Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sports Personality Punditry

The last few weeks have been horrible for British sportsmen (particularly English).

The football team failed, the cricket's been miserable. The rugby was plucky but unsuccessful. Murray has, for his standards, done poorly.

So, come December, we might end up scratching around for a Sports Personality of the Year.

As things stand, the top contenders with the bookies (Sky Bet, William Hill) are:

1. Lewis Hamilton (6/4, 11/8)

Despite a rough few weeks, Lewis is back on course to contend for the F1 title. He's the surest hope for a Brit to win a title in a popular sport and is strong favourite with the bookies. But to win SPOTY, he needs to win the drivers' championship and hope no one else does anything spectacular. Hamilton isn't universally popular and has come second in the competition twice when he's had a strong case to win. I'd definitely put him favourite but those aren't good odds.

2. Jonny Wilkinson (6/1, 5/1)

This is an amazing inclusion for the second spot and shows how weak the field is. He's retiring and had a decent season but it's astonishing that a player who's been out of international rugby (and therefore out of the average person's awareness) for so long is the second favourite for SPOTY. I'd need much longer odds to persuade me.

3. Carl Froch (7/1, 8/1)

He won his first big fight for the year (and big it was) and needs to hold off James DeGale. His 8/1 seems a better value bet to me than the other two.

Beyond those three, we're largely speculating that a golfer will win a major (and possibly the Ryder Cup) or Murray will win the US Open.

Can anyone else see a potential winner? (Sky Bet odds, William Hill odds)

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