Just the 16 SPOTY nominees were announced by the BBC yesterday. It has been a spectacular year for British sport so I can see why they thought it would be nice to give wider recognition. But for betting purposes it seems safe to put a line through 7 of them.
The top 9 in the market are: Andy Murray (best price 1/6), Alistair Brownlee (10/1), Mo Farah (20/1), Laura Kenny (25/1), Gareth Bale (45/1), Nick Skelton (100/1), Jamie Vardy (100/1), Jason Kenny (100/1), Max Whitlock (100/1).
Murray has for the second year in a row produced just when it mattered. A win in London over his nemesis Novak Djokovic – to keep his newly acquired number one ranking into 2017 – was just what the doctor ordered for those who had backed him throughout the year. It would be a shock if he’s beaten from here.
Punters are now looking at the side markets. At present there is the without-Murray market and the top 3 market. Hopefully some forecast and match bet markets will emerge too.
Vardy was somewhat of a surprise on the list. It’s tricky to know quite how well footballers will poll but if Leicester City fans get behind him he could do reasonably well. It’s a similar story with Bale and Wales. There are some doubts though.
It’s interesting to note with Bale that he only finished 8th in 2014 (when he scored in and won the Champions League final). Admittedly this year he does have the important Welsh factor in their Euro semi-final run to go alongside his triumph with Real Madrid. But with so much other individual sporting success it could be that even a huge name such as Bale gets outvoted by a few.
Brownlee remains the one to me who looks more than likely to finish best of the rest. I think much of what I wrote here still applies (just that Murray has since added that key novelty ingredient in becoming world number one for the first time). He appears to have plenty of support on social media and is scoring well on the (what has proven in the past to be fairly reliable) Telegraph poll (it’s close between him and Farah on the Guardian one). He’ll also have Yorkshire on his side which did Kevin Sinfield no harm at all last year.
Followers of the site are already on but it’s worth a top up at the evens currently available.
* 4 pts Alistair Brownlee without Andy Murray evens Paddy Power, Coral
The full selections throughout the year can be found here. A Murray Brownlee 1-2 would do nicely and there’s always the smaller chance of one of Laura Kenny, Skelton, Whitlock or Vardy getting involved too. Of course Farah and Bale could always upset the apple cart.
We also have the team of the year award which is decided by the SPOTY panel. Those hoping to garner clues from the shortlist as to where this award might be going weren’t given much to go on as both Leicester (the current 2/9 favourites) and the women’s hockey team (9/1) were represented. There still remains the hope that the panel decide to give it jointly to Team GB and Paralympics GB.
The market looks fairly settled now but it can still move quite a bit in the build up to the big night. I’ll be back here with a preview in 19 days but will update if there’s anything of interest in the meantime. Any comments at all, please feel free to add them below.
5 thoughts on “longlist review”
Hi Paul. Over the past six years, a total of 17 nominees received 8.5% or more of the vote in a given year, and 16 of them finished in the top three. Therefore, assuming that between 1.0-1.2 million votes will be cast this year, we need to work out which of this year’s nominees can gain 85k-100k votes.
After Murray (obviously) I think that Brownlee and Farah are best placed to receive this level of support. However, I notice that Farah has not Tweeted about his nomination, so perhaps he has resigned himself to a mid-table placing, and can console himself with an impending Knighthood.
Of the big prices still on offer, the one that interests me is the 100/1 on Kate Richardson-Walsh to finish in the top three. At least one woman has finished in the top three in 13 of the last 16 years. Laura Kenny is best placed to continue this trend, but if the cycling vote is split with her husband, and GB hockey run a solid campaign for votes, maybe Richardson-Walsh can sneak into 3rd place.
Hi James – that’s interesting about Mo. Slightly different to Nick Skelton who’s firing out the SPOTY related tweets. I had a small wager on K R-W to make top 3 a while back so would be more than happy with that. Up against it without a campaign but that 3rd place looks hard to predict with real confidence as it stands.
1st Murray 2nd Brownlee 3rd Farah 4th Skelton 5th Laura Trott 6th Bale
I’m tempted to go with the same 1-2-3 Paul. L Kenny the main challenger for 3rd probably.
Latest change of mind 1. Murray 2. Brownlee 3. Skelton