Upsets are a common theme with sports and we’ve seen plenty of these that even become films. But no sport does it better than football and 2010 saw a good number of epic upsets that literally no one outside diehard fanatics saw coming.
This is the appeal of betting on soccer online or football as being on the right side of a longshot overcoming the odds is unmatched. But for backers of the chalk, it’s the stuff of nightmares.
Here are the five biggest betting upsets of the last decade:
Leicester Win the Premier League (2016)
Leading off with the most stunning betting upset in the last decade and possibly the last century, LCFC made a mockery of sportsbooks everywhere by winning the EPL as 5,000/1 underdogs.
The Foxes had never even come close to the top flight title let alone win it. Their best result was a second-place finish back in 1929, when most sports bettors were not even born yet.
Leicester were led by Jamie Vardy who was a man possessed and scoring 13 goals in 11 consecutive matches. It took a bit of luck too as the ever-disappointing Tottenham blew a 2-0 lead against Chelsea as the Foxes clinched the title on May 2, 2016.
Several oddsmakers offered the odds as a joke similar to betting odds with Kim Kardashian winning the US Presidency. No one is laughing now as Leicester proved that in football, nothing is impossible.
Iceland Stun England in the Euros (2016)
It’s not a betting upset list without England in it and Iceland just added to the national side’s long list of unfortunate international debacles. England was a 2/1 favourite to eliminate Iceland, the underdogs of Euro 2016. Iceland was around 8/1 to win and a draw was 3/1.
Iceland fought back after trailing 1-0 almost immediately. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson scored the go-ahead goal before the 20-minute mark and that’s all she wrote.
This would be the country’s biggest international sporting event result. And as for England, manager Roy Hodgson quit within minutes of the result much to the nation’s relief.
If your highly-touted squad lost to a fledgling team with a part-time dentist in it, you’d quit too.
Wigan Shock Manchester City in FA Cup Final (2013)
2013 was a turning point for Man City and Wigan Athletic helped play a role in that in what would be one of the FA Cup’s most improbable championship performances.
Man City entered the match favored at 4/11 or -250 per moneyline odds. Wigan was 7/1 and a draw was nearly 4/1. The English squad boasted a stacked roster featuring not one, not two, but three players with ten or more goals in the Premier League.
But none of that mattered as the Citizens couldn’t find the back of the net for over 90 minutes. And in extra time, Ben Watson’s header would clinch the “greatest upset in FA Cup Final history in a quarter of a century.”
This would become Wigan’s first FA cup victory and City would sack manager Roberto Mancini just two days after.
FC Barcelona Hijack Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League Dreams (2017)
It’s not often we find the mighty Barca as an underdog and it’s even rarer to spot them as a 200/1 underdog. But the Catalans were staring at a 4-0 hole against the equally talented French squad.
Barca entered the game as 8/1 underdogs to advance to the next stage. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and an own goal pushed the Catalans to striking range but Edinson Cavani scored for PSG to seemingly put it out of reach.
Luis Enrique’s boys’ odds jumped up to 200/1 as they were now behind 5-3 on aggregate with the clock ticking. But Brazilian wunderkind Neymar would score two quick goals to bring barca within one and Roberto would notch the clinching goal in extra time.
This improbable victory would be the Champions League’s biggest comeback.
South Korea Sends Germany Home in the World Cup (2018)
Koreans have been pulling shockers at the World Cup since before half of us were born. In 1966, the North Koreans upended the Italians and nearly half a century later, their southern counterparts did the same thing. In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South Korea did it again. Oops!
The defending champions needed to beat Korea to advance to the knockout stage and oddsmakers pegged them as 1/5 favorites while South Korea was as large as an 18/1 underdog (a draw was 6/1).
For 90 minutes, it was Germany pushing Korea back and dominating ball possession. It seemed inevitable they would score. But don’t tell the Koreans that!
King Young-gwon chipped it past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to give the Koreans a 1-0 edge and they’d add another when Neuer joined Germany as an attacker to officially eliminate Germany and keep them from advancing past the group stage for the first time in 80 years.