Sportsbooks take bets on sports, of course, but also branch out into politics (you can bet on the next elected US President) and even entertainment (Grammy and Oscar winners).
Now, you can even bet on which mighty force will triumph in the 2021 film, Godzilla vs. Kong.
Good versus evil, the titans versus the early Greek gods, that Russian dude versus Rocky IV…as humans we crave the thrill of massive clashes. And if the world might end in the process? Box office gold!
Enter the Monsterverse
Godzilla was the unrivaled juggernaut in the East, and King Kong was the mighty monster of the West. In 1962 they met in the film King Godzilla vs. Kong.
Believe it or not, this early version was initially meant to be King Kong vs. Frankenstein. Thank goodness that idea was subsumed by the introduction of Godzilla into the plot.
But if you are wondering whether this film will follow the same storyline as this 1960s version, allow me to tell you emphatically that it almost certainly will not. (I won’t tell you how it ends; you’ll need to see it for yourself.)
The early version wowed audiences because the beasts were in color and shown on a widescreen. This version will no doubt take the wow factor to another level entirely.
Let’s review the basic differences between the two monsters:
|Titan Class||Reptile (Amphibious)||Mammal|
|View on Humans||Moody/Distrusts Humanity||Has Loved a Woman|
|Home||Bottom of the Sea||Skull Island|
|2nd Job||Japan’s Cultural Ambassador||Window Cleaning|
|Notable Sponsors||Dr. Pepper, Nike||Twizzlers, Volkswagen|
Strengths Throughout History
Each of these mega-beasts has been described as being the mightiest force in the world. But that can’t be true for both, as this upcoming movie will no doubt elucidate in spectacularly violent fashion.
Let’s take a look at the strengths of both creatures.
100 Angry Men
The original Kong creator, Merian C. Cooper, envisioned the mega-gorilla as having the “strength of a hundred men.”
However, I suspect that it would be difficult for even 100 men to swat aircraft from the sky while clinging to both a sexy blonde and the Empire State Building.
Thus, the “100 Men” comparison was more likely a starting point for imagining the raw power of this creature. He is now considered the potential qual of any man-made force on the planet.
Also, Kong is intelligent. Yes, he can throw trees and giant rocks, but he also thinks about where he is aiming and appears to make complex decisions about force and vector physics. He is known to adapt to his enemies’ strategies, and to exploit their weaknesses.
I suspect the new movie will pit Kong’s strategic thinking against Godzilla’s raw might and general irritation with whatever is goin on.
Also, King Kong is limber and agile. His size is what compromises his security, but he can still climb buildings. Compare this to Godzilla’s ponderous, lumbering destruction, akin to a toddler in a toy store.
I suspect many are going to anticipate Godzilla vs. Kong as a David vs. Goliath situation. Just remember who won that battle, and you’ll know that Kong can hold his own.
Atomic Breath, and More!
Godzilla, however, was imagined as a mutated dinosaur in some incarnations, a leftover of pre-human Earth. His size pales in comparison, though, to more profound defensive (and offensive) capabilities.
For instance, Godzilla can kill with his atomic breath. (No, not like your significant other after a Philly cheesesteak.) I mean actual destruction, on the world-ending scale. In fact, Godzilla’s atomic breath is considered his signature combative feature.
In past films, Godzilla’s radioactive breath could affect outer space features such as black holes. This skill becomes more believable now that physicists tell us of a phenomenon known as Hawking Radiation in which certain radioactive proton behaviors can ultimately cause a black hole to dissipate.
In at least one film, Godzilla could even take flight by breathing on the ground beneath him and thus propelling himself into the air.
We know that King Kong, mighty as he is, cannot (as far as we know) destroy black holes, nor can he fly. We also know that he is capable of feeling affection for a human, which has drawn many a mammal to their demise, since they can no longer act with the singularity of self-preservation.
But on the other side of the coin, Godzilla’s own breath, sadly, can end up causing him injury, as when Mothra sent Godzilla’s atomic breath back at the giant lizard. We’ve already seen something like this occuring in 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong trailer, when Kong seemingly uses an axe of some kind to reflect Godzilla’s atomic breath back at him.
Another notable weakness that Godzilla seems to posses is being incapacitated by cold and other freezing agents. This has been evident across several movies but most noticeably after an encounter with Kiryu’s “Absolute Zero Cannon” in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) where it didn’t kill Godzilla but it did leave him with a chest wound that would prove critical in defeating him a year later.
The Shared Weakness
The one weakness both creatures share, and one that can destroy either creature utterly and without mercy, is the complete subjugation of both Kong and Godzilla to the minds of the creators of the film.
We can’t know who the creators favor, or even if one of the writers had a bad experience at the zoo and now hates gorillas. This is similar to the chaos factor of real life, in which—as much as we try to control every variable—virtually anything can come out of the sky and destroy us.
Blue Oyster Cult created the iconic song, “Godzilla,” which is still a listener favorite decades later.
Yes, it is a great track, but when everyone within hearing sings along with the refrain, “Oh, no! There goes Tokyo. Go, go, Godzilla!” it further reinforces Godzilla as a cross-cultural pop-phenomenon.
King Kong, on the other hand, benefitted from a high-quality remake starring popular actors Jack Black and Naomi Watts. This may have undone the damage done to King Kong’s rep by a song about King Kong made by ABBA back in 1974.
|Franchises and Remakes||Songs in Honor Of|
|Godzilla||36 (32 Japanese, 4 American)||At Least 8|
|Straight flush||12 (10 Japanese, 2 American)||10, Maybe More|
The Betting Odds
The concept of betting is easy; guess the winner. But assessing the chances of each contestant is where the rubber hits the road.
Sportsbooks engage the services of world-class, Ivy League statisticians and specialty mathematicians to come up with the odds of each participant in an event winning the trophy.
And yet they can still get it wrong.
A few weeks ago the Tampa Bay Buccaneers upended nearly all the sportsbooks’ odds, and won the Super Bowl. Not one of those statisticians could have guessed that the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes would fail to make even one touchdown in that game.
In much the same way, no matter how much brainpower goes into creating the odds on a match, or deciding on the favorite, no one can know for sure what the outcome will be.
Back in the 1960s, an absolute underdog of a horse won the Grand National simply because all of the good horses up front got caught in a disastrous pileup. The slowest horse wasn’t close enough to be injured, so he trotted to the finish line and gave his fans a 100-to-1 payout that day.
Let’s look at how the Godzilla vs. Kong odds currently stand at MyBookie, one of my favorite online sportsbooks:
- Kong as final winner -300
- Godzilla as final winner +200
- Rotten Tomatoes rating, Over 74.5% +110
- Rotten Tomatoes rating, Under 74.5% -140
If you know how to read sportsbook odds, you can see that Kong is favored to win! For this same reason, you can make more money by betting on Godzilla, as the underdog.
If You Have Never Bet at a Sportsbook…
I suggest using an online sportsbook, rather than visiting one in person. Of course, if you and your friends all want to visit an in-person sportsbook together, and there is one close by, then that can be a fun option.
I find, though, that the best online sportsbooks offer effortless convenience (bet from home, 24/7), fast win payouts, and very often have better odds than at in-person sportsbooks.
The movie is going to be a great time, no matter what. I suspect the creators will give the word “epic” new strength and luster.
A few ways to make the movie even more enjoyable is to a) see it with friends who are already fans…no one needs a naysayer who isn’t even into beasts and destruction.
Also, b) try to see it in a theater. Big needs big. You know what I’m saying. And, c) place a bet. Skin in the game will make every inflammatory interaction between Kong and Godzilla that much more exciting.
Excitement is, after all, why people started betting in the first place, and anthropologists tell us that humans have been placing bets since the Paleolithic period, in an effort to add a little spice to life.