The Long Shot: That Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez wins the 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or, awarded to the world’s best male soccer player.
The Odds: 150/1, according to Bovada.
Why It Might Happen: Couple reasons. One, something much crazier has already happened. Mahrez’s club team, Leicester City, won the English Premier League last season despite being 5,000/1 shots. Compared to that, Mahrez receiving the Ballon d’Or for the 2016 calendar year is damn near likely.
Two, Mahrez is super, super talented. He has the ability in him to be named the finest player in the world. Last season, he was considered by many to be the best player in the English Premier League. Which, despite its recent troubles in the Champions League, is still considered by most to be the best league in the world. Ergo, he has the potential to be the best player on earth. (Don’t believe us? Take a quick look at YouTube.) Also, he’s a flashy player, one of the best dribblers in the world, and this award favors players like Mahrez who not only score goals but impress fans and media members with eye-catching skills and tricks.
If Mahrez has a huge first half of the 2016-2017 season for Leicester and tallies, say, 15 goals (and Ballon d’Or favorites Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo suffer goal draughts and/or injuries), this slight-of-build Algerian could be the one receiving world soccer’s greatest individual honor next year. We wouldn’t put it past Mahrez to have a fine fall. At 25 years of age, he’s still very much in his prime.
Did we convince you? If so, bet here. If not, don’t bet there.