2022 Royal Rumble Preview: Odds and match predictions

Brock Lesnar pumped up to defend his WWE Championship belt. (Courtesy WWE)

We’re officially on the road to WrestleMania as we get set for the 2022 Royal Rumble. While the Rumble annually grabs the attention of wrestling fans, there has been some extra juice to the excitement over the last several years thanks to an influx of gambling interest.

As more and more areas of the world ease restrictions on legalizing gambling, several companies have begun offering odds on various pro wrestling events. The Royal Rumble is the perfect event for casual gamblers and wrestling fans alike as it offers an easy window into fandom and interest.

SN Bets is getting in on the action for this edition of the Royal Rumble, taking a unique look at the odds on some of the favourites and long shots.

Before you watch this Saturday, also make sure to join the SN Bets Royal Rumble pool, where you’ll go head-to-head with other fans on various Rumble prop bet questions.

Men’s Royal Rumble

The most interesting aspect of the men’s Royal Rumble odds surrounds the fact that several of the top favourites aren’t actually confirmed to be in the match, in addition to wrestling in other matches on the card.

Pro tip: these odds might give you an edge on our SN Bets Royal Rumble Pool! It’s free to play now. https://t.co/BiwejAUUxx#RoyalRumble2022#WWE pic.twitter.com/v3iNXWE5lu

Despite being scheduled to defend the WWE Championship in a one-on-one match against Bobby Lashley, Brock Lesnar has the second best odds to win the Rumble at +375, meaning if you were to bet $100 you would win $375. The thinking surrounding these odds is that Lesnar will end up doing one of two things before entering the Rumble.

He will either drop the championship to Lashley before entering himself in the Rumble match where, in a pit of monstrous rage, he will decimate the competition leading to a win and a main event championship match with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, supposedly WWE’s preferred choice for their pinnacle event later in the year. Or he will successfully defend the WWE Championship, but still enter himself in the match in order to win and guarantee himself a shot at Reigns at ‘Mania.

Reigns, while also not confirmed to participate in the match, is also listed among the favourites to win. The “Head of the Table” holds odds of +900.

Whatever route this route this match takes, all roads will likely still lead to Lesnar as last man, securing his second career Rumble victory.

Should WWE decide to go in a different direction, there is still a very worthwhile winner in the form of Big E. As the previous champion to Lesnar, Big E more than carried the weight of the championship during his reign as champion from Sept. 2021 until Jan. 1 when lost the title in a five-way match to Lesnar. Big has the second-best odds behind Lesnar at +400.

If you’re looking for a blast from the past, The Rock is going off at +1,500. The biggest movie star in the world quietly retired from pro wrestling in 2019. That hasn’t stopped fans from hypothesizing that he may one day come back for a match with his real life cousin, and current Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.

In an interview with Sportsnet ahead of WrestleMania last year, Bobby Lashley mentioned that, “everybody would want to do something with The Rock, but that’s Roman (Reigns) and I’m not even going to go there.” The speculation and rumours of a Rock return extend behind the curtain in WWE, apparently.

Other legends listed on odds boards include John Cena and Randy Orton at +2,500, last years winner Edge at +3,000, Rey Mysterio at +7,000, Triple H at +8,500 and more. If you’re looking to get really crazy, you can lay a bet on the chairman of the company to come out on top. Yes, you can bet that Vince McMahon will win his second career Rumble at the extremely long odds of +45,000.

The Rumble will also often include celebrity appearances. This year Johnny Knoxville, the star of the Jackass movie franchise, will be one of 30 entrants. Knoxville and Montreal native Sami Zayn have been sparring both verbally and physically in the lead up to the event, meaning the Canadian will undoubtedly share some screen time alongside the movie star.

Match Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins

Women’s Royal Rumble

In a very similar scenario to the men’s match, the odds on the Women’s Royal Rumble are paced by a wrestler who isn’t officially entered in the match. In fact, the odds leader hasn’t been in a ring on television since WrestleMania 2019.

Pro tip: these odds might give you an edge on our SN Bets Royal Rumble Pool! It’s free to play now. https://t.co/BiwejAUUxx#RoyalRumble2022#WWE pic.twitter.com/v3iNXWE5lu

— SNBets (@SNBets) January 27, 2022

Ronda Rousey started Rumble week near the top of the odds list at +335, but in a span of about 24 hours shot up the boards to -133. That means you would have to bet $133 to win $100.

Rousey’s last appearance in WWE came in a losing effort when she dropped her Raw Women’s Championship to Becky Lynch in the main event of ‘Mania in 2019. Now it’s rumoured that she’s ready to return and has been actively training in anticipation of once again stepping back inside the squared circle.

A Rumble win for Rousey would send her to the main event of ‘Mania once again. She’d have a perfect match already set in place in the form of Lynch, who currently holds the SmackDown Women’s Championship. A Rousey victory makes all the sense in the world from an excitement and match-making standpoint, therefore making her an easy favourite.

Where Rousey’s stock has risen, many others have seen theirs decline. That includes former SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair who started the week at +350 but has since tumbled down to +650.

While this may seem like a time to sell on Belair, this is actually a strong value play. Belair is undoubtedly part of the future of WWE, as evidenced by her run as champion for nearly half of a year in 2021. She continues to hold a spot at or near the top of every card she wrestles on, and there is an easy story to tell if she were to win surrounding wanting some modicum of revenge on Lynch who usurped her last year at SummerSlam. It’s also worth remembering that Rousey isn’t officially confirmed to be in the match.

Current SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair has inserted herself in the match, justifying her participation by noting she will get to choose her own opponent for WrestleMania should she win. Charlotte’s odds sit at +1,200.

The women’s match will certainly feature several surprises. One of such would be Bayley’s return. The three-time women’s champ has been out of action since July due to a torn ACL, with her expected return time to be nine months. A return at the Rumble would mark a quicker-than-expected recovery. However, many other wrestlers have come back at the Rumble sooner than expected after significant injuries most notably Triple H and John Cena.

There are also plenty of legends set to enter the Women’s Rumble including Lita (+1,100), Nikki Bella (+2,500), Brie Bella (+12,000) and several others. There are also rumblings that two-time championship holder Paige could make a return to wrestling at the Rumble, with her odds listed at +1,500. Those odds give her a better chance to win than current roster members such as Asuka (+1,700), Naomi (+1,800), Shayna Baszler (+2,500), Shotzi Blackheart (+10,000) and several others.

Toronto native, and WWE Hall of Fame member, Trish Stratus isn’t officially in the match but she is still listed at +17,500.

Match Prediction: Ronda Rousey wins

Other Match Predictions

Bobby Lashley (+140) def. Brock Lesnar (-200) to win WWE Championship

Roman Reigns (-238) def. Seth Rollins (+165) to retain Universal Championship

Becky Lynch (-1,250) def. Doudrop (+700) to retain Raw Women’s Championship

Edge & Beth Phoenix (-455) def. The Miz & Maryse (+300) in a mixed tag team match

All odds via CoolBets

These odds will likely fluctuate as both Royal Rumble matches approach, so in order to keep up with the latest betting trends make sure to following along with Sportsnet’s live blog coverage of the Royal Rumble starting at 7:00p.m. ET, 4:00p.m. PT.

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