Best Bets: WWE Royal Rumble ’17

Who will help you take home the jellybeans?

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 Royal Rumble 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 Championship

John Cena: 4/11 (-275)

AJ Styles (c): 15/8 (+188)

Pick: John Cena

Styles has had a great run and I hope he retains, but Cena hasn’t held the belt in over a year and it seems about time to ramp up the Ric Flair record storylines.

Stay Aways

Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Neville: 1/18 (-1800)

Rich Swann (c): 7/1 (+700)

Pick: Neville

This match quietly has a ton of potential to steal the show, especially given the length of the main show which only has five matches scheduled. That said, it’s hard to see Neville not winning after the way he’s been booked.

Singles match for the Raw Women’s Championship

Charlotte Flair (c): 1/18 (-1800)

Bayley: 7/1 (+700)

Pick: Charlotte Flair

I’m tempted to take Bayley just on the odds, since they seem too long. But it’s becoming impossible to bet against Flair, who only seems to lose on Raw, not pay-per-view.

No DQ match for the WWE Universal Championship

Kevin Owens (c): 2/5 (-250)

Roman Reigns: 7/4 (+175)

Pick: Roman Reigns

After doing his penance for his wellness violation, Reigns seems likely to get the belt back here. As great as an Owens-Jericho feud over the Universal Championship would be, I don’t think they need a belt to make their feud worthwhile.

Royal Rumble match

Winner: Brock Lesnar (16/1, +1600)

I picked him last year (mostly just trying to go against the grain of Triple H), but there’s no one better to double down on than the Beast Incarnate. Obviously this year is a huge toss up, but Lesnar, along with The Miz, has the longest odds of any of the winners that wouldn’t be a swerve.

Long Shot: Baron Corbin (33/1, +3300)
Most Eliminations: Baron Corbin (6/1, +600)

Corbin has the same odds as Kevin Owens and Kurt Angle to win the Rumble, and longer odds than Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, John Cena and AJ Styles – none of whom are even confirmed to be in the Rumble match. If you’re looking for a long shot, take the Lone Wolf. I was going to take Samoa Joe here, but at 13/2, he doesn’t qualify as a long shot. Only Randy Orton, Goldberg, Undertaker and Finn Bálor have shorter odds.

As for the most eliminations, I think it’s a toss-up between Corbin and Braun Strowman, and Corbin’s odds are much better.

Quick Hits

Nia Jax over Sasha Banks

Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya over Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella & Naomi

Cesaro & Sheamus over Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Overall record to date: 106-73-10

Jellybeans won to date: 29.75 on a 46-44-9 record columnist Evan Cross can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter .

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