Best Bets: WWE Backlash ’16

Who will help you take home the jellybeans?

It’s the smallest PPV in a while, given that it’s SmackDown only. That means less opportunities to bet, and frankly, the disparity in the odds make me nervous about betting on these matches. Luckily, us jellybean connoisseurs have football as well.

You know the drill: 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.

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



Solid Picks

Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Dolph Ziggler: 1/9 (-908)

The Miz (c): 4/1 (+400)

Pick: The Miz

As John Corrigan said on this week’s episode of Wrestledelphia Radio, this whiole storyline has been built around Ziggler’s inadequacies. He also badly needs a heel turn, and when Miz finally loses the belt after months of cheating to keep it, it should be someone who is fresher than Ziggler.

Stay Aways

Tag team match

The Usos: 1/7 (-700)

The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley): 7/2 (+350)

Pick: The Usos

There’s no way the Hype Bros win this. The only thing preventing me from making it a lock is the odds. The Usos have all the momentum right now and fit better in a match with Heath Slater and Rhyno.

Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

Heath Slater & Rhyno: 1/5 (-500)

The Usos: 3/1 (+300)

The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley): 12/1 (+1200)

Pick: The Usos

Again, all credit to the Kingpin, but the only reason I see for this goofy Chad Gable kayfabe injury is that WWE wants the Usos to win the titles but wants to protect American Alpha. It makes far more sense for Slater and Rhyno to win, though.

Singles match

Randy Orton: 3/10 (-300)

Bray Wyatt: 11/5 (+220)

Pick: Randy Orton

Wyatt needs a character reboot as much as Ziggler does. Until that happens, I’m going to guess he loses every major feud he has – because that’s all that has happened with him. Plus, Orton needs a win after the Lesnar match.

Six-pack challenge match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

Becky Lynch: 1/5 (-500)
Nikki Bella: 7/2 (+350)
Alexa Bliss: 15/2 (+750)
Natalya: 18/1 (+1800)
Carmella: 25/1 (+2500)
Naomi: 25/1 (+2500)

Pick: Becky Lynch

Lynch needs a big win to establish herself as the top woman on SmackDown. She has the most potential of this group. A heel victory makes sense, but Natalya isn’t the right choice to be the first SmackDown Women’s Champion, and Carmella and Bliss aren’t established enough. Naomi needs more than a cool entrance, and Bella doesn’t need the belt as much as Lynch.

Singles match for the WWE World Championship

AJ Styles: 1/9 (-900)

Dean Ambrose (c): 4/1 (+400)

Pick: AJ Styles

Ambrose is one of my favorite wrestlers, but his in-ring work has been below his standards for the past few months. Styles has been one of the best wrestlers in the world for years and deserves to win. He also needs to keep up his momentum from beating up John Cena at SummerSlam.

Overall record to date: 90-61-8

Jellybeans won to date: 27.09 on a 40-38-8 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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