WWE Payback '16 promotional art (Credit: WWE)

Best Bets: WWE Payback ’16

Who will help you take home the jellybeans?

I sincerely apologize for my WrestleMania 32 picks. I have spent the last month in Vegas training, and I have rebuilt my confidence. I am ready.

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 Payback 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

The Miz (c): 4/6 (-150)

Cesaro: 11/10 (+110)

Pick: Cesaro

This match is a toss-up in my eyes, but I’ll take Cesaro for two reasons: he has slightly better odds, and there is a chance Miz takes a DQ or countout loss to extend the feud. Odds are this match will not be the last in this rivalry.

No. 1 Contenders Tag Team match

The Vaudevillains: 3/10 (-333)

Enzo & Cass: 11/5 (+220)

Pick: The Vaudevillains

Enzo & Cass have gotten very over in the last month, and that’s partially why they won’t win this match. The New Day and Enzo & Cass will feud, but it will be on a bigger stage than Payback and it will happen after E&C win a few feuds. Plus, the Vaudevillains are trying to get their gimmick to stick on the main roster, and they need to look strong.

Singles match

Kevin Owens: 8/11 (-138)

Sami Zayn: 1/1 (+100)

Pick: Kevin Owens

This will not be the last time these two meet in WWE (knock on wood). I think it’s more likely Owens gets a win, because then Owens will come out and say he never needs to face Zayn again, and Zayn will have to fight his way back to Owens. If Zayn wins, there isn’t quite as much excitement for the next match.

Stay Aways

Singles match

Baron Corbin: 5/6 (-120)

Dolph Ziggler: 5/6 (-120)

Pick: Baron Corbin

Corbin has beaten up Ziggler at pretty much every opportunity, which, if history is any indication, means Ziggler will steal a win. Ziggler is the perfect opponent for Corbin – he’s established enough that he could beat the dominant newcomer, but not quite high enough on the card that it would be a big upset. I’m leaning Corbin, but this is a true toss-up.

Singles match

Dean Ambrose: 1/8 (-800)

Chris Jericho: 4/1 (+400)

Pick: Dean Ambrose

Jericho winning at WrestleMania 32 burned me, so even if Ambrose had good odds I wouldn’t take it. Even so, Ambrose needs a win after his (kayfabe) lackluster performance against Brock Lesnar.

Singles match for the WWE United States Championship

Kalisto (c): 2/3 (-150)

Ryback: 11/10 (+110)

Pick: Kalisto

This feud has no stakes, but if Ryback wins they’ll have to do another match. For that reason alone, I’m picking Kalisto.

Singles match for the WWE Women’s Championship

Charlotte (c): 1/6 (-600)

Natalya: 3/1 (+300)

Pick: Charlotte

It’s hard to see Charlotte dropping the belt to anyone but Sasha Banks or Bayley. Natalya is here to put on a good match and get me halfway to some free jellybeans courtesy of the Toast of Tacony, Mark Whited.

Singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Roman Reigns (c): 1/6 (-600)

AJ Styles: 7/2 (+350)

Pick: Roman Reigns

This match is intriguing, but not because Styles might win. He has almost no shot. We’ll all be waiting to see what Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows do, and whether Finn Bálor shows up, but Reigns will win anyway.

Overall record to date: 63-46-5

Jellybeans won to date: 35.66 on a 36-30-5 record

Biggest win: 45 jellybeans (Ryback def. Sheamus, Mark Henry, King Barrett, Dolph Ziggler & R-Truth at Elimination Chamber 2015)

Wrestledelphia.com columnist Evan Cross can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter .

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