

From a betting perspective, Cena is a top price 13/2 to win the 2018 Rumble with the Kambi websites. He had been 8/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair, but I had another punt on him shortly before writing this post and - as of right now - he has been moved to 6s.

Roman Reigns, His 'Blockbuster SummerSlam Announcement' And The Odds

Roman Reigns' 'Blockbuster SummerSlam Announcement' is set to be in the first segment of tonight's episode of WWE Raw.

If, and I still believe it's a BIG IF, this is where Reigns' dance partner for August 20th is revealed, then a specials market that was published on Friday will be close to settled, but you'll still have to wait until the event for a payout.

The aforementioned market was priced up by the oddsmakers from Kambi and gave the customers an opportunity to wager on the wrestler they believe will oppose Reigns at WWE SummerSlam 2017.

I've followed the odds a number of times over the weekend and managed to catch the prices shortly before they were taken down on Monday evening.

The wagers appear to have gone the way of Brock Lesnar as he closed as a 2/5 favourite. He had opened at 4/1.

The initial fave was Braun Strowman, who I still believe will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam, so - in my opinion - this should rule both acts out, if what I think will happen turns true.

I placed a few speculative punts on the market when it was available. 

I took Bill Goldberg at 15/1 on Friday evening. His price was down to 8/1 by the following morning. Then - when looking through the adjusted odds this afternoon - I backed Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. They were 10/1 each.

Brock Lesnar was strongly backed over the weekend. 

If this was due to inside information, then that could mean there has been a change to not only the SummerSlam card, but other events leading all the way to next year's WrestleMania. I state this because it was reported that Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns was the planned main event for April's event.

I've added a table below showing how I tracked the odds for the Roman Reigns SummerSlam opponent special from the moment I became aware of their existence to Monday evening.

Roman Reigns' SummerSlam 2017 Opponent Betting Odds
Click on image to expand

For what it's worth, I believe tonight's announcement will see Roman Reigns challenge the winner of the Brock Lesnar versus Samoa Joe match that will take place at Great Balls of Fire. This will prompt Braun Strowman to make his return and say he and Reigns have unfinished business leading to a Reigns .vs. Strowman match for Great Balls of Fire with the winner then going on to challenge Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.

I'm intrigued to see how this goes. I'm even more intrigued to see if the market is republished if Reigns' SummerSlam is still unclear after tonight's show.

The market had been available from these websites.