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The Longest Odds in Football and How they Happened

We look at how Leicester City pulled off the biggest upset in football history and how it compared to some other shocks in the world of sports.

Every new season is a time for football fans to enjoy months of entertaining football matches. Teams are always fighting for the major titles, others on derbies for the bragging rights while some also the relegation battle to avoid slipping to the lower leagues.

Other than the on-pitch action, football lovers tend to gain more from their experience by betting on the various game outcomes. With football data more accessible, fans can access online football betting at Lottoland and put their money where their mouth is.

For every league, there are perennial winners. For example, La Liga has Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid, the Serie A has Juventus and Inter Milan. The English Premier League, which is the most competitive, has Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham, all taking a shot at winning the league.

There is always the surety that comes with placing a bet on the “Top Six” Epl teams. That is until something unimaginable happened. When a team that usually fights for relegation ends up winning the title. That is exactly what happened with Leicester in 2016 to become the biggest longshot win in football history.

How did the Leicester bet win happen?

At the start of the 2015/2016 premier league season, predicting a Leicester win would be akin to betting your money on the possibility being hit by lightening. Most bookies at this point gave Leicester the odds of winning the EPL at 5000/1.

To put this into context, the bookmakers felt the Queen of England had higher chances of recording a Christmas number one than Leicester lifting the trophy. It even appeared Elvis Presley would be found alive while the Prime Minister becoming Aston Villa manager before Leicester’s eventual victory. But how were they wrong?

Leicester beat the worst odds in football history to win the premier league, something that most people had not even imagined would happen within the century. Claudio Ranieri’s men prevailed in the end to top all the favourites. While this win is majorly credited to the poor performance of the other top teams who failed to shine throughout the season, the unthinkable had happened.

Now, who was the real winner here?

Following Leicester’s win, the unexpected people who were lucky or carefree enough to back Leicester to the title were the real winners. Given the low odds at the start of the league, it would seem unimaginable that some people place bets on Leicester to prevail. Well, there was a handful who did the unexpected.

For example, one punter made £72,000 from a bet of £50 after cashing out in March. Had this punter been patient enough to let the bet run until the end of the season in the next few weeks, he would have cashed out £250,000.

Another bucker, Leigh Herbert of Leicester earned a total of £20,600 after placing a bet of £5 on Leicester at the beginning of the season. He had cashed out £2 for £5,600 and held on for £3 which earned the rest of the £15,000 by the end of the season.

How does Leicester win compare to other long shots?

The beauty of sports is the possibility of upsets. Yes, there are clear favourites, but there are chances of the underdogs pulling off a surprise. Various sports have never been short of such upsets, winning punters massive amounts in the end. Some of the other long shots in sports include;

  • 2000 Olympic wrestling Rulon Gardner (2000/1)

Heading into the 2000 Olympics wrestling finals, there was only one clear possible winner, Alexander Karen. At this point, the Russian wrestler had not been defeated in the past 13 years. Rulon Gardner meanwhile has never finished better than fifth at any major international wrestling competition. However, Gardner ended up pulling a surprise to stun Karen to an unexpected defeat.

  • US Hockey 1980 Winter Olympics (1000/1)

Even though the US Hockey team had the home advantage at the 1980 Winter Olympics, winning against the Russian was more like too much to ask. The Russian team was made up of professionals who had won the previous six of the possible seven of past competitions. The US team however was made of amateurs with no pedigree of winning. Still, the US team did the sporting miracle to beat the Russian after three rounds of duels.

  • The Miracle of Istanbul (100/1)

Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League remains one of the most talked-about football events. To play at the Champions League finals means either team had a chance of winning. However, the odds never favoured Liverpool. At halftime, they were down 3-0. It was even worse as they were facing one of the best defences in the form of AC Milan. At this point, the bookmarkers gave Liverpool a 100/1 chance of winning with AC Milan 1/100. However, Liverpool turned things around in the second half to level things up at 3-3 and force extra time, before proceeding to win the penalty shoot-out.

Bottom Line

Placing a bet on an unlikely odd takes guts. However, that might be all you need to make thousands if you strike it lucky. There are plenty of sites you can follow for more information on increasing your chances of placing a winning bet.

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