We take a look at the biggest winning bets of 2017 and the markets which cost Sky Bet the most.
Longest winning odds – football multiples
55,099/1 – Both teams to score in both halves accumulator – April 22
A look at Sky Bet’s 2017 figures suggests your best chance of winning big on football is a bet like this – a both-teams-to-score-in-both-halves multiple. This type of bet (either a treble or a four-fold acca) made up the top eight on the firm's 'longest winning odds' list. Details of this specific bet, backed by just a 10p stake, are shown below. It was halfway there after 43rd-minute goals in both the Chelsea and Gladbach games, but it took an 88th-minute strike from Inter's Mauro Icardi for this sensational wager to land.
- Hibs 2-3 Aberdeen (HT 1-2) – 28/1
- Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham (HT 2-1) – 18/1
- Borussia Monchengladbach 2-3 Borussia Dortmund (HT 1-1) – 9/1
- Fiorentina 5-4 Inter Milan (HT 1-2) – 9/1
20,073/1 – 12-fold accumulator – October 28
This was the biggest winning acca made up entirely from the traditional win-draw-win coupon. The results which delivered the bet are shown below but it was a very close call in the Palace v West Ham game – the hosts equalising in the 97th minute to ensure the bet stayed alive.
- Bury 0-1 Doncaster
- Hull 2-3 Nottingham Forest
- Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Barnsley
- Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea
- Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield
- Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham
- Preston 2-3 Brentford
- Burton 1-2 Ipswich
- West Brom 2-3 Man City
- Watford 0-1 Stoke
- Arsenal 2-1 Swansea
- Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham
15,707/1 – five-fold ante-post accumulator
One Sky Bet punter somehow correctly predicted the winners in five of the 2016/17 season’s major competitions – League One (Sheffield United), League Two (Portsmouth), FA Cup (Arsenal), Champions League (Real Madrid) and Europa League (Manchester United). Settled in June, the bet was placed on August 7, 2016 – the day after the opening set of EFL games. There was also a near miss when an eight-fold ante-post acca, which would have resulted in a £640,000 payout, was let down by Arsenal failing to finish in the Premier League’s top four (a final-day win for Liverpool condemned them to fifth place).
11,278/1 – 18-fold both teams to score accumulator – October 27
The biggest winning both-teams-to-score acca was made up of no fewer than 18 selections, all of which were on overseas games, including some in Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The longest price was 6/5 and the shortest 2/5.
10,352/1 – both teams to score in both halves treble – November 30
In total, there have been 37 winning football bets this year at odds of 10,000/1 or greater but it was this one which resulted in the biggest single payout - £51,765 to a punter who backed it to the tune of £5. The bet was twice within seconds of losing – Perugia netting a penalty in first-half stoppage time to keep it running before a Tenerife consolation in the 94th minute of their Copa del Rey tie sparked joyous scenes somewhere in Britain. Bet details:
- Real Betis 3-5 Cadiz (HT 2-4) – 16/1
- Udinese 8-3 Perugia (HT 3-1) – 20/1
- Espanyol 3-2 Tenerife (HT 1-1) – 28/1
Longest winning odds – football singles
450/1 – Wayne Rooney to score a header and West Ham to miss a penalty in Everton v West Ham – November 29
This game will be best remembered for Rooney’s goal from his own half but prior to that he had headed home the rebound of his own missed penalty. The Hammers were then awarded one of their own and Manuel Lanzini’s effort was duly saved by Jordan Pickford.
400/1 – Robert Lewandowski to score a header and Arsenal to miss a penalty in Bayern Munich v Arsenal – February 15
Things started to get very interesting for the £1 backer of this RequestABet once Alexis Sanchez saw his spot kick saved by Manuel Neuer after half an hour (he did net from the rebound). Once Bayern took charge after the break it was easy to see Lewandowski scoring and when he used his head to do so after 53 minutes, the 400/1 shot was home and hosed with something to spare.
300/1 - James Tavernier to score both halves in Rangers v Aberdeen – November 29
Maybe the traders did not realise Tavernier would be on penalty duty for this one but with regular spot-kick man Graham Dorrans injured, it was the Rangers right-back who stepped up to slot home after just seven minutes. A second goal followed in the 70th to complete this well-informed long-shot.
Longest winning odds – racing multiples
12,674/1 – six-fold win accumulator - April 13
A total of £2.52 was placed on this bet – a six-fold across five different meetings. It included two lengthen-the-odds selections – a bet which also includes the winning distance as part of it. Bet details:
- Vodka Wells to win 2.55 Hexham by five lengths or more
- Hammersly Lake to win 4.55 Haydock
- Robero to win 5.10 Ascot
- The Wicket Chicken to win 5.15 Hexham
- Noah Amor to win 5.45 Thirsk by two lengths or more
- Bendomingo to win 6.30 Warwick
Longest winning odds – racing singles
200/1 - Champarisi to finish third - 2.15 Thirsk – August 21
A starting price of 100/1 gave the selection little hope in a 13-runner race but the horse performed above expectations and with odds-on favourite Al Mustashar finishing down the field, this bet came good.
200/1 - Killahara Castle to win - 2.10 Thurles - December 17
Became the first horse to win at 200/1 in Ireland this century with a stunning upset - it was the six-year-old's first win 21 starts.
200/1 - Duke Of Bronte to win - 4.45 Newbury - April 22
Duke Of Bronte was actually sent off at 100/1 but Sky Bet had laid the horse at 200/1 earlier in the day. Trainer Rod Millman described the success as "a nice surprise". It definitely was for the few backers.
Sky Bet’s biggest football losers
Soccer Saturday Price Boost - March 18
Wins for Chelsea, Everton and Leicester – over Stoke (a, 2-1), Hull (h, 4-0) and West Ham (a, 3-2) respectively – cost Sky Bet a multi-million-pound payout. They had enhanced the treble from 7/1 to 9/1 under their Price Boost scheme. An 87th-minute winner from Gary Cahill at Stoke was a big moment in Chelsea’s march to the title – and another massive blow to the bookmaker. It completed a miserable 12 days in March for the firm (see below).
Soccer Saturday Price Boost – March 7
The Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Brighton win treble - boosted from 6/1 to 9/1 - proved almost as costly as the bet above. Bayern won 5-1 at the Emirates, while Real saw off Napoli 2-1 at home in their Champions League last-16 tie. Brighton, well on their way to promotion out of the Championship, brought home the bacon for punters with a 2-0 win at Rotherham.
Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain – March 8
Despite trailing 4-0 after their first-leg humbling, punters were happy to pile into Barca at big prices to turn things around and in a remarkable game at the Nou Camp, they managed to do so, winning 6-1 – 6-5 on aggregate – after netting goals in the 88th, 91st and 95th minutes. It prompted Sky Bet’s biggest payout of the year, although it cost them less overall than the bets above. The most costly markets proved to be Barca to qualify at 9/1 and the 6-1 correct scoreline which was well-backed at 66/1.
Domestic cup finals remain big punting events, as shown by the losses racked up in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup deciders. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late winner in Manchester United’s 3-2 victory over Southampton was one of the bigger losing events of the year for Sky Bet, while Arsenal’s 2-1 upset of Chelsea in the FA Cup final was only slightly less expensive for the layers.
Sky Bet's biggest racing loser
Triumph Hurdle - March 17
When you offer money back as a free bet if your bet loses, any bookmaker is going to be in trouble when the favourite wins and that’s what happened on the final day of Cheltenham this year. Defi Du Seuil came home in front, a result which ended up being the firm's biggest racing loser of the year. It was also a considerably bigger payout, if you include the free bets given away.