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Biggest sporting upsets | The most memorable upsets in sports history

Risk-averse punters will always bet on the favorites and add multiple events on the same betting slip rather than wager on the underdogs. The biggest sporting upsets serve as a silent reminder that sometimes you can cash in on the best odds if you have a key night for surprises.

In this guide, you will learn what are the biggest sporting upsets and focus on the most popular sports. From the biggest upset in college football history to the biggest boxing upsets, you will learn some exciting things.

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What are upsets in sports? 👩‍🏫

The name is self-explanatory, as the biggest upsets in sports refer to the most surprising results ever recorded. Whether you prefer soccer betting or NBA betting, upsets are always part of the game.

Most of the time the favorites deliver, but when the underdogs emerge victoriously, some of the biggest-ever sporting upsets in history are produced. Several punters can take advantage of these opportunities and lock in on exceptionally high odds.

The magnitude of an upset, whether it is NBA, NFLhandballboxingvolleyball, or golf usually depends on the odds. The biggest sporting upsets of all time that we talk about here are the ones that had huge odds on the underdog. This is only one of the many things that the top 10 sports upsets have in common, yet there are other facts that punters take seriously. The beauty of sports is that no two games are the same and upsets can occur when least expected, regardless of the teams involved.

What are the biggest sporting upsets in history? 🏆

Beginners try to figure out which is the hardest sport to bet on, so they avoid it. Conversely, they look for the best and easiest sport to bet on, so they boost the chances to win. Looking at the greater sporting upsets in history can indicate which sports are more likely to produce surprises.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have several punters who think that the best way to bet on tennis or other sports is to hunt for surprises. In your quest for such a sports miracle, it is worth remembering the craziest sports moments and upsets:


The United States beat the Soviet Union

The “Miracle on Ice” is mentioned in any hockey betting guides as the greatest surprise in sports history. The 1980 US team defeated the Soviet Union which was at the time the best in the world in the final seconds of the match.


Emma Raducanu wins the U.S. Open

One of the biggest sporting upsets was the victory of Emma Raducanu at the US Open in 2022. The 18-year-old outshined her opponents and lifted the trophy, despite getting odds of 400/1 in one of the greatest sports upsets.


Leicester wins the Premier League

Claudio Ranieri achieved the impossible in 2016 when he won the Premier League with Leicester City. This remains the biggest sporting upsets ever in terms of odds, with bookmakers offering 5000/1 on this outcome. It is not only one of the biggest soccer upsets, but it ranks at the top of the top 10 sports upsets all around.


Buster Douglas defeats Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson’s defeat was one of the biggest sporting upsets odds, as Douglas was priced at 42/1. Mike was a huge favourite ahead of the game but was not out in what was one of the historic sports moments.


Trevor Immelman Wins the 2008 Masters

The South African returned to competitive golfing after an emergency surgery and caused one of the major upsets in sports. He won the 2008 Masters despite being priced at 150/1. This is definitely worthy to be in the top 10 biggest sporting upsets.

Other great upsets in sports 🥇

The list of the biggest sporting upsets would be incomplete if we didn’t analyze these less-known but equally impressive achievements. These were some of the best upsets in sports betting because they came out of nowhere and changed sports history when least expected. Even experienced punters can benefit from knowing these.


Japan defeated South Africa in 2015

Japan’s victory at the Rugby World Cup made the South Africans feel like history’s greatest loser. After being crushed by New Zealand, Japan produced one of the greatest sports moments of all time.


Soderling defeats Nadal

No tennis player in history was as dominant as Nadal on clay and at Roland Garros in particular. This is one of the greatest sporting events of all time. Robin Söderling’s victory in 2009 ranks at the top of the list of top 10 sports upsets with odds of 48/1.


Greece wins Euro 2004

One of the best football upsets of all time is Greece winning the European Championship in 2004. Their defensive style of play proved to be successful and Otto Rehaggel’s side grind its way to the trophy.

American Football

NY Giants win the Super Bowl XLII

The Giants defeating the Patriots in 2007  is regarded as one of the biggest sporting upsets in history. At the same time it was one of the greatest Super Bowl games ever as New England were top favourites. They previously won all 16 regular-season games.


Anna Kiesenhofer wins in the Tokyo 2020 Cycling Olympics

One of the biggest sports bets ever won was on the Austrian cyclist Anna Kiesenhofer at Tokyo 2020. Priced at 500/1, she caused one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history, as she came out of nowhere to outshine opponents. When considering Olympics moments worth revisiting, her achievement will always impress.

Other things to know about sporting upsets 👍 & 👎


  • Great odds if you can pick winners
  • Single bets are more profitable than accumulators
  • Upsets can happen in any sport
  • Makes watching games more exciting


  • Higher volatility, therefore suitable for veterans
  • Require a lot of experience and practice

FAQ about the biggest sporting upsets answered 🤔

In terms of sheer odds, Leicester winning the Premier League is not only the biggest sporting upset in the UK, but also one of the biggest upsets in sports history.

The NY Giants defeating the New England Patriots probably qualifies as the biggest upset in sports if you are an NFL fan. It remains the biggest sporting upsets in 2022, but that can change in the future.

When analyzing what is an upset in sports, Leicester winning the Premier League and Greece winning Euro 2004 are without a doubt the biggest football upsets of all time.

Soderling defeating Nadal and Emma Raducanu winning the US Open are at the top of the list. Wawrinka recovering after a set down to defeat Djokovic in the Roland Garros final comes close.

Cash in on the biggest sporting upsets

You could be a veteran punter or a newcomer hoping to lock in on top odds without adding too many events on the same betting slip. The biggest sporting upsets inspire punters in this position, as they produce huge odds. Difficult as it might be to pick winners among the underdogs, you only need to be successful once or twice to make a lot of money. 

Start hunting for the top biggest sporting upsets and keep an eye on tall kinds of sports to spot opportunities. Regardless of your country of origin and sport preference, you have a real opportunity of cashing in on the surprises. Give yourself a fighting chance and be rewarded for it!

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