Sport lovers know there is nothing more satisfying than the under-dog coming through and causing an upset; unless that upset was your team. But it’s why sport will forever remain so popular. There’s always that chance of failure when humans are involved and we sports lovers just crave it.
There has been some absolutely crushing comebacks in sporting history too. Not only do they make for great entertainment, but they also make for some great money for those who bet on the right horse.
Here are our pick of the 3 biggest upsets in sports, and what that meant for some unlucky casinos.
2013 America’s Cup
Sailing may not be everyone’s first choice of sport, but this final was absolutely epic. Two teams, from New Zealand and America, in a best of 17 final, spread over 18 days of racing in San Francisco. America’s Team Oracle start with a two-game penalty for earlier cheating, and Emirates Team NZ go 8 – 1 up in the series. It’s match point and it’s looking embarrassing for Oracle.
Throwing a tonne of money at their boat, including the world’s best tactician, England’s Sir Ben Ainslie, the Americans slowly claw it back, race by race. The Kiwi’s looked set to wrap things on day 10 with an astonishing 1,000 metre lead with 90% of the race completed. But as the 40-minute maximum race time came to a close, the race was abandoned.
Team Oracle ended up winning 9-8 after being 1-8 down in what has come to be the most embarrassing sporting “choke” for the small island nation. For every Kiwi it was a hard pill to swallow.
Leicester City in EPL Soccer
English football has been dominated by the top teams for many years. They have the best budgets, best players and get the best results. For a team that had spent only one season in the top division, where they finished 14th, the odds at the start of the 2015 season of Leicester City winning the league were 5,000:1. They had a team budget of $36 million, compared to defending champions Chelsea at $215.6 million. They had no star players. They had no chance.
But one die hard fan still believed in them, and he took that bet with a $70 investment. Leicester made history when they lifted the cup with 2 games to spare, for the first time in their 132-year history. Unfortunately, the lucky punters faith faltered part way through the season and he cashed out with a whopping $102,000 in March. Had he held his nerve, he would have been $354,000 the richer.
Boston Red Sox Win World Series 2004
The Red Sox may be known as baseball royalty, but since they traded their hero Babe Ruth to archrivals, the Yankees, in 1919, they had an 86-year drought. That came to end in 2004, and after being down 3-0 in the ALCS.
The Yankees had racked up 98 wins in the regular season, the third best since signing Ruth, including 11 out of 19 wins against their competition. With a deficit of 0-3, the Red Sox odds had risen to 1200:1 and they looked down and out.
The Red Sox came back in style winning a marathon 5-hour, 49-minute 5th game, and destroying their rivals 10 – 3 in game 7. Not only did they go on to break their drought, they clinched the world series title and remain the only MLB team to come back from being 3 games to 0.
Some Lucky Players Got into the Action for Free
If these ridiculous scores were not enough, some players did not even have to bet a single dollar of their own money. Instead, they used casino promos to their advantage to get a bankroll to bet with.
One lucky Canadian player got into the action thanks to free spins he got from Casino Pilot.
Who would have thought that his $5 free spins win would later turn into to a $6,000 profit?
Other Notable Mentions
USA Hockey in 1980
Facing the dreaded Soviet Union for the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Americans were a team of nobodies and college players up against the best of the best. In front of a stunned home crowd, they beat the odds and secured gold in the greatest hockey upset of all time known today as “Miracle on Ice”.
Michigan State Football 2006
With so many football games that were nothing but true greatness, this is our pick. Being down 38-3 with 10 minutes to go, the Spartans rallied late in the third quarter. They scored 38 unanswered points in the final 25 minutes to beat the Northwestern Wildcats 41-38. Reminiscent of the 1993, Oilers v. Bills game, it is in the history books as college footballs greatest comeback of all time.