Sportsbooks Ended Up Losing $15 Million After Leicester Won EPL

Published on September 30th, 2021 8:44 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



Jamie Vardy of Leicester City - 2016 English Premier League win was an outstanding achievement. Leicester City winning the English Premier League in 2016 continues to be one of the greatest stories in all of sports.

In a league dominated by the big-money clubs such as Man City, Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal, Leicester City managed to play exceptionally well for an entire season to win the English Premier League title, much to the astonishment of football fans across the world.

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Prior to the start of the 2016 season, Leicester City was 5,001.00 to win the title at most sportsbooks.

This meant that a £10 wager on Leicester City would have produced a total profit of £50,000.

Did the club have a 1 in 5,000 chance of winning the title? Their odds were probably better than that, though sportsbooks have to inflate the betting odds for some of the really bad teams in order to get money wagered on them.

Normally this is a winning strategy for sportsbooks, as diehard fans of a team bet money on their club, even while that club has virtually no shot of winning.

Every once in a while, however, a black swan will take place and the sportsbooks will be left with egg on their faces.

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Leicester City's title was astonishing for a number of reasons, including:

1. Their salary bill for the 2016 campaign was just £66 million, which gave them one of the lowest payrolls in the league.

For comparison's sake, there were four teams in 2016 - Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal - that had total salaries of over £200 million, and another two teams with total salaries of over £100 million.

It's one thing to navigate past one or two high salaried clubs - it's an entirely different thing to navigate past six of them.

2. In 2016, Leicester City was just two years removed from playing in the Championship. They moved up in 2014, and two years later were lifting the EPL title.

3. Leicester City finished in 14th place in the English Premier League the year before, and were not far from being relegated.

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Leicester City's win in 2016 continues to be one of the greatest stories in all of sports, and it's unlikely that such a longshot will ever win the English Premier League again in our lifetimes.

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