Biggest betting moments of Leicester City's Prem League title

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez helped drive Leicester City to the most improbably of Premier League titles -- and helped bettors who supported the Foxes to cash in with a big payday. Michael Regan/Getty Images

It is well documented that newly-crowned Premier League champions Leicester City went into the 2015-16 season as 5,000-1 underdogs to claim the title. That makes them the biggest outsiders to ever get their hands on England's top-division trophy, and by some margin.

What's less well documented is how long it took for the market to react to Leicester's unexpected march towards the main prize. The Foxes' numbers held up for several months -- as though the bookmakers were simply unable to evaluate what was happening.

As a result, bettors who missed those huge preseason odds -- and, let's be frank, hardly anybody predicted Leicester would do so well -- had a stack of further opportunities to invest in Claudio Ranieri's side at prices that would have generated significant returns.

From start to finish it was a remarkable season on the pitch, but here are five of the key moments from a betting point of view that show how Leicester beat the odds.

1. Leicester City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Aug. 22, 2015

Odds to win Premier League: 500-1

This was the one moment in the season where backing Leicester City to win the title genuinely looked like a bad idea.

Leicester's home draw against the side that would eventually end up their nearest title challengers gave them a solid but unexceptional tally of 7 points from their opening three matches -- yet it was enough for their title odds to be slashed from 2,500-1 to 500-1 at the end of this round of matches. As the 2,500-1 odds on Leicester had attracted little attention preseason, 500-1 was hardly going to tempt anyone -- especially as Manchester City were ahead of them in the standings (9 points) and Liverpool and Manchester United (7 points) were right alongside them.

Leicester's bright start suggested relegation might be less of a foregone conclusion than many had predicted, but there was little sign of anything significantly more than that.

2. Newcastle United 0-3 Leicester City

Nov. 21, 2015

Odds: 50-1

On Matchday 13, Leicester leapfrogged Manchester City and Arsenal to the top of the table, thanks to an emphatic away victory at Newcastle United. Jamie Vardy equaled the record for scoring in the most consecutive Premier League matches (10), and prophetically said after the match, "We know we can cause teams problems, and we're solid at the back, too. We have a never-say-die attitude and will fight for each other until the end."

The bookies didn't agree, though, and with a third of the season gone the Foxes were still available at 50-1.

3. Leicester City 0-0 Bournemouth

Jan. 2, 2016

Odds: 10-1

A week before Christmas, Leicester were as short as 13-to-2, but a little more than a week later, the bookmakers had moved them out to 10-1. Why?

A run of three games over the festive period without a win or a goal -- 0-1 at Liverpool, 0-0 vs. Manchester City and then this home draw against Bournemouth -- resulted in widespread predictions that Leicester's bubble had burst.

The opinions covered every base. The goals have dried up; Vardy and Riyad Mahrez look tired; The underdogs have been found out; they've had a good run, but it's all over. It turned out to be nonsense, of course.

Yes, this was a dip in form, but it turned out to be nothing more than that. With hindsight, what a great opportunity this was: 10-1 on a team that was only 2 points behind the leaders (Arsenal was at the top of the table) with more than half of the season gone.

4. Leicester City 1-0 Norwich City

Feb. 27, 2016

Odds: 8-5

This was your last chance to back Leicester at an odds-against price. Their 1-0 win over a struggling Norwich City side kept them 1 point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur with 11 games to go, but it was really the gaps that had opened up over third-place Arsenal (5 points) and fourth-placed Manchester City (9 points) that meant the Foxes were belatedly starting to be seen as genuine title favorites. It wasn't quite a two-horse race yet -- but it soon would be.

5. Leicester City 2-2 West Ham United

April 14, 2016

Odds: 9-25

Were they about to throw it away? Leicester needed a last-minute equalizer from substitute Leonardo Ulloa to avoid defeat against West Ham. The bookies responded by pushing Ranieri's players out from 1-10 the week before to 9-25.

The wobble the football world had been waiting for all season hadn't happened yet -- could this be the start of it? The price cut suggested certain bookies thought it might be, but, once again, Leicester had other ideas. Seven days later they thrashed Swansea City 4-0 and the evening after their 1-1 draw at Manchester United (May 1) the players gathered at Jamie Vardy's house to celebrate clinching the title when Tottenham Hotspur dropped points at Chelsea.

Who -- other than Tom Hanks -- would have thought it?