SPOTY: Andy Murray Is Odds-On For Unprecdented Third BBC Award
Even before the Olympics, Andy Murray was looking like a sure fire winner after claiming a second Wimbledon Championship. He did his chances no harm with a hard-earned second Olympic Gold win and is quoted at 10/11 with Sky Bet to become the first person to win the award three times.
Murray won the coveted award for a second time last year after he helped Great Britain to their first Davis Cup triumph in 79 years. He became only the fourth person to win the award twice having also taken the award in 2013. Other double winners are boxer Henry Cooper and F1 drivers Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill.
Olympic years nearly always deliver an Olympian as the winner. The last time that didn't happen was in 1996 when Damon Hill took the crown. In 2000, Sir Steve Redgrave was the SPOTY winner and in 2004 Dame Kelly Holmes took the prize. Sir Chris Hoy won the vote in 2008 and in 2012 it was the turn of Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Other Olympians to have stormed up the betting in the last week are Mo Farah at 4/1 and double Gold winning gymnast Max Whitlock. Farah sprinted to victory – even surviving a tumble - in the 10,000m to defend the title he won at London in 2012. With three golds, he takes his place among the greatest middle distance runners of all time and could take him another medal when he competes in the 5,000m on Wednesday.
On Sunday, 23-year-old Whitlock made history as he became the first Brit to win a gymnastics gold with his floor performance then won another about two hours later on the pommell horse. He now has five Olympic medals after claiming bronze in the all-around last week to add to bronzes in the team event and pommel horse at London 2012. Another Olympian to move up the betting is Bolton cyclist Jason Kenny, now 12/1.
He won his fourth Gold in Rio and has the chance of another this week. While Kenny may not have the media profile of the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, he is well-liked by his peers and cycling fans.
He's joked that he's "unmarketable" because of his laidback approach. Kenny's fiancee Laura Trott has also moved into the reckoning and is quoted at 14/1. Trott became the first British female in any sport to win three gold medals following success in the Women's Team Pursuit final and has the chance of more medals this week.
You can get 20/1 on swimmer Adam Peaty after his heroics in the pool. He won the 100m breast stroke final though his Twitter-mad grandmother probably got more publicity than him.
Other Olympians who have made moves in the betting are Sir Bradley Wiggins, an outsider at 28/1. Sir Bradley won the SPOTY in 2012 on the back of Tour de France and Olympic success. Bronze winning dives Tom Daley can be backed at 66/1 and Alistair Brownlee who is still to compete in the Games is offered at odds of 100/1.
If you want to look beyond the Olympics, Gareth Bale will have the whole of Wales backing him at 12/1 and can't be discounted after he led his nation to the semi finals of the Euro 2016. Other notables are Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, available at 33/1 while F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is a similarly long priced 40/1. Hamilton won the award in 2014. This year's Sports Personality of the Year progamme takes place in Birmingham on December 18.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 Winner Odds
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