Sports BIT: Sportsbooks Suffer Leicester Outstanding Title Win

Teddy Covers

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 3:05 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 3, 2016 3:05 PM UTC

Leicester caused a big upset in our history Sunday night and now the odds & bookmakers are going crazy over it. In Today's SportsBIT, we look at the soccer odds and what it means to you.

The Tuesday edition of SportsBIT with Teddy and Pauly opens with a detailed look at the greatest upset in modern sports history – Leicester City winning the English Premier League title, cashing future book tickets as high as 5000:1. Leicester City clinched yesterday, their first title in 132 years. This was a team that was in last place last year. In fact, they needed a late season winning streak just to avoid getting relegated; the type of squad that ‘yo-yo’s’ between relegation and promotion every two years.

And yet Leicester City still took action to win the title at sportsbooks in the UK, the USA and around the globe. Most of the action came from casual fans, not sharp syndicate money. We’re not talking heavy futures money, but at 5000:1 or 2500:1 odds, it doesn’t take many winning bets to create enormous liability for the books that wrote those tickets. 

All those Leicester City bets are now winners! Teddy and Pauly show how the books in Vegas took a hit, with tweets from Jeff Sherman at the Westgate Superbook and from William Hill US. And they found a great quote from Ladbrokes, saying basically that the days of offering 5000:1 odds on longshot underdogs are over. And a William Hill spokesman said that the company won’t be offering more than 1000:1 odds in the future.

Of course, a statement like that deserves a SportsBIT moment of silence (that lasted less than two seconds) for those big longshot tickets at 1000:1 or higher. Teddy talked about how the sportsbooks here in Vegas learned their lesson about big underdogs when the Rams cashed a whole bunch of tickets at 200:1 or 100:1 with their ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ team in the 2000 Super Bowl. Multiple sports book directors lost their jobs after that debacle, and no ‘live’ NFL team has been priced higher than 50:1 or 60:1 since.

British bookmakers just learned that same lesson. Pauly’s take is that the books will get the same level of action whether they offer 500:1 odds or 5000:1. Bettors who look for those type of longshot wagers tend to be the little guys, the amateurs, the ‘recreational’ players. Those are the type of bettors that books generally want to be wagering in their shops, and those bettors just took another punch with the end of an era – the big longshot days are probably over.

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