WWE News/Rumours: Randy Orton becomes seventh new favorite to win Royal Rumble
The ever-changing betting market has changed its favourite for the 7th time, with Randy Orton now the favourite.
What’s the story?
This year’s Royal Rumble continues on its unpredictable path, as the bookies have now installed Randy Orton as the new favourite to win the Rumble. This means that the betting favourite has changed seven times since SummerSlam, when the betting market first opened.
Orton is the clear 2/1 favourite, meaning a return of $300 for a $100 bet ($200 profit plus the $100 stake back).
In case you didn’t know...
The market opened after SummerSlam with Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar installed as favourites. A few weeks later Finn Balor became the new favourite, with rumours indicating that he would be fit to return by the Royal Rumble.
After Balor, Goldberg became the 3rd new favourite, after he extended his deal with WWE and announced his entry into the Rumble. The bookmakers reacted and instantly installed Goldberg as the 6/4 favourite (the shortest favourite so far).
Jericho then replaced Goldberg after Roadblock, with the belief obviously being that Owens and Jericho would square off at WrestleMania, with the WWE Universal Title on the line. Jericho’s run as the favourite was short lived as The Undertaker soon replaced him as the favorite, however, he gave up the title to Braun Strowman when Dave Meltzer reported that Vince McMahon had cancelled the Cena vs Undertaker match.
Meltzer also suggested that Undertaker had been moved onto Raw and was not in line for the WWE Universal Title, meaning the bookies now saw Reigns vs Strowman as the WWE Universal Title match.
Then, earlier this week, Goldberg became the first man to return to favouritism, when he massively jumped from 16/1 to 2/1. He is currently back out to 3/1.
The heart of the matter
This latest movement in the betting lines comes after Meltzer reported on F4WOnline.com that Bray Wyatt was scheduled to win the World Title in 2017, possibly at Elimination Chamber, and that he had heard that Randy Orton would win the Royal Rumble.
Meltzer has now been responsible for a number of line shifts in the betting market, including revealing that The Undertaker was not winning the Royal Rumble and facing John Cena.
Orton joined the Wyatt Family in October, with many anticipating him to turn on Bray Wyatt shortly after. However, the WWE decided to play the angle out for a longer stint, by having Orton commit to the Wyatts for several months.
Orton and Bray were the survivors for Team Smackdown at Survivor Series and even went on to capture the WWE Tag Team Titles. Recently there has been in-fighting within the Wyatt family, but it has been between Harper and Orton, not Orton and Bray. This week on Smackdown, Bray seemingly chose Orton over Luke Harper, following Orton’s victory over him.
Will this all end up being part of Orton’s plan come Sunday?
The Royal Rumble comes around this Sunday and it truly is the most unpredictable of all-time. Nobody can pick a winner with any real confidence, which only adds to the excitement.
Orton isn’t among the names anyone was really talking about, however, he has been a name who has remained in the top five of the betting markets since December, while similar guys in his spot are between 14/1 to 20/1, including Bray Wyatt. There has really been no explanation as to why the 36-year-old has remained in, or ever reached the top five.
Dave Meltzer has been wrong many times in the past and often points to “plans changing” as his excuse or reason for being wrong. However, there seems to be something to this story.
Orton has been an ever-present in the top five of the betting markets, with nothing on TV suggesting he is a top contender. In addition to that, we must now look more closely at Shane McMahon’s announcement that the Elimination Chamber is a WWE Championship match, rather than a match to decide the No. 1 contender, which many assumed it would be.
This announcement does open the door to the possibility of Wyatt winning the WWE Title with Orton waiting for him at WrestleMania. It is also not inconceivable that the latter will finally turn on Wyatt at the Rumble itself, and that, that turn is booked as a major spot in the Royal Rumble match.
Whether it is Orton or not, it will be a Smackdown talent who wins the Royal Rumble this Sunday, simply due to the fact that the chamber match is not for the No. 1 contendership. Raw will fall short on Sunday and will use the long road to WrestleMania to crown their No. 1 contender.
As we head down this intriguing road to WrestleMania via the Royal Rumble, we will be covering every single twist and turn on our podcast, “The Dirty Sheets.” We post 5-7 shows a week, so we won’t be missing a single thing. Also, keep an eye out for more articles, right here on Sportskeeda.