The Leicester City Foxes are on the verge of history.
Not ringing any bells?
The Foxes are a soccer team based in Leicester, England — which has about the same population as Aurora, Colorado — and plays in the English Premier League, regarded as the best soccer league on the globe.
Last season, Leicester City finished a mere three points shy of being relegated to Football League Championship, or Level 2. This would be akin to the three worst MLB teams being shipped to Triple A. In 2015, that would have meant a season of long bus rides for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies.
This season, the Foxes entered the season with 5,000-1 odds to win the EPL according to English-based bookmaker William Hill.
Those are the same odds of Elvis being found alive, Yeti or Loch Ness Monster being proven to exist or Kim Kardashian becoming the U.S. President in 2020.
Yes, you can actually bet on those things in England.
Now, with only five games remaining and the Foxes seven points clear of the second-place Tottenham Hotspur F.C., the impossible looks like an inevitability.
The EPL point system rewards teams three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss.
By comparison, the longest shots to win the World Series entering this baseball season was the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves — both in the midst of total overhauls — at 500-1.
In the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the lowest odds to win the Super Bowl at 300-1.
The constantly rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers finished 18-64 in 2014-15, yet entered this season with 250-1 odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The closest example in American sports is the 2013 Auburn football team, which came into the season as 1,000-1 long shots and won it all, led by Cam Newton.
Still nowhere near 5,000-1.
Although it would take something of a collapse for Leicester not to finish first, some anxious gamblers who bet on the Foxes before the season are getting a little itchy and so are English bookmakers.
According to espn.com, English sportsbooks could lose more than $14 million if Leicester City seals the deal. In an attempt to soften the blow, William Hill is now offering $4,659 per each $1.42 bet, trying to lure nervous bettors into ‘punting.’
The Foxes can get one step closer to the biggest Cinderella story in sports this Sunday against West Ham United F.C.