Betting On Pro Wrestling Is Serious Business, Believe It Or Not

Bobby Lashley (2nd-R) fights against Ali during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Riyadh on October 31, 2019. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

If you thought betting was just for “legitimate” sports such as football and hockey, think again. You might want to broaden your wagering horizons and try to cash in on the events in the squared circle.

When Gordon Solie was hired to be the voice of “Championship Wrestling From Florida” in the 1960s, he asked his new boss how serious he should be at the microphone. Because, well, you know, this was professional wrestling — or, as some called it back then, pro rasslin’. Not exactly the NFL.

In any case, Solie was told to be as serious as if he was making out his income tax form.

Fast forward a half-century. Rasslin’ has long been suplexed. It’s wrestling or sports entertainment, period. And the “soap opera for men” is exactly like the almighty NFL in some regards, including the fact that gambling on it can be big business. Betting on professional wrestling? It’s as serious as filing your taxes.

Here’s a look at how to bet on professional wrestling.

Moneyline Betting

As with other sports, moneyline bets focus on picking the winner of an event. Here’s an example: In a match at WWE’s 2018 Extreme Rules pay-per-view show, A.J. Styles was the -415 favorite and Rusev was the +295 underdog, according to offshore sportsbook 5Dimes. The minus symbol in Styles’ odds meant you needed to bet $415 to win $100, while the plus sign in Rusev’s odds meant a $100 bet on him would have earned you $295 if he won. When you win this kind of bet your stake is returned, so if you had bet on Rusev and he won (he didn’t), you would have received $395. If you are more conservative you could have bet $10 on Rusev, and the payout if he won would have been $29.50 plus the $10 you bet.

Moneylines in wrestling matches are usually similar for each wrestler or tag-team, because, in theory, either side has an equal chance to win. This is a big difference from other sports. In the NFL, for instance, if the playoff-bound Patriots are playing the winless Browns, everybody assumes the Patriots will win, so there would be short odds on the Patriots and long odds on the Browns. For more on moneyline betting, check out SBR’s guide on how to read odds.


Most people know about proposition bets in major sports events. Super Bowl props include everything from “What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach?” to “How long with the national anthem be?” In pro wrestling, props you might have seen are “How many new champions will be crowned?” or “How many cans of beer will Stone Cold Steve Austin drink in the ring after his match?” Prop bets are fun, but don’t forget, your money is still on the line.

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Picking the outcome of more than one match is a parlay bet. Let’s say you were interested in betting on the Styles-Rusev match and also the bouts between Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax, and Seth Rollins and Dolph Zigler. You could have gotten better odds by combining your bets instead of betting on each one separately. Of course, you would have had to correctly pick the winner of all three matches to cash your ticket. Better odds, yes, but a greater level of difficulty.

Opportunities for parlays on pro wrestling might be slim these days after what happened at SummerSlam 2017. According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, one bettor with inside knowledge correctly predicted the winner of 10 matches on the card, and his $3.36 parlay bet earned him $45,600. So, good luck on parlays — if you can find them.

Final Tips

WWE’s next big pay-per-view event is SummerSlam, on August 19 at Barclays Center in New York. Be sure to brush up on the storylines before you delve into the wagering game. Remember, the referees are going to “miss” some things, there’s no replay booth to get a call reversed, and there’s also that little aspect of the outcome of matches possibly, maybe sometimes, being predetermined (or so goes the rumor). Bottom line, proceed with caution. It is, after all, serious business.