The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award field is almost set and, while one’s long-range punt on Johanna Konta looks like a loser, the state of the market means that it is well worth having another stab at betting on the 2017 winner.
Anthony Joshua has been odds on across the board to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award for several months but one cannot get excited about the world heavyweight champion based on one performance this year – a technical knockout of Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. Joshua beat a Dr Steelhammer who, at 41, had seen better days and, unlike Tyson Fury, AJ defeated Klitschko on British soil rather than in the Ukrainian’s adopted home country of Germany. Between now and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award vote, Joshua is scheduled to fight Romanian boxer Kubrat Pulev, whom Klitschko stopped in the fifth round of their bout three years ago. Pulev required a split decision to get the better of British heavyweight Dereck Chisora so one thinks that Joshua will not improve his standing with potential BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award voters even if he retains his world title belts in October.
One suspects that there is great BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award value away from the favourite and, moreover, some of the other people prominent in the market are too short. Jermain Defoe won the hearts of millions of sports fans not only in the United Kingdom but also around the world for the heartfelt manner in which he befriended Bradley Lowery, the young Sunderland supporter who passed away in July after losing his brave fight against a rare form of cancer. Defoe deserves recognition but he may receive it in the form of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award, which is given for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. One thinks that Defoe is not even a lock to make the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award ballot paper so he is opposable at odds of +1200 with many bookmakers, including Coral and Winner Sports.
Mo Farah has a knighthood but his association with Alberto Salazar, the controversial coach about whom BBC Panorama made serious allegations in 2015, troubles many British sports fans so one cannot advocate backing him to win a popularity contest like the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Like Farah, Phil Taylor is a sports superstar who divides people and he is only high up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award market because he is retiring. Adam Peaty is a champion swimmer but 2017 is not an Olympic year and it is hard to see a BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award winner from swimming away from the Olympic Games.
Joshua, Defoe, Farah, Taylor and Peaty are five of the seven BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award favourites with most bookmakers. According to odds setters, the other major BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award contenders are Formula One star Lewis Hamilton and cyclist Chris Froome.
Hamilton has a fight on his hands to regain the Formula One drivers championship but both he and his sport have a good record in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award – Hamilton received the prize in 2014 and Formula One has provided the honoured person on seven occasions.
It may be worth having some kind of BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award bet on Hamilton but, as it stands right now, Froome is the clear value option at odds of +800 with Betfred and Winner Sports. Froome is one Tour de France victory away from equalling the all-time record tallies of Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx and this year he became the first British rider to win the Vuelta a Espana and just the third cyclist to complete the Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana in the same season.
Chris Froome to win Sports Personality of the Year 2017
Sunday 17th December 2017