WATCH: We count down Ireland’s Top 10 betting surprises of 2016
It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a pretty remarkable year with a host of shocks catching the world, and the bookies, by surprise.
And in time honoured tradition we’ve compiled a list of the biggest betting upsets to have taken place in the past year.
From Tipperary’s win over Cork to Leicester City’s Premier League triumph and the election of Donald Trump, it’s been quite a ride, especially for punters across the Irish Sea.
Here’s our rundown of Ireland’s top 10 betting surprises…
#10 – Boys in Green shock Italy
Beginning the countdown at number 10 is Ireland’s defeat of Italy at the European Championships. The biggest price Ireland could have been backed to win at the Grand Stade Lille Métropole was 9/2.
By kick-off Ireland were 11/4 and patriotic punters were rewarded when Robbie Brady scored the only goal of the match in the 84th minute.
#9 – Notorious says ‘goodnight’ against Nate Diaz
Conor McGregor’s defeat to Nate Diaz in March gets the number 9 spot.
McGregor looked a certainty at 1/5 in the betting but failed to justify his odds that night in the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
#8 – Tipp take down the Rebel County
At number 8 is the Munster SFC semi-final in June, where Cork were priced at 1/14 to beat Tipperary. However, the underdogs outplayed their odds of 8/1 to claim their first Championship victory against the Rebel County in 72 years.
Tipp led for most of the match but Cork pulled back to draw level before two injury time frees by Kevin O’Halloran sealed victory. Tipp went on to have a great season with their journey only ended by Mayo in the All Ireland semi final.
#7 – Conlan controversy
Number 7 goes to Vladimir Nikitin’s controversial victory over Michael Conlan in August. We were quick to payout, not just on Conlan as the winner of the fight, but also on bets for him to win an Olympic medal and to win gold.
#6 – Mouse at the double
Mouse Morris landing the epic Grand National double gets the number 6 spot. Fresh from Rogue Angel’s 16/1 victory in the Irish Grand National, the trainer headed to Aintree for the English equivalent with Rule the World, a horse who was yet to win over fences with a teenage jockey David Mullins aboard who was having his first ride in the race.
30 years on from his first attempt, Mouse Morris won the race with his 33/1 shot, completing the 578/1 double.
#5 – 5000/1 Foxes take us to the cleaners
Number 5 in the countdown goes to Leicester City winning the Premier League title, having started the season at 5000/1. A cunning Ladbrokes customer in Dundalk had placed €30 on the Foxes nine months before their victory at a whopping price of 3000/1 leaving him with €90,000 in winnings to collect on May 2.
#4 – Brexit bashes the bookies
Brexit is ranked at number 4. Despite the betting markets shifting towards a Remain victory in Britain’s EU Referendum, the Brexit campaigners were those left celebrating on June 23. In the month before the vote, Remain was as short as 1/4, while Brexit had drifted out to 3/1.
#3 – Connacht secure elusive silverware
Making the top three betting surprises of 2016 is Connacht winning the Guiness Pro12. In their 121-year history, Connacht were without a major trophy until May of this year, when they made history at Murrayfield by beating Leinster 20-10 in the Guineass Pro12 final to claim the title having been 66/1 outsiders at the start of the season.
#2 – The Donald does the business
Donald Trump’s US Election victory takes second place on our list with the former Apprentice star’s rise from rank outsider to President-elect arguably the biggest story of the year.
Trump opened up as a 100/1 shot before drifting to 150/1 at one point. However, sustained momentum soon saw those odds slashed and the unthinkable happen.
#1 – Ireland defeat the All Blacks
We’ve saved the best until last with Ireland’s win over New Zealand our number one. A whopping 111 years had passed since Ireland’s first clash with the original All Blacks and Joe Schmidt’s squad were having their first Test of a new season against the formidable side at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
In the 28 previous times of trying, Ireland had been beaten 27 times, and drawn just once. They were 12/1 to make history and in the handicap before kick-off were receiving a 24 point start.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing