SPOTY 2015 show preview

Jessica Ennis-Hill 1.58, Lewis Hamilton 3.0, AP McCoy 3.5, Chris Froome 4.0, Mo Farah 7.8

Those are the lowest prices that these contenders have traded at during the year and with Andy Murray and Jess having been decent odds for long periods it has been a good year for trading. AP McCoy in particular seemed a very short price. He always appeared more likely to pick up the Lifetime Achievement award and will do so later on tonight.

The big talking point since the shortlist was announced three weeks ago has been the inclusion of Tyson Fury. His controversial views have been click-bait for much of the media and the petition for the BBC to remove him has matched the ‘no airstrikes in Syria’ petition for popularity.

How he’ll fare tonight seems a bit tricky to call. Maybe some parts of the population will be more motivated to vote for him than if he hadn’t received such publicity. That said, he remains someone who most people are relatively unfamiliar with and certainly doesn’t have the wide-ranging popularity of Muzz and Jess.

Normally on the day of SPOTY there is a poll that appears in the Sunday Times. This has been pretty accurate but alas there was no sign of it today. Other polls, in particular the Telegraph’s (which was accurate last year), have shown Murray well ahead. It all looks set up for him to collect the award (now trading at around 1.65) and he will be in Belfast tonight rather than his training camp in Miami where he is usually based at this time of year.

On the night it’s easy to imagine Muzza’s VT being the most impressive, with his lob shot on match point to clinch the Davis Cup final a standout single moment for British sports stars in 2015.

I get the feeling Jess’s achievements (winning gold in the heptathlon at the Worlds) this year have not really registered with the public. Athletics is at a low ebb. But Jess is very popular (with three SPOTY places previously) and her comeback to win after giving birth to Reggie last year should see an automatic boost to votes – particularly if, as expected, that angle is played up in the coverage tonight.

Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield is subject of a social media campaign to win the award and has to be respected with such support.

Anyone following the advice on this site is in a strong position with all of Murray, Ennis-Hill and Sinfield covered at big prices. Hamilton is also covered (at shorter prices) and the petrol head support cannot be entirely discounted.

Most of the value in the markets has been snapped up already but for fun my guess for the 1-12 is:

  1. Murray
  2. Sinfield
  3. Ennis
  4. Fury
  5. Hamilton
  6. Froome
  7. Farah
  8. Bronze
  9. Rutherford
  10. Whitlock
  11. Armitstead
  12. Peaty

Team of the year has Britain’s Davis Cup team as 1/12 favourites. That seems very short given that Murray almost singlehandedly was responsible. The BBC may want to spread the love a bit more and select a different sport for the trophy. I’ve backed the women’s football team, Leeds Rhinos and the men’s gymnastics team as alternatives.

Dan Carter will pick up the Overseas award (advised on the site at 3/1). The Coach (which could also be Davis Cup related with Leon Smith in contention), Young SPOTY, Unsung and Helen Rollason awards will also be presented.

I’ve personally put a little cash on Fury just in case and some savers to balance the spotybet books may be sensible as it is a bit unpredictable how far he could go:

* 0.5 pt win Tyson Fury 18/1 Coral

* 0.5 pt Fury 2nd place 9/1 Winner, Titan 7/1 Ladbrokes

* 0.5 pts Murray-Fury forecast around 12.0 on Betfair 10/1 Skybet

* 1.5 pts Fury 3rd place 5/1 Winner, Titan 7/2 Ladbrokes

The full list of the year’s selections can be found here.

Overall, the ideal finishing position for me would be Murray-Sinfield-Hamilton. Not long to go now and best of luck if having a bet.

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