I think the markets are set up quite nicely at the moment for us to strike with two selections.
* 10 points back Chris Froome 7/1 (8.0) Paddy Power
(10 points lay Chris Froome Tour De France winner 1.89 Betfair)
* 5 points back Andy Murray 14/1 (15) Bet365 BetVictor
(5 points lay Andy Murray Wimbledon 4.6 Betfair)
I think Lewis Hamilton is setting up the market with some value at the moment. Even if he wins the F1 title I think he is a vulnerable SPOTY favourite. And I have to discount any England footballers getting too involved in the market barring Owen or Gazza type heroics. Could happen but we have to deal in likelihoods in this game.
So come July time I think it is set up for two old faces to be at the forefront of SPOTY thinking – Froome and Murray.
Murray comes first at Wimbledon defending his title. He’s been without a coach for a while now since Ivan Lendl left. But as I write he has put together a determined run at the French Open. He’ll probably lose to Nadal in the semis tomorrow – Nadal is 65-1 at Roland Garros (one of the great records in the history of sport) but importantly he has shown that he is over his back operation. He has a fantastic record at Wimbledon and I expect him to be very hard to beat there.
Murray is not everyone’s cup of tea but he’s one of my favourite sportspeople to watch. Along with Mo Farah I think he is Britain’s best sportsperson. We all know what will happen to his SPOTY price if he goes well at Wimbledon (SPOTY held in Glasgow this year too). I think he represents good value at 14s. You may wish to consider laying off some of your stake on Betfair where he is 4.4 for Wimbledon at the moment but could well go shorter in the next weeks. Murray also has the US Open later in the year.
If Murray doesn’t win Wimbledon then Froome has the opportunity to take centre stage later in July. The Tour starts in Britain this year so I expect there to be a fair amount of hype. Although I am not sure if Froome has the appeal to actually win SPOTY, I am sure he will trade fairly short straight after winning the Tour – at which time we can look to green our books. The beauty of this bet is that we can trade our stake for a short price in the Tour market.
He’s about evens for the Tour so if we back him for SPOTY and lay him for the Tour then we would need him to go shorter than c. 7/2 for SPOTY on winning the Tour for there to be value (i.e 7/1 for SPOTY % 1.89 for Tour) – I think that is very achievable (might expect him to go into 2/1 or shorter, assuming Murray hasn’t gone very short, which would be fine as we would be on!)