Personality Award Should Mirror Davis Cup Market

Andy Murray Davis Cup

There is no shortage of BBC Sports Personality of the Year contenders in 2015 but one cannot help thinking that Andy Murray is massively overpriced at odds of +2200 with Bwin to win the prestigious award.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, who has finished second once and third twice in previous BBC Sports Personality of the Year races, has shot to favouritism for the 2015 prize after winning the world heptathlon title. Ennis-Hill was one of three British athletes to win gold in Beijing but her story was the most inspirational because he took off 2014 due to pregnancy.

According to BBC Sports Personality of the Year bookmakers, Ennis-Hill, Tour de France winner c, Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton and superstar distance runner Mo Farah are more likely than Murray to receive the honour in December. But betting is all about value and one cannot understand why Murray is available at odds of +2200 .

The value argument for Murray is easy to make. Murray has a live chance of winning the US Open men’s singles (He has since lost to Kevin Anderson in the 4th round) – he was the third favourite when the final major tournament of the year began – and, more importantly, he is the key man in Great Britain’s Davis Cup team that is trading at odds of +163 with Betfred to win it for the first time since 1936.

What Great Britain has achieved in the Davis Cup has been remarkable. Great Britain beat the United States of America 3-2 in Glasgow – James Ward upset John Isner 6-7 5-7 6-3 7-6 15-13 in a match for the ages – and then it defeated France 3-1 in London in a tie that Murray, with a little help from big brother Jamie, won against the odds. Murray was in a world of hurt versus Gilles Simon in the fourth rubber but he fought back from a set and a break down to win 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-0 and render the last rubber unnecessary. It was the first time that Great Britain had won a Davis Cup quarter-final since 1981 and the country went wild.

Can you imagine what the reaction will be if Great Britain defeats Australia in Glasgow later this month and then goes on to beat either Argentina or Belgium on home soil in November? It will exceed the scenes after Murray became the first player to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title since 1936. It will be closer to the reaction following England’s FIFA World Cup victory in 1966. And, for Great Britain to win the Davis Cup, Murray needs to play out of his skin.

Great Britain coach Leon Smith, who mentored Murray in his junior years, is likely to pair the Murray brothers in the remaining Davis Cup doubles rubbers because Andy and Jamie are their country’s best team. So, unless Ward pulls off a massive shock in a singles rubber, for Great Britain to win the Davis Cup will require Murray to win three rubbers in three days in three consecutive ties. One cannot see how Murray fails to top the BBC Sports Personality of the Year vote for the second time in three years – he finished first in 2013 – if Great Britain wins the Davis Cup in one of the most unlikely sports stories in yonks. And it does not hurt Murray that he married his long-time partner, Kim, in 2015, either. The British public like Murray’s wife a lot.

What odds should Murray be to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year? One would say that he should be the same odds as Great Britain is to win the Davis Cup – +163 . Ennis-Hill and others will have no chance of polling more BBC Sports Personality of the Year votes than Murray if Great Britain wins the Davis Cup just a few weeks before the end of 2015.

Tips Summary

Andy Murray to win Sports Personality of the Year 2015
20th December
Odds: +2200

Andy Murray
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Great Britain's Davis Cup
Jessica Ennis-Hill
Mo Farah
Tour de France
world heptathlon

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