Waking up on Wednesday morning to the news that Chris Froome had failed a drugs test had me reaching for a few puffs of the old Salbutamol myself.
Ever since the shortlist was announced I’d become increasingly confident Froome would be in the top 3, with a fair chance of beating Lewis Hamilton to second and even with a squeak of winning the whole thing. His odds on top 3 had gone from 5/6 to 8/15 and ‘without AJ’ from 4/1 to 3/1 and lower. It was building up into quite a bet that suddenly became virtually worthless as his odds rightly drifted dramatically.
It’s always at the back of your mind some sort of scandal like this could happen, but for it to involve Team Sky and Froome after all that’s gone before, and in SPOTY week, was a bit of a shocker.
In terms of eking out some profit this year, the news has this site like:
There are reports that, in the video link-up with Froome during his segment on the show tomorrow, the BBC presenter will be asking about the test result in the Vuelta. There’s every chance over the coming months that he will be stripped of the title and banned. It’s difficult to imagine Froome’s support not being significantly reduced on the night.
Joshua has shortened into a best-priced 1/7 and will appeal as a feel-good alternative to those such as Hamilton, Froome and Mo Farah who have been dogged by controversies. He will also be the only one of those in attendance in the studio.
Hamilton is a best priced 2/5 to finish best of the rest and in a weak year he should get enough support from his loyal fan base to get 2nd but it’s not a certainty.
The other place in the top 3 is up for grabs.
The question is how motivated will Spurs fans be to pick up the phone for Harry Kane. He’s had a great year but without Tottenham winning something there must be doubts about his support translating to votes.
Farah actually has a chance still but momentum appears to be building behind Jonathan Rea. He’s been on the Northern Ireland radio circuit this weekend and various figures in the motorcycling world are right behind him. He’s been doing press interviews, including one in The Times, and appears a genuine, easy to vote for role model.
I’m going for Joshua-Hamilton-Rea as the one-two-three and for fun a full prediction of:
Coral / Ladbrokes have a market up on the Joshua vote share: under 20% 20/1, 20-30% 5/2, 30-40% 6/4, 40-50% 9/4, over 50% 8/1. The last winner to get over 40% was Andy Murray after his first Wimbledon win in 2013. With AJ’s events being pay-per-view and the Klitschko fight being way back in April there are reasons to think a very wide margin victory is unlikely even after the Froome news.
* 3 pts Jonathan Rea top 3 13/8 Coral / Ladbrokes (7/4 Unibet)
* 0.5 pts Anthony Joshua vote share 20-30% 5/2 Coral / Ladbrokes
* 0.5 pts Anthony Joshua vote share 30-40% 6/4 Coral / Ladbrokes
And finally it’s always interesting to have a look at some of the lowest outright prices on Betfair over the course of the year. Here are some of the highlights:
Jermain Defoe 5.0, Murray 4.0, Ben Ainslie 6.4, Konta 4.0, Farah 5.5, Hamilton 6.8, Froome 8.2, Peaty 16, Shrubsole 27.0