Of course, an upset isn’t great for everyone involved like sportsbooks, bettors on the favorite’s side, and the opposing team’s fans are understandably not joyous about this kind of scenario. But for neutral fans, this is often a day that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. When selecting the greatest sports upsets of all time, we considered a variety of sports from across the world as well as the ones that went completely against the grain. The greatest upsets and victories in sports exist because very few will bet on the underdog winning, and these results hit bookmakers and bettors hard.
Here is our list of the Greatest upsets and victories in sports
Greatest upsets victories in sports
5). The Miracle on Ice
The upset by which all other upsets are measured. A team of collegiate United States players shocked the world, and perhaps themselves, by beating the Soviet national team, widely regarded as the most talented group on the planet, at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.
Though the Soviets dominated play territorially, the U.S. was skilled on the counterattack, and Mike Eruzione’s tie-breaking goal with 10 minutes left in the third period held up despite a ferocious push by the USSR.
Team U.S.A. won the game 4-3 despite having lost to the Soviet team, 10-3, in an exhibition game just prior to the Olympics. The win is still widely regarded as the biggest upset in American sports history.
4). Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman
In late 1974, no boxer on the planet was more feared than George Foreman. Foreman was unbeaten and had destroyed Joe Frazier. He was seven years younger than Ali, who came into the fight a 4-to-1 underdog.
Rather than try to run from the hard-punching Foreman, Ali laid against the ropes and let Foreman tire himself out with punches that hit Ali’s arms and body and mostly had a little-to-no effect. By the eighth round, Foreman was completely exhausted and Ali was landing clean shots.
A five-punch combination put Foreman down for the count, and when the referee waved off the fight, the 32-year-old Ali had regained the heavyweight title and scored a shocking upset.
3). Japan beat South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Japan had only ever won a solitary Rugby World Cup match heading into the 2015 edition of the tournament. Although they had made progress in the two decades since a 145-17 defeat by New Zealand, they were still minnows who seemingly had little chance of making any sort of impact in England.
That was until Japan took on South Africa in Pool B’s opening contest. The South Africans were among the leading contenders to win the trophy and were expected to make light work of Japan in Brighton.
Instead, a thrilling encounter ended in a 34-32 Japanese victory, as the team coached by Eddie Jones upset pre-game odds of 80/1 in what is known as the ‘Miracle of Brighton’.
2). James Cahill beats Ronnie O’Sullivan, 2019
Ronnie O’Sullivan has won six Snooker World Championship titles, just one behind Stephen Hendry in the all-time rankings. The Rocket is considered by many to be the greatest snooker player of all time.
That is why it was such a shock when O’Sullivan was dumped out of the 2019 World Championship by an unknown amateur. James Cahill was available at 22/1 to beat the Essex-born maestro in the first round in Sheffield. But he upset the odds to win by 10 frames to eight.
Cahill stormed into an 8-5 lead, but the momentum was with O’Sullivan after the scores were leveled up at 8-8. Remarkably, the 23-year-old won the next two frames to complete the greatest upset in snooker history.
1). 5,000-1 Odds | Leicester City wins the English Premier League
Leicester City’s Premier League championship in 2016 was the greatest upset and victory in sports. Before the season started, some British sportsbooks had the club at 5,000-to-1 to win the league. Claudio Ranieri replaced Nigel Pearson as a manager in the summer and produced an even bigger miracle in 2015-16. With the pace and finishing ability of Jamie Vardy.
With the trickery and guile of Riyad Mahrez and the ball-winning prowess of N’Golo Kante. Leicester City sewed up the title with a few games remaining in the season. It might not resonate as much stateside, but the Foxes’ championship was nothing less than a seismic event in the Premier League.