Skip to content

Premier League 2015/16: How odds changed as Leicester claimed title

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Take a look at how the odds of Leicester winning the title changed throughout the season

After 5,000/1 shots Leicester were crowned Premier League champions, we take a look at how the odds changed throughout the season.

There were five Premier League favourites during the course of a remarkable campaign - Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs and, of course, Leicester.

Using Sky Bet's odds, Andy Schooler looks at how the 2015/16 season unfolded from the perspective of the betting markets.

March 18 2015 - Book opens

Odds: Chelsea 7/4, Man City 2/1, Man Utd 6/1, Arsenal 10/1, Spurs 50/1, Leicester N/A

When the 2015/16 Premier League book opened towards the end of last season, Chelsea were well on their way to title glory - six points clear of Manchester City with a game in hand - and that was reflected in the new market. Leicester were sat rock bottom, seven points from safety with 10 games to play and seemingly staring relegation in the face. They were not even quoted in the title betting and as short as 1/20 to face relegation.

August 8 - Season starts

Odds: Chelsea 13/8, Man City 5/2, Arsenal 7/2, Man Utd 5/1, Spurs 100/1, Leicester 5000/1

Chelsea had shortened slightly during pre-season with City lengthening. However, it was Arsenal who had been the big movers prior to the big kick-off - into third favourites and just 7/2. Leicester were nominally available at the now famous odds of 5,000/1 and Spurs at 100/1. Chelsea's price only went one way from this point, although even a first-day draw at home to Swansea - Eva Carneiro row et al - could not dislodge them from favouritism.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea reacts
Image: Chelsea were held by Swansea on the opening day

September 12 - City in charge

Odds: Man City 4/11, Arsenal 4/1, Man Utd 12/1, Chelsea 14/1, Spurs 250/1, Leicester 5,000/1

Standings - Sep 12

1. Man City - 15 points
2. Man Utd - 10 points
3. Arsenal - 10 points
4. Crystal Palace - 9 points
5. Leicester - 8 points

A last-gasp win at Crystal Palace made it five wins out of five for Manuel Pellegrini's men. Not a single goal had been conceded and everything looked in their favour. Their odds hit a season-low of 2/7 that day and ended it at 4/11. You could still back Leicester at 5,000/1 despite them having taken eight points from their first four games.

Manchester City's Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho scores the winning goal during the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace
Image: Kelechi Iheanacho scored as Man City beat Palace for a fifth straight win

October 6 - You snooze, you lose

Odds: Man City 8/11, Arsenal 5/2, Man Utd 13/2, Chelsea 22/1, Spurs 100/1, Leicester 1,500/1

Standings - Oct 6

1. Man City - 18 points
2. Arsenal - 16 points
3. Man Utd - 16 points
4. Crystal Palace - 15 points
5. Leicester - 15 points

Leicester sat fifth heading into the October international break, just three points behind leaders City, but could still backed at 5,000/1 on October 6 - the last time such a price was available. That day their price was 'slashed' into 1,500/1.

November 21 - Leicester hit the summit

Odds: Man City 15/8, Arsenal 9/4, Man Utd 7/2, Spurs 28/1, Chelsea 80/1, Leicester 100/1

Standings - Nov 21

1. Leicester - 28 points
2. Man Utd - 27 points
3. Man City - 26 points
4. Arsenal - 26 points

City's early-season bluster was dying down and the autumn result which summed that up was a 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool which raised serious doubts about their title credentials. Manchester United had won (in the last minute) at Watford earlier in the day and ended it at 7/2 - their lowest price of the season. Leicester, meanwhile, won 3-0 at Newcastle to hit the top of the table for the first time - not that the bookies seemed that worried. The Foxes' odds shortened from 250/1 at the start of the day but they were still huge outsiders at 100/1.

Leicester City players celebrate Jamie Vardy's first goal of the game
Image: Leicester went top after a comfortable win over Newcastle

December 21 - Arsenal beat City, claim favouritism

Odds: Arsenal 10/11, Man City 15/8, Leicester 10/1, Man Utd 18/1, Spurs 20/1, Chelsea 66/1

Standings: Dec 21

1. Leicester - 38 points
2. Arsenal - 36 points
3. Man City - 32 points
4. Spurs - 29 points

The final Premier League match before Christmas was supposed to play a major role in the destination of the title and Arsenal's 2-1 home win over City was enough to usurp the losers from favouritism for the first time in months. The Gunners went odds-on that night but would get no shorter. Despite it being a happy Christmas for the Londoners, they were not top - that honour belonged to Leicester, who with just one defeat thus far, sat two points clear of Arsene Wenger's side.

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's second goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match against Man City
Image: Arsenal were odds-on favourites at Christmas

January 24 - Leicester hit single figures

Odds: Man City 11/10, Arsenal 13/8, Leicester 8/1, Spurs 9/1, Man Utd 33/1, Chelsea 250/1

Standings: Jan 24

1. Leicester - 47 points
2. Man City - 44 points
3. Arsenal - 44 points
4. Spurs - 42 points

It was almost February and the Foxes weren't going away. Despite having drifted back out to 33/1 at one point, they were still top and the bookies were beginning to take them seriously. A day after Leicester thrashed Stoke 3-0, Arsenal were beaten 1-0 at home to Chelsea and Leicester's price hit 8/1 - they were single figures for the first time.

Danny Simpson celebrates with goal-scorer Jamie Vardy
Image: Leicester went into single-figure odds after beating Stoke

February 2 - Arsenal slip, City back as favourites

Odds: Man City evens, Arsenal 3/1, Leicester 5/1, Spurs 6/1, Man Utd 33/1

Standings - Feb 2

1. Leicester - 50 points
2. Man City - 47 points
3. Spurs - 45 points
4. Arsenal - 45 points

This was a massive night in the title race and one remembered best for Jamie Vardy's stunning volley which helped Leicester to a 2-0 win over Liverpool. However, it was Manchester City who ended the evening as favourites following their fortunate 1-0 victory at Sunderland as Arsenal could only draw 0-0 at home to Southampton.

February 6 - Fox hunt

Odds: Leicester 7/4, Arsenal 11/4, Man City 3/1, Spurs 9/2, Man Utd 33/1

Standings - Feb 6

1. Leicester - 53 points
2. Spurs - 48 points
3. Man City - 47 points
4. Arsenal - 45 points

The day the bookies finally woke up to Leicester's title challenge was when they went to the Eithad Stadium and dismantled their hosts with a 3-1 win. From 5/1 for the title pre-match, they ended the day as 7/4 favourites thanks to two Robert Huth goals and a fabulous Riyad Mahrez strike. City's odds ballooned from evens to 3/1 and things would go downhill rapidly - the loss would be the first of three on the spin, the team responding poorly to the news that Pellegrini would be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.

 Robert Huth of Leicester City celebrates
Image: Leicester went favourites in February when they won at Manchester City

February 14 - Super Sunday

Odds: Arsenal 13/8, Spurs 5/2, Leicester 11/4, Man City 7/1, Man Utd 100/1

Standings - Feb 14

1. Leicester - 53 points
2. Spurs - 51 points
3. Arsenal - 51 points
4. Man City - 47 points

Another huge day began with Leicester losing 2-1 in the last minute at Arsenal, a rearguard effort with 10 men failing to protect a first-half lead at the Emirates and Danny Welbeck scoring an injury-time winner. Spurs, rarely talked of as potential champions up until this point, won 2-1 at Man City a few hours later. Suddenly they had gone to 5/2 second favourites, Arsenal were back at the head of the market and City, 12 days after being even-money favourites, were out to 7/1.

February 28 - Arsenal stutter

Odds: Leicester 15/8, Spurs 2/1, Arsenal 11/4, Man City 6/1

Standings - Feb 28

1. Leicester - 56 points
2. Spurs - 54 points
3. Arsenal - 51 points
4. Man City - 47 points

Inactive Leicester were the beneficiaries of another swing day in a fascinating title race. Arsenal lost 3-2 at Old Trafford in the lunchtime kick-off before Spurs beat Swansea 2-1. The Foxes, two points clear of Spurs and five ahead of Arsenal at close of play, were back as favourites. Arsenal had lost that tag for the final time.

March 1 - Spurs: For one night only

Odds: Spurs 6/4, Arsenal 9/4, Leicester 3/1, Man City 5/1

Standings - Mar 1

1. Leicester - 57 points
2. Spurs - 54 points
3. Arsenal - 51 points
4. Man City - 47 points

Leicester's home slip-up against West Brom, who held them to a 2-2 draw, saw Spurs become Premier League favourites for the first time in their history. A win the next night at West Ham would have taken them top of the table. It did not happen and Leicester were back as favourites for good.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris fails to keep out Michail Antonio's header
Image: Spurs were favourites for 24 hours in March - before losing to West Ham

March 12 - Leicester go odds-on

Odds: Leicester 10/11, Spurs 5/2, Arsenal 9/2, Man City 10/1

Standings - Mar 12

1. Leicester - 60 points
2. Spurs - 55 points
3. Arsenal - 52 points
4. Man City - 51 points

Manchester City's goalless draw at Norwich proved enough for Leicester to go odds-on for the title for the first time. It was a position they would hold until the end of a truly remarkable campaign.

April 17/18 - Doubts emerge

Odds: Leicester 4/9, Spurs 7/4

Standings - Apr 18

1. Leicester - 73 points
2. Spurs - 68 points

Any thoughts that Leicester would choke under the pressure of odds-on favouritism looked daft as the Foxes won four in a row but having opened a seven-point lead and gone as short as 1/10, doubts finally emerged when they were held to a 2-2 draw by West Ham. However, despite having Jamie Vardy sent off and falling 2-1 down, they still managed to claim a point thanks to Leonardo Ulloa's last-minute penalty. They were duly moved out and when Spurs were convincing 4-0 winners at Stoke the following day, they were back out at 4/9.

Leicester City v West Ham United - Premier League
Image: Leonardo Ulloa's late penalty saw Leicester grab a draw against West Ham

April 24/25 - Game over

Odds: Leicester 1/20 Spurs 10/1

Standings - Apr 25

1. Leicester - 76 points
2. Spurs - 69 points

Without the suspended Vardy, Leicester answered their doubters in emphatic fashion with a 4-0 demolition of Swansea to pile the pressure on Spurs heading into their home clash with West Brom the following night. The Londoners felt it too. Despite taking the lead via a Craig Dawson own goal, the same player levelled in the second half and the hosts had no answer in the remaining 20 minutes. Leicester's odds plummeted to new lows. They needed just three more points from their final three games and would not flinch to complete the greatest upset in sporting history.

Shortest odds

You may be surprised to see how short some teams got during the campaign.

Man City - 2/7 - Sep 12
Arsenal - 4/5 - Dec 21
Spurs - 5/4 - Mar 5 (in-play)
Chelsea - 13/8 - Aug 8
Man Utd - 7/2 - Nov 21
Liverpool - 6/1 - Dec 5

Next season

Leicester are 33/1 shots to win next season's Premier League - a far cry from last summer's 5,000/1 quote. Ahead of Pep Guardiola's summer arrival, Manchester City are firm favourites at 11/8. If you fancy another shock, perhaps 1,500/1 about Watford is the price for you but no one is 5,000/1. The layers have learned their lesson.

Around Sky