Leicester City. Ha. I knew that is what a bunch of you were going to say right away. Yes, back in August 2016 Leicester City was 5000-1 to win the Premier League (which they did). But since the majority of people reading this don’t even have a clue what their nickname even is (The Foxes), we are going to focus on major US based sports. Will the Vegas Golden Knights be the BIGGEST Longshot Ever to Cash? It Depends….
From the beginning oddsmakers in their hometown did not expect this team to do anything but be a typical expansion team and have a disaster of a first season. Bookmakers opened up Stanley Cup odds in May 2017 and the Golden Knights sat at the very bottom with 200-1 odds (to put in perspective, the Cleveland Browns are 100-1 to win the Super Bowl this season). The folks at the South Point had them to end up the worst team in the NHL with a season win total of 68.5 (next closest was Colorado Avalanche at 70.5).
The Golden Knights were expected to be so bad to bet them at NO to even make the Playoffs was -900 ($900 to win $100) in town at the Westgate Superbook. The odds reached a high in Vegas of 500-1 at the Westgate before the puck dropped for the regular season and now after a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets the Golden Knights are now four wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.
200-1 opening odds. High as 500-1. Biggest shocker ever to win a championship in the major North American sports? Well, an undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa who was making $5.50 an hour bagging groceries might disagree.
The St. Louis Rams went 5-11 in 1997 and the following year finished even worse at 4-12 and missed the playoffs for the 9th consecutive season. As the 1999 season was about to kick off, how bad were the St. Louis Rams going to be? Bad. So bad according to oddsmakers you could bet the lowly Rams to win the Super Bowl at 200-1. Enter the “Greatest Show on Turf” offense.
The 200-1 longshots to win the Super Bowl finished the regular season undefeated at home for the first time since 1973. Quarterback Kurt Warner went from bagging groceries to winning the regular season MVP award and leading an offense that to this day is still only one of four teams in NFL history to score more than 30 points 12 times in a single season. After winning a shoot-out vs the Vikings 49-37 and beating the Bucs 11-6 in the Conference Championship, the Rams who once were 200-1 to win the Super Bowl were now favored by 7 over the Titans to win it all. With 6 seconds left in the Super Bowl and trailing 23-16,
Kevin Dyson caught a pass up the middle from McNair and jut as he was going into score was tackled at the one yard line as the clock hit 0:00. The scoreboard reads 23-16 as the game ends and the St. Louis Rams are Super Bowl XXXIV Champions. Kurt Warner picks up his second MVP award on the season and just like that a 200-1 longshot are the Super Bowl Champions.
An expansion team at 200-1 odds that went as high as 500-1 in Vegas winning the Stanley Cup in my opinion still would rank as the biggest shocker in North American sports history. But, one of the worst teams in the NFL behind the arm of an undrafted grocery bagger going on to win the Super Bowl is a VERY close second.
*thanks to The Great Wang on Twitter for digging up the old article on the Rams 200-1 odds
Other BIG Longshot Winners:
2010: Africa Cup of Nations, 1,000-1. Punter won £5,000 after a £5 bet on Mali to draw with hosts Angola. Mali were trailing 4-0 when the bet was made but drew 4-4.
2004: Football, 150-1. Outsiders Greece shocked the football world by winning the European Championship.
1996: Horse racing, 25,000-1. Gambler Darren Yates won £550,000 after Frankie Dettori won seven races in a day.
1990: Boxing, 42-1. Buster Douglas shocked Mike Tyson to win the world heavyweight championship.
1981: Cricket 500-1. England, inspired by Ian Botham, came from behind to beat Australia and win the Ashes.
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Will the Vegas Golden Knights be the BIGGEST Longshot Ever to Cash? It Depends…