Best Bets: NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn and WWE SummerSlam ’15 Odds And Picks

ool for the Summer is a good song and I don’t mind it as one of the SummerSlam theme songs. There. I got my hot take out of the...
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Cool for the Summer is a good song and I don’t mind it as one of the SummerSlam theme songs.

There. I got my hot take out of the way. There are tons of jellybeans to be bet this weekend, so let’s get right into it.

The rules: I am betting imaginary jellybeans for each match (based on Paddy Power’s odds) and keeping track of my “winnings.” I’m dividing my picks into three categories: 🔒 Locks™, Solid Picks and Stay Aways. I will bet 10 jellybeans on the 🔒 Locks™, five on the Solid Picks, and none on the Stay Aways.

Paddy Power also has some prop bets (mostly regarding surprise appearances) and even has 2016 Royal Rumble odds already. If you want a laugh, compare Joey Mercury’s odds to Zack Ryder’s.

Here are my SummerSlam picks. Remember that I’m not necessarily picking the winner, but the one that I feel is the best bet.

🔒 Locks™


Singles match for the NXT Woman’s Championship

Bayley: 2/5 (-250)

Sasha Banks (c): 7/4 (+175)

Pick: Bayley

They’ve done a fine job building this match, but Banks won’t win. There’s a reason she hasn’t carried the belt around on Raw, and it’s not because it’s called the Woman’s Championship. Bayley finally winning has likely been planned for a while. She can carry the woman’s division in NXT while Banks goes on to challenge Nikki Bella along with every other woman on the main roster.


Triple threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Ryback (c): 1/3 (-333)

The Miz: 3/1 (+300)

Big Show: 7/1 (+700)

Pick: Ryback

When this match was slated for Battleground, I thought Miz was in line to swipe the belt. But since this has been pushed back, news has come out that Miz was originally supposed to be involved in the Stephen Amell angle. That leads me to believe that Ryback will retain. He hasn’t gotten much out of his title reign thanks to the schmozzy ending at Money in the Bank and his injury, and neither of those things is the Big Guy’s fault.

Solid Picks


Singles match

Tyler Breeze: 8/13 (-163)

Jushin Thunder Liger: 6/5 (+120)

Pick: Jushin Thunder Liger

I don’t see NJPW sending one of their most beloved stars to a WWE show to job, and I don’t know why WWE would bother if he was going to lose. Liger certainly doesn’t need the recognition, but Breeze is a whiny heel that can take a loss and will be over with the crowd regardless of the outcome. Liger will get his WWE moment.

Ladder match for the NXT Championship

Finn Bálor (c): 2/5 (-250)

Kevin Owens: 7/4 (+175)

Pick: Finn Bálor

There’s a slight chance they’ll have KO pull double duty, but I doubt it. I’d rather see him feud with Cesaro than have another extended NXT title feud. Plus Bálor would gain even more credence by beating an established main roster guy, and Owens won’t have to take a second pinfall loss in this match.


Singles match

Kevin Owens: 2/5 (-250)

Cesaro: 7/4 (+175)

Pick: Kevin Owens

All that said, I don’t see Owens losing twice in a weekend. He’s only lost to two men in WWE – Bálor and John Cena – and I don’t think Cesaro will join that list yet. Hopefully this is a good, long feud that makes both guys look good, and the best way to start long feuds is with the heel winning.

Singles match

Rusev: 8/15 (-188)

Dolph Ziggler: 11/8 (+138)

Pick: Dolph Ziggler

I could see this match going both ways. Rusev, the favorite on paper, might win a hard-fought match cleanly. Ziggler could score a quick roll-up or win a hard-fought match. Summer Rae and Lana might distract one guy, leading the other to a win. This is a toss-up, so I’ll take the better odds with Ziggler.

Singles match

Sheamus: 1/4 (-400)

Randy Orton: 5/2 (+250)

Pick: Randy Orton

Time and time again, WWE has proven they don’t mind making Mr. Money in the Bank look like a chump. At this point, it’s basically required. In terms of booking, Sheamus should win, and this match could go either way, but Orton’s odds are too good to pass up.

Three-team elimination match

PCB: 4/7 (-175)

Team Bella: 2/1 (+200)

Team B.A.D.: 5/1 (+500)

Pick: PCB

When in doubt, go with the babyfaces. PCB has the strongest overall team (Becky Lynch, the least significant member of her team thus far, is more important than anyone on the other two teams besides Nikki Bella and Sasha Banks). It’ll only take one pin for each team to be eliminated, and that’s what Alicia Fox and Tamina are here for.

These odds are from SkyBet, since Paddy Power has not posted odds for this match.

Fatal 4-Way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship

Prime Time Players (c): 6/5 (+120)

The New Day: 3/2 (+150)

Lucha Dragons: 4/1 (+400)

Los Matadores: 10/1 (+1000)

Pick: Lucha Dragons

Despite the inconsistency of their appearances, the Lucha Dragons are over thanks to Kalisto’s unique (in WWE, at least) style. I’ve been expecting PTP to drop the belts for a while now, and while I’ve been wrong, the nature of this match seems to make it especially likely here. That said, the only team without a shot is Los Matadores.

Singles match

The Undertaker: 8/15 (-188)

Brock Lesnar: 11/8 (+138)

Pick: The Undertaker

I think this is building to a rubber match at Mania 32, which means Taker has to win. I’d be surprised if he wins cleanly. I could see him turning fully heel and hitting Lesnar with a chair or going with a third crotch shot. Kane returning to attack Lesnar would also make sense – remember that Kane is gone because Lesnar kayfabe broke his ankle before Battleground. The only way I could see Lesnar winning is if Sting interferes to cost Taker the match. No matter what happens, we’ll know after this match who Taker will square off against in Dallas.

Stay Aways


Singles match

Baron Corbin: 4/9 (-225)

Samoa Joe: 13/8 (+163)

Pick: Baron Corbin

I’ll go with Corbin just because I think he needs the win more than Joe, but this match hasn’t had enough buildup for me to feel comfortable either way. Pass.

Singles match

Apollo Crews: N/A

Tye Dillinger: N/A

Pick: Apollo Crews

No odds on this match, but there’s no way the former Uhaa Nation loses his debut.


Tag-team match

Stephen Amell & Neville: 1/7 (-700)

Stardust & King Barrett: 4/1 (+400)

Pick: Stephen Amell & Neville

The Green Arrow didn’t join forces with the Red Arrow to do a job. Plus WWE hasn’t exactly been protecting Cody and Wade lately. The odds make betting on this match worthless.

Tag-team match

Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns: 8/11 (-138)

Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper: 1/1 (+100)

Pick: Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper

I don’t think we’ll see a full-on heel turn by Ambrose or Reigns here, but we’ll see seeds of dissent planted and watered a bit. I don’t buy the theory that Ambrose will turn and join the Wyatts – that stemmed from when Sting was supposed to be in this match. He’s not anymore, so I think the Wyatts take the win and move on.

Winner Take All match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE United States Championship

Seth Rollins (c): 8/15 (-188)

John Cena (c): 11/8 (+138)

Pick: Seth Rollins

In a world where this match actually has a decisive finish, Rollins takes it, but there’s no way that happens. There will be madness – maybe Triple H appears, maybe this is where Kane returns, maybe Sheamus gets involved, maybe there’s a double DQ, maybe CM Punk returns. Who knows. I sure don’t, so stay away, sit back and enjoy the madness.

Overall record to date: 20-20-3

Jellybeans won to date: 15.11 on a 14-15-3 record

Biggest win: 45 jellybeans (Ryback def. Sheamus, Mark Henry, King Barrett, Dolph Ziggler & R-Truth at Elimination Chamber 2015) columnist Evan Cross can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter .

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