The end of year Sports Personality of the Year Award celebrated everything great about sport over the last twelve months. It was Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas who came out the winner on the night, following his 2018 Tour de France success.
Thomas was followed by Lewis Hamilton in second and England striker Harry Kane in third. Taking nothing away from their honours, bookmaker Paddy Power saw something amiss, namely that boxer Tyson Fury was omitted from the shortlist
The operator was so surprised that they went out and refunded all SPOTY bets placed on Fury winning the award.
Fury had a big year on his comeback to the sport, culminating in an epic showdown against Deontay Wilder this month. Twice Fury came back from off the canvas to earn a draw against the American, but it was a fight than many pundits believed Fury should have won on points.
Paddy Power said: “If you were to take the award literally, Tyson is the biggest personality in sport. He’s also one of the biggest people in sport full-stop.
“His return to the ring was sensational and inspiring, and that was reflected in the huge backing he got in our betting market – for that reason, we’ve decided to refund all bets on him winning as a justice refund.”
Young British sprint sensation Dina Asher-Smith has already been tipped for future Olympic success after a brilliant showing at the European Championships. The 22-year-old won three gold medals in Berlin recently and on the back of that success, she was heavily trimmed by Paddy Power to 7/1 odds to win* (betting odds taken from August 15th, 2018 at 11:57 pm) the Sports Personality of the Year Award 2018.
Before this summer’s European Championships, she could have been backed around 150/1 but with her triple gold effort in winning the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m in Berlin, punters were quick to back her for success at the end of year awards ceremony.
Asher-Smith won the 100m and the 200m at the European Championships, setting new British records at the same time. The real highlight though was perhaps her run in the 4x100m. She took up the baton on the final leg with Team GB in fourth place and she produced an epic storming run to get the team the gold.
She looks the real deal and on top of that Asher-Smith also collected a gold in the 2018 Commonwealth games 4x100m while collecting a bronze in the 200m. Mo Farah was a surprise winner at the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year Awards there was a surprise winner with Mo Farah behind handed the title, so there is a current appreciation for athletes away from Olympic years.
Harry Kane 11/8
Geraint Thomas 7/4
Dina Asher-Smith 8/1
Lewis Hamilton 10/1
Anthony Joshua 20/1
Jordan Pickford 25/1
Lizzy Yarnold 33/1
Adam Peaty 33/1
Mark Williams 33/1
Jonathan Rea 40/1
* (Betting Odds were taken on August 14th, 2018 at 9:59 p.m.)
Leading the way as the outright favourite in Sports Personality of the Year 2018 betting is Harry Kane. He won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, of course, helping England reach the semi-final stage. Another of the front-runners at the time of writing is cyclist Geraint Thomas who sprung a surprise by beating out teammate Chris Froome to win the 2018 Tour de France. Then there is Lewis Hamilton who is trying to become the first man since Michael Schumacher to win five F1 Drivers World championship titles.
It was the sort of performance that will live long in the history of British boxing. Tyson Fury was written off by many as he faced reigning world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in Germany at the end of November. But Fury fulfilled his own prophecy (after being named after boxing great Mike Tyson) to stand on top of the world and with some confidence, swagger and self-belief clearly evident.
Fury’s decision victory over Klitschko has re-written the history books and the unorthodox, clumsy-looking boxer has propelled himself into the front running in Sports Personality of the Year betting where he is a 4/1 shot to win the title. Not since Joe Calzaghe won the title in 2007 has a boxer picked up the award and since the mid eighties, only Lennox Lewis and Calzaghe have been boxing Sports Personalities of the Year.
Jessica Ennis-Hill is still the favourite with the bookmaker to walk away with the title, trading as 5/4 favourite with online betting site Bet365. Hill put in a tremendous shift during the summer after deciding to go for the World Championships, despite very little preparations. The Olympian though rocked it out and picked up the gold in the Heptathlon and was in the top two spots throughout the duration of the competition. It was the remarkable comeback decision after giving birth and with little training that beggars belief about what she pulled off. Ennis-Hill has won the Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year award this year already.
Andy Murray is perhaps the surprise 2/1 second favourite in the 2015 Sports Personality of the Year betting because he finished the season without picking up a Grand Slam title. However, it was his commitment to Great Britain’s Davis Cup efforts that may well earn him his second Sports Personality of the Year title after winning it in 2013. Murray carried Great Britain to Davis Cup success, their first since 1936 and participating in all but one of the rubbers victories that the team picked up during their successful run. Murray won all 8 singles rubbers and 11 overall.
That’s a huge personal performance in a team setting that may get Murray to the top spot and joins John McEnroe and Mats Wilander as the only men to have an 8-0 singles record in a Davis Cup year. He could have gone the more personal route this season but committed fully to GB. At worst he should easily be in the top three. Lewis Hamilton has gone on the drift a little bit with bet365 out to 12/1. He’s had a great season again in defending his F1 Drivers World Championship crown with three races to spare this season. Hamilton won it last year though and no personality has won the Award in back to back years.
You also have Mo Farah who deserves huge plaudits after breaking two world record this season and picking up a double gold at the 2015 World Championships in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m which repeated his efforts from two years ago. No other British athlete can get close to his haul of seven gold medals, Ennis-Hill for example is joint second highest with three in her career. Then there is also Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy who broke the Premier League record for most consecutive matches scored in when he netted against Manchester United at the end of November. Considering that a lot of strikers struggle to make it to double figures for a league season, that’s some accomplishment for Vardy.
In other years Vardy may have gotten close for his tremendous record, but with Ennis-Hill and in particular Andy Murray and Tyson Fury putting on late, great shows to the sporting calendar, the Leicester man will probably miss out on winning the Award.
Jessica Ennis-Hill 8/11, Andy Murray 5/2, Tyson Fury 4/1, Lewis Hamilton 12/1, Jamie Vardy 22/1, Chris Froome 18/1, Wayne Rooney 20/1, Mo Farah 40/1.
It was arguably the greatest performance of the sporting calendar year and Jessica Ennis-Hill along with her World Championship gold is probably going to streak her way to the Sports Personality of the Year Award. After finishing second in Spoty 2012 and third in 2010 and 2009 all the stars have likely aligned for her now to actually win the prize.
Just thirteen months after giving birth and after deciding only a month before the World Championships to actually compete in the Heptathlon, the Olympic champion stepped out into the arena and blew the field away. It was a stunning comeback from Ennis-Hill and it is hard to see anyone producing a sporting performance to eclipse her to the award.
Chris Froome was running as outright favourite to win SPOTY 2015 after winning the Tour de France, but he never even got in the top three in the 2013 awards after winning the race for the first time. He has been pushed back to 4/1 second favourite by Ennis-Hill’s performance to take the 2015 SPOTY award and with little to come from the rest of the sporting calendar, Ennis-Hill looks a lock.
As brilliant as Mo Farah’s winning performance at the Worlds was, as controlled as Froome’s win in the Tour de France was, as comfortable as Lewis Hamilton’s title at the end of the F1 season is likely to be and even if Andy Murray fired himself to his second US Open title, even if Chris Robshaw leads England to Rugby World Cup success it won’t be enough to pip Ennis-Hill.
Jessica Ennis-Hill 2/1, Chris Froome 4/1, Lewis Hamilton 5/1, Andy Murray 10/1, AP McCoy 10/1, Joe Root 14/1, Stuart Broad 20/1, Mo Farah 25/1.
There is some huge value around in the Sports Personality of the Year betting market at Ladbrokes at the moment. It’s a long way until the crowning of course, but an early look at the market shows a competitive market with one major-mover happening this week. England bowler James Anderson was slashed into a price of 16/1 with online bookmaker Ladbrokes ahead of the Ashes.
Anderson made some history recently, becoming just the 12th man in history to land 400 wickets. The Burnley Express will be the focal point of England’s attack as they take on Australia in the Ashes, and if he performs as everyone knows that he can, then the price on him making a run at the Sports Personality of the Year award is only going to shorten.
There is a two-way race at the head of the market at the moment, between Lewis Hamilton and AP McCoy. Hamilton is again looking as if he is going to cruise to the F1 world title again without too much sweat and bother, the 2014 SPOTY winner is likely to get overlooked because he is leading a very uncompetitive F1 pack.
Hamilton is running as joint-favourite with jockey AP McCoy, who draw an end to his career this year. He did so too in perfect fashion, winning his final race. It is more likely that AP McCoy will get rewarded for such a long and illustrious career by walking away with the Sports Personality of the Year title, as opposed to Hamilton winning a procession. But McCoy did win the award back in 2010, the only jockey to have won it and now in retirement, other personalities are going to be in the spotlight over the course of the rest of the year.
Andy Murray is running out at 8/1 after Roland Garros, having been level at a quote of 4/1 with Hamilton and McCoy before the event. Murray claimed the SPOTY prize in 2013 and unless he rolls out wins at WImbledon and the US Open this year, it’s unlikely that he will win it for a second time this year.
Rory McIlroy couldn’t win the Sports Personality of the Year Award last year after winning two majors, so unless he wins the three remaining majors this year, he will probably get overlooked. It has been a long time since the world of Athletics churned out a winner, the last one being Kelly Holmes back in 2004. The other big market mover recently in Sports Personality of the Year betting has been Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
She is a rising star and took the gold in the European Indoor Championships 2015 in Prague, landing the Pentathlon title with 5000 pts. That adds to her World Youth Heptathlon Gold, her European U23 Heptathlon gold and her World Junior Championships Long Jump gold. She also set a new indoor British long jump record at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix in February of this year.
The 22-year-old will get a crack at the World Championships in Beijing this year, and a gold there could really win her some huge favour in Sports Personality of the Year batting. Ladbrokes have cut her from 25/1 to 12/1 following her gold in Prague.