Sat, Nov 5, 10:37am by Head Editor
When the Chicago Cubs saluted in the 10th inning on Thursday afternoon AEDT they became the latest in a long list of drought breaking victories across the globe in 2016.
The extra innings win gave the Cubs their first World Series trophy since 1908 to break the longest drought in baseball. They were at the odds of $15 before the season started.
Let’s go back to the first drought breaker of 2016. When the final whistle blew at Old Trafford on Sunday the 1st of May, the point from their draw with Manchester United gave Leicester City the Premier League championship for the very first time.
Looking at this purely from a betting perspective, they were at the highest odds of any team in the pre-season at 2000-1, after they were nearly relegated the previous season.
The next month we moved across the Atlantic to see the Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals on the 19th of June. They came back from a 3–1 deficit which made them the first team in NBA history to accomplish that feat.
They also accomplished the feat, just like Leicester in England of winning their first ever Championship. They were one of the favourites for the Championship at $4 before the season began.
Then, a few months later, back on home soil, the Western Bulldogs defeated Sydney in the AFL decider, breaking the longest running drought of any club, 62 years. They were at the odds of $17 in the pre-season but were given no hope at all just before their heroic finals campaign, at the astonishing odds of $67.
The following day, the Cronulla Sharks won their first ever NRL premiership defeating the Melbourne Storm in an epic Grand Final. The Sharks broke the longest drought in the league after being at $16 in the pre-season.
There’s no doubt that 2016 has been the year of the drought breaker and the TAB confirmed this by releasing a fake ticket on Thursday. So just how unlikely was the run of results? Well the figure that they came up with was an astonishing 26 million to one.
Here’s the ticket:
There was also one amazing result that the TAB missed. Portugal’s drought breaking European Championship win in July was their first ever European crown. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were at 20/1 for the title before a ball was kicked.
So let’s all take a deep breath and let this year sink in, it’s certainly been one that sports fans around the world will never forget.
With the Western Bulldogs and Cronulla passing the baton after breaking their premiership droughts in their respective codes, who is left with the unwanted mantle?
In the AFL there are two clubs that are now out on their own with a dry spell of more than 50 years each. Melbourne are $23 to win their first AFL premiership since 1964 and St Kilda are $26 to hold the cup aloft for the first time since 1966.
St Kilda went so close in 2010, losing a replay to Collingwood after the clubs played out just the third draw in the history of the VFL/AFL. The Saints finished just outside the finals this year and will be expecting to play in September next year.
The Demons are in the same boat, they have assembled a potent and youthful midfield group that will hold the club in good stead for the coming years. The club last played in a decider in 2000 but were blown off the park by a powerful Bombers outfit to the tune of 60 points.
In the NRL, it’s poor old Parramatta who hold the longest drought and there was so much promise in the 2016 season until the salary cap scandal rocked the club. They last saluted in 1986 and are at $17 to break what will be a 31-year drought next season.
The Eels may fancy their chances now they have the weaponry to mount a charge.
Who knows what 2017 will hold but surely it can’t be as unexpected as this year.
Odds provided by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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