The Los Angeles Rams are currently in their second season since moving from St Louis and are a surprise 4-2 in the NFC West. The franchise has not had a winning season since all the way back in 2003.
Back in 1999 they pulled off the biggest surprise in football history by winning the Super Bowl after entering the season as a 300/1 long shot with the bookmakers – the largest odds of any Super Bowl winner.
At the end of the last Millennium Dick Vermeil’s side had headed into the season off the back of a 4-12 record, having never made the playoffs since 1989 and having lost starting Quarterback Trent Green to injury in pre-season.
The Rams laid their hopes on undrafted Quarterback Kurt Warner who had been playing over in NFL Europe. To the shock of many, the Northern Iowa graduate go the rams off to a 6-0 start to the 1999 season before losing to the Tennessee Titans.
However, this proved to be just one three defeats throughout the campaign as they ended the regular season as the number one seed in the NFC at 13-3.
They defeated the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reach the Super Bowl at the Georgia Dome to face the Tennessee Titans. The Greatest Show on Turf as they were known by now headed into the Super Bowl as pre-game favourites and lived up to their hype with a 23-16 win courtesy of Mike Jones’ tackle of Kevin Dyson 1 yard out on the final day.
19 years earlier and the United States’ Men’s Ice Hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games caused one of the greatest shocks in sporting history.
On 22 February 1980 Herb Brooks’ United States team faced the pre-tournament favourites Soviet Union in Salt Lake City. Team USA consisted of amateur players whilst the Eastern Europeans had won the Gold medal in six of the last seven Olympic Games and even thrashed USA 10-3 pre-tournament.
What is now more commonly known as the Miracle on Ice, Team USA upset the Soviet Union 4-3 and went on to win the Gold medal despite starting the game that day as 1,000/1 outsiders.
Roll on two decades and at the Sydney Games in 2000 came the greatest shock in Olympic history according to the bookmakers.
In the 130kg weight category wrestling, Russian Aleksandr Karelin had been undefeated in international competition, on a 13-year winning streak and hadn’t even lost a point in the past 10 years!
Karelin had beaten his opponents 3-0, 3-0, 4-0 and 3-0 to reach the final where he would face rank outsider Rulon Gardner. The American had started the tournament as an unknown with bookmakers giving him odds of 2,000/1. He would upset Karelin with a 1-0 victory in overtime.
And perhaps the greatest sporting upset of all happened only last year. Little English soccer club Leicester City stunning fans throughout Europe as the won the 2015-16 Premier League.
The Foxes as they are known in Europe had actually been bottom of the EPL for the majority of the previous season before a late run saw them narrowly avoid relegation. They switched coaches in the off-season but were still expected to be involved in a relegation battle.
Leicester were given 5,000/1 and took advantage of pre-season favourites Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all under-performing, leading the way from early in the second half of the season through to the end.
According to British newspaper the Mirror, Leicester fan Leigh Herbert placed a pre-season bet on the soccer that his Leicester team would win the Premier League. A £5 bet won him £25,000 come May! Since then fans in Europe have been scouring the Betfair football odds in hope they can find the next big upset and win a sizeable sum of cash.
All of these big sporting shocks and more are included in the graphic below produced by betting exchange Betfair: