Category Archives: Selections

lay of Murray v Goffin

* lay Andy Murray in running v David Goffin 10 pts at around 1.07 on Betfair (liability of around 0.7 points)

Followers of the site are in a good position on Murray outright for SPOTY so cautious punters may wish to secure the position by laying Murray in his current match against Goffin.


saver on Rooney

* 1.5 pts win Wayne Rooney 20/1 William Hill, 18/1 elsewhere

With all the home teams now out of the Rugby World Cup , the only real danger to the good positions on Ennis-Hill, Hamilton, Murray and Farah would perhaps be Wayne Rooney.

There’s no guarantee he’ll make the shortlist but, if he does, he is one contender who could get a lot of votes being such a big name (captained England during 100% Euros qualification campaign and broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record). I’m not quite sure how far he’d go but at 20/1 it’s worth a saver to be on the safe side.

Hamilton a big price at 9/2 ‘without Jessica Ennis-Hill’

* 1.5 pts each way Lewis Hamilton without Jessica Ennis-Hill 9/2 (1/5 odds 1,2,3) with Coral

Those following the site are in good positions with Jessica Ennis-Hill advised at around 14/1 (now odds on), Andy Murray at various prices from 9/1 to 16/1 (now 8/1) and Mo Farah 22/1 to 80/1 (now generally 12/1). Hamilton is a danger and although he may have a bit to do to win for a second successive year, he looks likely to place.

I’ve written previously here about the high number of SPOTY votes the F1 driver has polled historically and, with Murray not definite to get the Davis Cup win required and doubts about the popularity of Chris Froome, the 9/2 each way without Ennis appears particularly generous. Essentially it means a bet to nothing if Hamilton finishes in the SPOTY first four for which he would be a short price to do so and a shot at collecting at 9/2 if he wins SPOTY or finishes second to Ennis.

selection – GB Davis cup lay

* 2 pts GB Davis Cup lay around 2.35 on Betfair

This site has built up a fair bit of interest in Andy Murray for SPOTY through the year and if GB win the Davis Cup he will hopefully shorten significantly. GB possibly look a bit short to do so though (will likely play Belgium away in the final if they beat Australia this weekend) so given this, and the number of points on Murray to far, I thought it might be worth levelling things up a little.

There is annoyingly a bit of twilight zone to the Andy Murray – Davis Cup – SPOTY equation. That is if say GB win the Davis Cup but the heroics in doing so come from someone else in the team and Murray has a mediocre final. There is also a bit of a question mark over when the shortlist is announced (usually end of November) and whether it would be before (which might mean some doubt as to whether Murray would be on it) or after the final (which ends on 29 November). All this can be monitored nearer the time should GB win this weekend.

selection – Lewis Hamilton top up

* Lewis Hamilton 1.5 pts each way 7/1 William Hill, 13/2 Bet Victor, Bet365 1/4 1,2,3 (simultaneous 3pt lay on Betfair for F1 title at around 1.09)

I’ve been tempted to think that Jessica Ennis-Hill has SPOTY wrapped up barring some Andy Murray / Rugby World Cup heroics. Her closest challengers at the moment are Chris Froome and Lewis Hamilton, both around the 7/1 mark.

My feeling is that Froome will find it tricky to get on the podium. When he last won the Tour de France in 2013 he finished 6th (37,343 votes) with Mo Farah (who also won the 5k and 10k double at the Worlds that year) one of those above in 4th (51,945). Froome’s and Mo’s popularity may arguably have gone in different directions since but I’m not sure by how much and whether it would be enough to reverse those placings.

The cycling mob are often talked about as having a strong influence in SPOTY. It certainly seems to be the case with Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins having lifted the award in recent years. But these guys have a certain charisma and presence in the media whereas Froome (probably to his liking) doesn’t seem likely to be given so much air time or column inches in the SPOTY build-up. Cav and Wiggo also did more in their years than just their Tour achievements, having won the World Championships and Olympic Gold respectively.

I think Jess is all but guaranteed a spot on the podium with the two other spaces up for grabs. Although it looks like one of them may be sewn up too..

Looking at the historical voting figures it is quite striking how well Lewis has fared:

2007 (2nd in F1 championship) 2nd 122,649 (Calzaghe first with 177,748)
2008 (won F1 championship) 2nd 163,864 (Hoy first with 283,630)
2014 (won F1 championship) 1st 209,920

Between 2008 and 2014, incidentally, Lewis finished no better than 4th in the F1 championship. So it appears that whenever Hamilton has done something in the title race he has received a lot of votes. He’s 1.09 to win the F1 title at the moment.

The number of votes scored by the SPOTY 3rd place the last eight years has been: 99,913; 57,864; 230,444; 29,780; 62,953; 80,469; 145,924; 85,280. That’s an average of 99,077 votes. A case can be made for taking out the London Olympics inspired 2012 figure as an outlier (and even the other Olympic year of 2008 – a lot more votes are received in Olympic years) which would make the average 80,310 (69,374).

Based on these numbers it seems well worth a Hamilton each-way wager. It provides some cover in case he can overhaul Jess with hopefully a very good chance of making a small profit when placing. One negative is that no-one has won SPOTY back-to-back but this seems more to do with no-one having put together two similarly excellent performances in consecutive years.

selection – rugby winning sport

* 1 pt rugby winning sport 16/1 Coral

It’s quite hard to see Jessica Ennis-HIll being overturned after winning heptathlon gold (now around 7/4).

There are though two events left that may still have a say. One is the Davis Cup, for which Britain are currently trading as favourites (around 7/4). The other is the Rugby World Cup.

Northern hemisphere teams are going to find it difficult to beat the southern hemisphere teams and New Zealand are the clear favourites (around 7/5). England are next at 5/1. If they were to win it or even go close, there could be a player who captures the public imagination particularly as the tournament is in England. There is also the possibility that a Welsh or Scottish player (or Northern Irish) does similar.

It is tricky to know who the player would be though so the 16/1 with Coral for it to be any rugby player who wins SPOTY is quite attractive. We are in a good position at the moment with Jess, and also have Murray on side, so it seems sensible just to have a saver on this just in case something was to happen in the RWC.

selection – Mo Farah top up and lay bets

* 1 pt each way Mo Farah 22/1 1/4 1,2,3 William Hill, 20/1 elsewhere

5 pts lay in 5,000m around 1.37 Betfair

Mo has qualified for the final of the 5,000m on Saturday and there has been plenty of money traded on Betfair at around the 1.35-1.38 mark for him to win.

For SPOTY he’s around 20s to 25s. Mo is going for an unprecedented three-times 5k and 10k double. He seems very much under-appreciated and even if he wins on Saturday I still have doubts about whether that would be enough to get him on the SPOTY podium given his previous record.

Mo has previous been advised at 50/1 (win only) and 80/1 (each way) and being so short to win the 5,000m I think it’s worth another top up just to see what happens to his price in the place market if he wins. It won’t hurt much to find out with a simultaneous lay at around 1.37 to get most of our SPOTY stakes back on him through the year.

In the SPOTY place market he last traded at 4.8 so hopefully (I’m not quite sure but interested to find out) he would go a good bit lower than that if he won his second gold (going one above Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford). (Being on at 80/1 and 22/1 means we effectively have 21.0 and 6.5 (in decimal odds) to place.) We can then look to trade our position accordingly.