While everyone knows that professional wrestling is pre-scripted, you can still place bets on the WWE and other major wrestling promotions. The process and the layout of the odds is as easy as can be if you know how to bet on MMA or how to bet on boxing, though the actual experience may feel more like you’re betting on pure entertainment.
How, exactly, does one bet on a WWE event? In this article, we’ll walk you through the following essential components, and you’ll be fully equipped to start betting on the WWE!
- Which WWE events you can bet on?
- Where to find online sportsbooks that cater to WWE bettors?
- How to read WWE odds and lines?
- Some rudimentary WWE betting strategy
1. Which WWE Events Can You Bet on?
While the WWE runs year-round, with weekly shows on both Monday night (RAW) and Tuesday night (Smackdown), sportsbooks don’t make every WWE show available to wager on, only the marquee pay-per-views.
It’s a safe bet (so to speak) that the majority of sportsbooks will post lines for the WWE’s “Big Four”: Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, Summerslam, and Survivor Series.
The more minor PPVs—like Elimination Chamber, Fastlane, and TLC—may be available on certain sites, but don’t count on it.
WWE wagers are usually made available about three to four days in advance of the relevant event. So if you are keen to wager on professional wrestling, make sure you know when the big events are scheduled to take place.
The “Big Four” WWE events are as follows:
- Royal Rumble
- Survivor Series
The limited time-frame is understandable. Sportsbooks are a bit wary of allowing too much money to be placed on predetermined events, and the short betting window helps alleviate that issue. They also tend to cap the amount you can wager or the amount you can win on WWE bets, with payouts ordinarily capped at around $50 per bet.
Again, this limitation is pretty reasonable when you recall that, once upon a time, certain insiders and even actual WWE superstars were starting to bet on the match outcomes.
2. Where Can You Bet on the WWE?
Where does one go to bet on pro wrestling? Numerous online sportsbooks provide odds on the major WWE pay-per-views, including:
- 888 Sport
- Paddy Power
- William Hill
Unlike other combat sports like MMA, sportsbooks usually only provide odds and lines on which of the two combatants in a match will win (or, in the case of Royal Rumble, which of the 30 combatants will last to the bitter end).
You generally won’t see related prop bets like method of victory that you do in MMA and boxing, though it isn’t unheard of. For instance, some sites may offer a Royal Rumble prop on who will get thrown out of the ring first or who will eliminate the most wrestlers.
From time to time, you may also see odds on celebrities—like Donald Trump or Lavar Ball—wrestling in the WWE, much like there are currently odds on whether Floyd Mayweather will fight in the UFC. These bets will be subject to certain time constraints, usually a calendar year.
3. How Do WWE Odds Work?
A typical WWE line will look something like this:
- Brock Lesnar (-500) vs. Braun Strowman (+300)
This line has Lesnar as the favorite at -500 (bet $500 to win $100) and Strowman as the underdog at +300 (win $300 on a $100 wager). Of course, you aren’t required to bet $500 on Lesnar or $100 on Strowman. You can wager whatever amount you please (subject to a sportsbooks’ rules) and the payout will be commensurate. Since a $100 wager on Strowman would earn you a $300 profit, a $50 wager would earn you a $150 profit.
As mentioned, betting sites usually cap maximum wagers on WWE events because they know the outcomes are predetermined and that bettors may have insider information. If a site has a $50 max-winnings limit on WWE bets, then, in the example above, the most you would be able to wager on Brock Lesnar would be $250, and the most you would be able to wager on Braun Strowman would be $16.66.
In reality, sportsbooks don’t use WWE wagers to make their money. They use them to attract people to their sites and to get new users to sign up, and they hope that WWE bettors will become regular and frequent sports bettors. For this reason, many people in the betting community regard WWE betting as an extension of light-hearted, entertainment prop betting, rather than something that requires close study and carefully applied strategy.
4. WWE Betting Strategy
Still, betting on the WWE is trickier than you might think. Just because the winners are predetermined doesn’t mean you will always get the most obvious results. The WWE creative team throws a few “swerves” in from time-to-time, and there are always toss-up matches that could go either way, plus matches that end in disqualification.
Like wagering on any sport, you can often find value in underdogs when it comes to WWE betting. However, as mentioned, most sportsbooks will cap potential winnings at a fairly low amount, usually in the $50 range these days to prevent WWE writers and superstars cashing in on their own storylines.
If you don’t follow professional wrestling too closely, it might be extremely difficult to know who to bet on and where the value might be in WWE lines.
The best strategy is to do your research. There are many websites (including ours) that analyze the odds and give predictions for each match. Most of the people who are in-the-know understand the inner workings of pro wrestling. It really comes down to an understanding of who the WWE likes and who they’re building to be big stars. WWE writers also tend to follow a very old-school philosophy of how to manage talent and create a story arc.
But even the smartest and most educated prognosticators can get things wrong as there is often an element of surprise in the bigger matches, and that’s where you can find underdogs that have value. There just might be $50 in it for you.
What Are You Waiting For?
Still not sure about lines, odds, money lines, or some of the other fundamental aspects of sports betting? Check out our betting 101 guides, or guides for everything you need to know about how to bet on sports.