Sports Personality of The Year Betting
There’s plenty of sport left in the calendar as the year starts to draw to a close but this is the time when traditionally, fans in the UK start to reflect on 2017 and consider who has made the most impact.
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year has been held since way back in 1954 and while there are other trophies for teams, overseas sportspeople and more, the main prize is for the British sportsman or woman that has made the biggest contribution to their own sport.
There is a lively betting market attached to this award so let’s get straight on and consider the runners and riders for 2017.
Leading The Way
At the start of October, punters could have claimed best odds of 4/9 on boxer Anthony Joshua to take the award but that was prior to his world heavyweight title defence against Carlos Takam. Joshua came through that bout and as a result, his top price for BBC Sports Personality of the Year has shortened to 4/11 with Stan James.
It’s been a stellar year for the 28 year old who claimed the WBA and IBO titles with a dramatic win over Wladimir Klitschko back in April before following up with victory over Takam in October. It’s considered to be the greatest sporting achievement by a British competitor this year and Joshua has a significant lead in the market over the second favourite.
Another man to have shortened in price in recent weeks is F1 driver Lewis Hamilton. In October, he was out at 12/1 but having clinched his fourth World Drivers’ Championship in the interim, Hamilton has dropped to a best of 7/1 with Paddy Power and Winner Sports.
The Mercedes man has claimed this award before but multiple winners are not uncommon so that should not count against him. In fact, current holder Andy Murray has won this accolade three times in the last four years so the voting public would not necessarily hesitate to make Hamilton their champion once again.
Following the top two we have a significant gap to the third favourite and while Joshua and Hamilton have shortened in price, it’s logical that the majority will have drifted as a result. Tour de France Champion Chris Froome was at 10/1 in October but has now drifted to a top price of 16/1 with SportingBet.
Cycling is one of a number of sports that doesn’t get too much exposure by the BBC who host the awards but there are precedents here. Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish have all won the title since 2008 and when you consider that Froome has just completed his fourth victory in the sport’s most prestigious race, there may be value in that 16/1 price.
England’s women cricketers won the World Cup in 2017 and as a whole, they may have a chance in the Team of the Year category but the bookies aren’t giving any of the individuals much hope for the main prize. Team members Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight are at best odds of 50/1 with Coral and Ladbrokes while Tammy Beaumont, who was player of the tournament, is double that figure at a top price of 100/1 with the same bookmakers.
Footballers feature along the way with Jermain Defoe at a best of 40/1 with Paddy Power and Harry Kane down at 66/1 with Bet365 and William Hill. Both have been prolific for their clubs Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur but neither has achieved anything in terms of medals so we can probably discount them at this point.
Other prices from the outside pack include Darts veteran Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor at a top price of 66/1 with Paddy Power, Mo Farah at best odds of 25/1 with Paddy Power and last year’s runner up, triathlete Alistair Brownlee at a best of 80/1 with SkyBet and William Hill.
All of those have produced impressive years but it’s fair to say that it would be a shock if any of them took the main award.
Picking a Winner
The winner of Sports Personality of the Year in 2017 may be obvious but let’s take a quick look at some trends to see if they back up the bookies. The most recent boxer to have won this award is Joe Calzaghe back in 2007 and the Welshman is the only winner from this sport since the turn of the century.
We mentioned multiple winners but in the modern era, only Andy Murray really stands out with his three titles but it has been another exceptional Formula One season for Lewis Hamilton and he has every chance again in 2017.
The last female sportsperson to have won the Sports Personality of the Year was Zara Phillips in 2006 and that particular trend for male winners doesn’t look like being broken in 2017. The lowest priced women are those from the England cricket team at that 50/1 figure and that’s unlikely to convert.
Taking all of those indicators on board, it looks like the call is between two, or very possibly three men. Has Joshua done enough to claim the prize and justify those very short, 4/11 odds? His win over Klitschko was epic but it was just one fight and the follow up against Takam didn’t provide quite the same challenge.
In contrast, Lewis Hamilton has had a tougher 2017 with a longer series of races but will questions over tax affairs turn the British voting public against him? It’s a valid question and one that we believe will cement AJ’s win this year. Arguably, Chris Froome deserves it more but there seems to be little love for the cyclist despite his incredible feat of a fourth Tour De France success.
Those are our three contenders but, if you want a modest return, we think that the bookmakers have called this one correctly.
- Antony Joshua to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year at 4/11 with Stan James