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Bookmakers pay out prematurely on Leicester to win the Premier League – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 26th, 2016 by Ian

Bookmakers pay out prematurely on Leicester to win the Premier League
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With their preseason odds of winning the English Premier League ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 to 1, bookmakers across the world will have to pay out millions of dollars if the Leicester City happens to pull it off. Therefore, it’s a little hard to comprehend why some betting firms have already decided to declare the club as champions. This is especially true when you consider Leicester is hanging onto first place in the 20-team league by just five points with four games and 12 points still to play for in the 2015/16 campaign. They have a five-point lead on second-place Tottenham Hotspur and sit 10 up on third-place Arsenal.

The BetFred sportsbook actually declared Leicester as champions several weeks ago and one lucky punter cashed in a 20-pound bet at 2,000/1 odds. BetFred boss Fred Done decided to pay out with six games still remaining in the season as he said he didn’t think Leicester would blow their lead. However, they still have to play Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea in their final three matches. There’s definitely no guarantee that Leicester will win the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history. If last year’s relegation-battle survivors don’t win the league it won’t be the first time Done has been wrong.

BetFred has paid out prematurely twice before and it has cost Done a pretty penny not to mention the embarrassment that goes along with it. Back in the 1997/98 Premier League season BetFred became the first bookmaker ever to declare the title race over early when the firm paid out on Manchester United winning the league. However, Done was left with egg on his face when Arsenal put together a late winning streak and took the crown. He didn’t learn his lesson though as BetFred also paid out again on Man United winning the league in the 2011/12 campaign only to see Manchester City snatch the title with the last kick of the season.

Done seems to be sure Leicester will take care of business this year and told the press, “I’ve been wrong before, but this time I can’t see Spurs or Arsenal catching Ranieri’s men. Leicester has impressed me all season. I have a number of punters who incredibly backed the Foxes for fivers and tenners at very fancy prices and it will cost me a million pounds. I want those punters to get their dough now. I am delighted because Leicester has been an absolute breath of fresh air this season.”

BetFred isn’t the only sportsbook to risk paying out money for nothing as Titanbet decided to do the same thing when there was still eight games remaining in the season. The company said it didn’t care what happens over the final few weeks of the campaign and all bets on Leicester to win the league will be honoured. The club’s odds of winning the league were as high as 5,000/1 with Titanbet when the season kicked off. Leicester took over top spot on the table on January 23rd when they beat Stoke City 3-0 and are still hanging onto it. They were 5/4 favourites to win the title when Titanbet decided to pay out on them.

Leicester sat in last place in the Premier League 12 months ago, but managed to earn enough points to avoid relegation with a late-season surge. The club then sacked manager Nigel Pearson during the summer and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri and they’ve been enjoying a fairytale turnaround ever since. Not all Leicester fans are confident the team will be sitting in first place when the season ends though as the Ladbrokes sportsbook said some bettors were cashing in early. The firm said 47 people backed Leicester at the start of the season at odds of 5000/1 and several of them have decided to take reduced winnings now rather than get nothing back if Spurs should happen to overtake them. One bettor believed he’d be better off taking 29,000 pounds now on his 20-pound wager just in case.

 
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