The 61st Sports Personality of the year will be held in Belfast on the 20th December. An exciting event for all sports fans it allows us all to reflect on the great sporting moments and achievements from the year. The shortlist contains both old and new faces and a couple of latecomers have made the betting very interesting.
In case you are not familiar with the format, the winner is chosen but the public but they vote from a shortlist drawn up by expert panelists. All athletes that are chosen have either had a sporting achievement on a national or international stage or had a notable impact on their sport.
So, who is the one to bet on? Well, Andy Murray is a clear favourite and you’ll be lucky to get even money on him now with his price sure to drop closer to the event. Is he a sure thing though and will the public see him as a deserving winner or not? We take a look at his competition and conclude what we think are the best bets.
Lewis Hamilton is the current sports personality holder and in 2015 repeated his achievement from the year before, winning the F1 Championship with 3 races to spare. Is this enough to warrant victory a second time around? I think not but he looks a safe bet for another podium finish.
Considering other achievements and having turned a bit ghetto and looking incredibly smug this year, I’m actually pretty confident that Hamilton won’t win this year. Thank god we won’t have to endure another of his winning speeches!
Andy Murray almost singlehandedly won the Davis Cup for Great Britain for the first time in 79 years. Only Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell have won the Sports Personality twice and Murray will be looking to equal that feat, having won the award in 2013 when he won Wimbledon.
The Davis Cup in theory is a team game but we all know the absolutely crucial role he played in it all and the grueling effort that went into dragging Britain from the doldrums not just this year but the last 3 years! With BBC covering the Davis Cup and tennis a fairly big part of their sporting offering, it is hard not to see Murray winning. In recent years his outburst of emotion and love for now wife Kim Sears has certainly endeared him to the public.
Murray’s achievement is fresh in the mind of the voters and s I said before you’ll be lucky to get even money now but if you can get anywhere close to that Murray is well worth lumping on.
Tyson Fury’s big win against Wladamir Klitschko has made the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” a late contender. His win in Dusseldorf was a huge surprise but the man from Manchester managed a unanimous decision against the Ukrainian who some previously viewed as unbeatable. Was Wlad at his best though and was the victory conclusive enough for him to deserve such a great award? Probably not.
Fury has come out with some outrageous statements and views that unlike Murray have not endeared him into the British public and even the new Heavyweight Champion of the world himself has predicted his (lack of) chances of winning SPOTY as none. There may be flurry of people who think ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if Fury won’ but certainly not enough to outweigh the tennis and Murray loving supporters. Fury’s odds stand at 5/1 and I actually think this is too short.
Jessica Ennis-Hill was the person to beat for the SPOTY up until about a month ago. The heptathlete from Sheffield not only gave birth to her first child this year, but returned to the World Championship after giving Team GB only one month’s notice. She not only competed, but won gold, an absolutely incredible achievement. She has a huge fan base and it’s no surprise she is a main contender especially when you consider the success of the little-known Jo Pavey with her third place finish last year.
Perhaps the World Championships win pales too much in significance to Olympic feats however but again a top 3 finish looks likely.
Kevin Sinfield is apparently a Rugby League legend. I class myself as a pretty big sport s fan but not following Rugby League myself and having never heard of him, it’s tough to see him faring well in a public vote of this nature. 14/1 looks about right.
All other entries are priced at 50/1 or above and it’s pretty fair to say they have no chance.
It’s a 3 horse race between Murray, Jess Ennis and Lewis Hamilton for me. A big bet on Murray at 4/5 is advised but if you don’t like odds on betting and want a slightly bigger return than your stake, go for Hamilton to make the top 3 at 6/4.