If you are under the impression that betting on football is restricted to crunching the odds on which side is likely to win, you might want to think again. While there are plenty of excellent beginner’s guides to betting on football out there, we would like to take a brief look at the weirder side of wagering on “the beautiful game.”
Nevertheless, if you’re thinking of starting betting on football, it’s worth spending a little time learning about the arts of football wagering before you part with any money. Keeping abreast of the latest sports news and odds guidance via specialist websites like Odds Preview will be a considerable help, too.
With those provisos in place, let’s take a dive into the stranger aspects of betting in football.
The £2.50 bet on a 9-match Accumulator that paid a fortune
You have to go back to 2011 to find this story, but one aspiring chap decided to pop into Ladbrokes and try his luck with a wager that anyone else would find distinctly absurd: he staked a grand total of £2.50 on a nine-match accumulator. To compound the seemingly insurmountable odds against him, he’d picked a few underdog teams (like Blackburn and Wolves) to win and wagered that Athletic Bilbao would draw with the supremely-favoured Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey.
Guess what? Athletic Bilbao snatched victory from the jaws of a 1-0 defeat against Barcelona in the closing five minutes of play. Our punter walked home £272,000 better off than when he’d entered the bookies.
When Xabi Alonso’s long-range goal put £25,000 into a punter’s pocket
In 2006, one Adrian Haywood decided that it was well within Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso’s talents to score from his own half during the season; Alonso’s long-range shooting abilities, to be fair, were legendary. He asked the bookies what odds he could expect on such a bet. 125.00, came the dour reply, so he went ahead, placing £200 on the near-impossible actually happening – and it did. It occurred during Liverpool’s FA Cup Third Round tie with Luton, to be precise. The Reds secured a tumultuous 5-3 victory – and one of those five goals was courtesy of Alonso scoring from his own half! Mr Haywood walked away from his apparently insane wager £25,000 richer.
A kitchen fitter becomes a millionaire with a £5 bet
You can’t make this stuff up. Daman Chick, a kitchen fitter by trade, decided to place a punt of £5 on Portugal’s Eder to score the winning goal in the 109th minute of the team’s Euro 2016 final against France. Eder did exactly that – making Mr Chick an overnight millionaire with a £1m payout.
Meanwhile, across the pond …
Things get even weirder in the US. In the Super Bowl, for example, “prop” (or proposition) bets are allowed, in which people can gamble on what colour Lady Gaga’s hair will be when she starts her halftime show (Odds: -400 for Blonde, +250 for any other colour), whether the doyen of NFL quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, will be seen crying, or whether the word “lacrosse” will be mentioned on a live broadcast!