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Bashing The Bookmakers – 10 Long Odds Winners You Wish You Had Backed

Landing a long odds winner is one of the primary reasons people love to bet on sports.

There is nothing more satisfying than checking out the odds on a market, making your long-odds selection, and then seeing that selection win!

Not only does that usually mean a sizable return on your stake, but also you get the added bonus of getting one over on your bookie!

So if you are someone that heads over to bet365 Sport and looks for longer odds bets that could be productive, then this is the article for you!

Here we are going to look at ten times when the bookies offered very long odds on a selection and then had to pay out.

All of which meant a fortunate few were able to experience the joy of a big money win at the bookies expense!

Ten Longer Odds Winners You Wish You Had Backed!

Denmark win the European Championship (1992) – 20/1

20/1 isn’t that big a shock I hear you say. But before the start of Euro 1992, Denmark were not listed amongst the eight finalists you could place a bet on.

However, due to the start of hostilities in the Yugoslav Wars, Yugoslavia were expelled from the tournament. That meant the Danes, who had finished second in qualifying Group 4 behind the Yugoslavs, were called into the tournament as a last-minute replacement.

Famously, many of their players were already well into their holidays when they got the call to head to Sweden. Each called up as part of the unexpected Danish squad to compete in the tournament.

Drawn into Group 1 in the finals alongside hosts Sweden, France and England, the Danes were 20/1 to win the tournament. Only Scotland were being offered at longer odds at the time the tournament began.

The Danes drew their opener 0-0 with England and then lost 1-0 to the hosts Sweden in their second game. That result left them bottom of the Group 1 table after two matches.

However, in a dramatic final set of games, Sweden beat England 2-1. That combined with Denmark’s 2-1 win over France saw the Danes qualify in second spot behind the Swedes. With it earning a place in the semi-finals.

In the semis they faced holders the Netherlands. After a 2-2 draw and extra time, the Danes prevailed on penalties when Peter Schmeichel saved Marco Van Basten’s effort. With Denmark converting all their five, they moved on to the final.

They were still huge underdogs in the final against the powerhouse Germany. But a rare Jon Jensen strike and Kim Vilfort’s late second saw the Danes claim a stunning 2-0 win.

Buster Douglas Defeats Mike Tyson (1990) – 42/1

In boxing matches, usually the two fighters are pretty well-matched in terms of ability. This usually produces low value odds when it comes to backing the winner of a fight.

However, in 1990, Mike Tyson had proved his dominance of the heavyweight division. Undisputed champion and unbeaten, the Brooklyn fighter looked set for a lengthy spell as Champion of the world..

Tyson made even his best opponents look ordinary, as shown by his destruction of the then champion Trevor Berbick in 1986.

Tyson remained unbeaten from 1987 to 1990, but he had issues outside the ring that were beginning to impact his performance in it.

However, wins over Larry Holmes, Frank Bruno, Tyrell Biggs, Tony Tubbs, Michael Spinks and Carl Williams preceded the Douglas fight. By which point Tyson was 23 years old and had fought 37 times without tasting defeat.

In Tokyo, an under-prepared Tyson was found out late in the fight by Douglas. Tyson was sent to the canvas for the first time in his career in the 10th round and could not beat the count.

Douglas reign as undisputed champion didn’t last long but it remains one of the biggest sporting upsets of all time.

Mon Mome wins the Grand National (2009) – 100/1

Poor old Liam Treadwell didn’t want his teeth to become centre of attention. But when you’ve just won the Grand National at odds of 100/1 and Claire Balding points them out to everyone, there’s little choice in the matter.

Treadwell was riding Mon Mome, a 100/1 outsider trained by Venetia Williams. In the run up to the 2009 Grand National, he was not rated amongst the favourites.

Having finished 10th in the 2008 race, a similar result looked on the cards. But this time Treadwell and his mount judged the race perfectly. The jockey lead Mon Mome clear after the last fence to win by a comprehensive 12 lengths.

In a TV interview after he had just won the race, Claire Balding asked him to show his somewhat erratic dentistry to the world. However, Treadwell had the last laugh, landing free treatment which gave him a perfect smile which he showed 12 months later.

Mon Mome was the first 100/1 winner of the National since Foinavon in 1967 and there has not been another since.

Greece wins the European Championship (2004) – 150/1

The second longer odds European Championship win in this list came in 2004. Unfancied Greece, who had achieved little in international football, had qualified for the 2004 Euros in Portugal.

Otto Rehhagel, their pragmatic German coach, had set the side up to be stout and robust defensively and to try and hit teams on the counterattack utilising their most creative players.

After losing their first two games of the qualifying campaign to Spain and the Ukraine, Greece won all their remaining six games. They won the group by a point from Spain – who qualified themselves via the playoffs.

Drawn into Group A alongside the hosts Portugal, Spain and Russia, Greece were the least fancied team to qualify from that tough group. Hence their odds of 150/1 to win the tournament before it began.

However, in the opening game, the Greeks stunned the watching world as they defeated hosts Portugal 2-1 in Porto. Then followed a 1-1 draw with Spain before Greece lost their third group game 2-1 to Russia.

However Portugal’s 1-0 win over Spain saw the Greeks advance as runner up in Group A.

A daunting quarterfinal with France loomed but it was the Greeks that stunned the world. Angelos Charisteas scoring what proved to be the winning goal in the 65th minute.

Their semifinal opponents were the Czech Republic. The Czech’s had beaten the Netherlands and Germany in the group stages and had Milan Baros, the tournament’s top scorer in their team.

Greece’s defence stifled the Czech’s attacking talent. Then in extra time, Trianos Dellas’ header gave the Greeks a golden-goal victory.

In the final, the Greeks would meet Portugal, in a repeat of the opening game of the tournament. The host nation were expected to exact revenge on Greece for that shock loss. Portugal started the game as heavy favourites to win.

However, Angelos Charisteas wrote himself into Greek history with the only goal of the game. Sealing Greece’s first major trophy in international football as a 150/1 underdog.

St. Louis Rams win the Super Bowl (1999) – 300/1

At the start of the 1999 season, the St. Louis Rams were rated as one of the poorest teams in the NFL over the course of the 1990s.

That would change in one remarkable year. Culminating in the 300/1 pre-season Super Bowl underdogs, becoming one of the best NFL teams in history.

Head Coach Dick Vermeil had the unenviable task of changing the fortunes of the team. The Rams had won just four games in 1998. The franchise had not had a winning season since moving to St. Louis from Los Angeles in time for the 1995 season. Furthermore, Rams fans had not been to the playoffs since 1989.

Upon hiring Vermeil, the Rams signed quarterback Trent Green and traded away Tony Banks. The previous season’s signal caller now surplus to requirements.

That meant third choice untested quarterback Kurt Warner would be Green’s sole back up.

In another key move, the Rams traded for Marshall Faulk from the Indianapolis Colts, trading the Colts two draft picks for the running back. They then added wide receiver Torry Holt and cornerback Dre Bly in the 1999 draft.

With Vermeil as head coach and Mike Martz as offensive co-ordinator, the team lost its first two pre-season games. Then in the third against the San Diego Chargers, disaster struck.

A Rodney Harrison hit on Trent Green blew out the Rams first-choice QB knee, putting Green out for the season.

Kurt Warner stepped in at QB and led the Rams to a win in that game and their final pre-season game against the Detroit Lions.

It would prove to be the start of a Hall of Fame career. Warner led the Rams to a 6-0 start, before two losses to the Titans and Lions put them 6-2.

However the Rams would win seven of their last eight games to finish the season atop the NFC West. And as a bonus, the top ranked seed in the NFC.

However it was their explosive offence that caught the eye. Warner, Holt, Faulk and Isaac Bruce all played huge roles in the Rams scoring 30 points or more in 12 of their 16 regular season games.

In the playoffs, they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in an incredibly high-scoring game. The Rams winning 49-37. 34 points coming in the fourth quarter alone.

However, the NFC Championship game was a closer affair. The Rams narrowly defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-6 in a game with just one touchdown.

In the Super Bowl, they’d meet the Tennessee Titans, who had defeated the Rams earlier in the season. This time the Rams held on, winning 23-16. Most memorably stopping the Titans from scoring a game-levelling touchdown as time expired.

Mike Jones making a crucial tackle to stop Kevin Dyson a yard short of the endzone to hand the Rams the win.

Ben Curtis wins The Open Championship (2003) – 500/1

Golf is a sport where longer odds wins can happen quite regularly, but it is a surprise when a 500/1 outsider wins the oldest Major tournament in the history of the sport.

Back in 2003, Ben Curtis was an unheralded American golfer. He had earned his PGA Tour card at the end of 2002, somewhat surprisingly after skipping the Nationwide Tour.

As a professional, he made a number of cuts but had not made a top 25 finish. That was until the Western Open on July 6 2003, when Curtis finished tied-13th.

That finish qualified him for The British Open, which would begin at Royal St George’s just two weeks later.

Few people knew Curtis as a professional and his odds ranged from 300/1 to 500/1 to win the tournament with bookmakers.

It was Curtis’ first appearance in a Major, he had not qualified for the Masters or US Open earlier in the season. Little was expected of him in the tournament. So much so that Curtis hired a local caddy to carry his clubs for the duration of The Open.

However, after the first two rounds, where Curtis had shot two 72s to be 2-over-par, he was one of seven players tied for fourth in the tournament.

A third round 70 saw him move up into a tie for third, one shot behind Davis Love III and two behind leader Thomas Bjorn.

And on an incredible final day, he shot a 69, while Bjorn struggled to a 72. This meant Curtis finished a stroke ahead of Bjorn and Fijian star Vijay Singh.

Curtis won four tournaments in his career, the next biggest being the Valero Texas Open in April 2012. But it is his surprising Open victory of 2003 that saw his backers land some big money wins!

St.Louis Cardinals win the World Series (2011) – 999/1

Perhaps not the best known of long odds success stories for UK fans, but the St. Louis Cardinals World Series win of 2011 was a huge shock.

15 games before the end of the season, the Cardinals were 999/1 to win the World Series. That’s because they trailed the Atlanta Braves, the holders of the last playoff spot, by five games.

Incredibly, the Braves fell apart and the Cards won 11 of their last 15 games to sneak into the playoffs.

Further wins followed over Philadelphia and Milwaukee and the Cardinals now found themselves in the 2011 World Series.

They faced the Texas Rangers and after leading 1-0 and 2-1, the Cardinals found themselves 3-2 down in the series with just two games remaining.

However, a stunning 11th inning 10-9 win hauled them level and they then claimed the World Series with a 6-2 win 24-hours later.

United States Ice Hockey Team win Gold at the Winter Olympics (1980) – 1000/1

In 1980, the Olympics were still very much an amateur event. However, in Ice Hockey, the all-powerful Soviet Union team were expected to dominate as despite being ‘amateur’ they were comfortably the best team in the Olympics.

In other words, top-level professionals in all but name.

To prove the fact, the Soviets had won Ice Hockey gold at five of the last six Winter Olympics.

The American team could not select any of its NHL talent to compete against the Russians as they were considered professional. That meant the US team would be made up of young college players and amateurs with minimal minor league experience.

Both teams came through the group stage unbeaten. Russia expectedly so, but the US surprised many by drawing with Sweden and defeating the strong Czechoslovakian team 7-3 and Norway 5-1.

The medals for the tournament would be decided by two final games in the Final Round. The US team would face Finland in their final game, but first they would take on the favourites and Group B winners, the Soviet Union.

In a shocking turn of events, the US team defeated the Soviets 4-3 and then went on to win the Gold Medal with a 4-2 win over Finland in their final game.

Rulon Gardner wins Greco-Roman Wrestling Gold at the Summer Olympics (2000) – 2000/1

You probably won’t have heard of Rulon Gardner, but at the start of the Greco-Roman Wrestling tournament at the Summer Olympics in Sydney in 2000, he was a 2000/1 outsider to win gold.

The American super-heavyweight was rated so lowly as he was up against the best Greco-Roman wrestler in history and a living legend in Russian Aleksandr Karelin.

In 37 major championships, Karelin had won gold 35 times, silver twice. One of those came in this shock defeat at the Olympics. He was World Champion from 1989 to 1999.

Prior to this bout, he had been unbeaten in international competition for 13 years. He had not even given up a point against an opponent in six years before the Olympic final.

Simply put, nobody could touch the man they called The Experiment and The Russian Bear.

Rulon Gardner was the son of dairy farmers in Wyoming. A talented college athlete, he made the US Olympic team as a Greco-Roman wrestler. In Sydney, after winning his three Pool bouts, he earned a place in the semi-finals. There he defeated Finland’s Yuri Ecseichik 3-2.

Karelin, of course, awaited him in the final. But in a stunning upset, Gardner scored a point against Karelin and held on to claim a 1-0 win. It was one of the biggest shocks in Olympic history.

Leicester City win the Premier League (2015) – 2000/1 to 5000/1

The biggest sporting shock of modern times? Well, that has to be Leicester City’s Premier League success in 2015/16.

The year before, the Foxes lay bottom of the table from November to mid-April. But a run of seven wins from their last nine games saw them avoid relegation and finish 14th.

Claudio Ranieri was put in charge for the next season. The Italian oversaw what was one of the biggest sporting miracles ever seen.

At the start of the season, Leicester were rated a 2000/1 to 5000/1 to win the Premier League title. Even so, there were a few ardent Foxes fans that took those odds.

The signings of Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth., Shinji Okazaki and N’Golo Kante proved to be masterstrokes. The Foxes won 3 and drew 3 of their opening six games.

A heavy loss to Arsenal followed but Leicester them embarked on a run of 8 wins and 2 draws in their next 10 games to establish themselves at the top of the Premier League table alongside Spurs.

A Boxing Day defeat to Liverpool followed by two 0-0 draws with Man City and Bournemouth seemed to indicate a stutter. But a crucial 1-0 win at Spurs followed. Then the Foxes then won 3 of their next four, drawing the other, before losing once again to Arsenal.

However, over their final 12 games, Leicester won eight and drew four. After Tottenham drew 2-2 at Chelsea on the 2nd May, Leicester were confirmed as Champions.

Bookmakers were on the hook for £25m. With one punter winning over £100,000 after wagering £20 at the 5000/1 odds.

When will the next long odds bet land and could you be a lucky punter to back it?

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