Girl Power

Dec 17, 2015 by

Girl Power

It’s SPOTY 2015 on Sunday night and regular readers hopefully partook of the advised 8-1 e/w on Andy Murray winning the prestigious BBC award back on September 21.

Murray led GB to an historic Davis Cup win at the end of November which has put him in pole position to win SPOTY 2015, trading at a best-price 5-6 at time of writing. A small plus is news Muzza will be attending the event being held in Belfast.

A preview of SPOTY 2015 aired a couple of nights ago and gave an insight into the likely edits each of the 12 shortlisted candidates will receive on the night. It can be viewed on BBC iPlayer here.

Murray won SPOTY in 2013 with over 400k votes. He may well only need half that figure to win the award again on Sunday night. He has been comfortably leading the Daily Telegraph poll, he will receive a sizeable vote north of the border, the recency of the DC win helps him, and there is no doubt he will be extremely hard to beat.

Jess Ennis did, of course, outpoll Murray back in 2012 (372k vs 230k). She remains the most likely candidate to challenge him with Tyson Fury’s recent sexist comments likely to help boost Jess’s vote. Lizzie Armistead has also requested her fans vote for Jess.

We saw last year how the narrative of recent motherhood helped Jo Pavey receive close to 100k votes and one of the main reasons she was flagged up here as the value bet to finish 3rd. This again will play in Jess’s favour and her profile as the golden girl of British sport is a great fit with the BBC’s middle England voting audience.

Tyson Fury has lit the torchpaper in terms of this year’s SPOTY vote and assuming he will be in attendance on Sunday, there could still be further developments that will sway the voting. Will he be booed, for instance, by some sections of the studio audience when his VT is introduced?

With an online petition to have Fury removed from the list reaching 130,000 and talk of a planned picket by gay and feminist rights organisations it will be worth keeping a close eye on how it all plays out on Sunday night.

The BBC director general, Tony Hall, has stated, ‘In terms of the policies that we promote, the BBC is completely at odds with what Tyson Fury has said’.

You have to presume the BBC will do its utmost to bury Fury on Sunday night, possibly in terms of the edit, which could portray him as arrogant and maybe unapologetic, and certainly in terms of the running order of the VTs for the shortlisted 12, with Fury on early.

While Fury has been showing up well on some of the online polls, and there is an argument all publicity is good publicity, the view here is he is more likely to finish outside of the top 3.

The one candidate most likely to deny Fury a podium finish and this year’s joker in the pack is Kevin Sinfield. When the 12 was announced, it was immediately apparent Sinfield would be this year’s ‘campaign’ candidate and one to take very seriously.

The markets responded accordingly with Sinfield’s odds plummeting from 100-1 to a current best price of 9-1. Previous ‘campaign’ winners of SPOTY are Ryan Giggs in 2009 (151k) and Mark Cavendish in 2011 (169k).

The difference with Sinfield to the aforementioned duo is that rugby league is a lot more niche and the breadth of Sinfield’s appeal is likely to be significantly less.

His fans are motivated but just how high can they get his vote? Over 100k, yes, but above 150k? Probably not. Sinfield is a best price of 7-4 to finish 3rd while you can get 11-8 Fury finishes 4th-5th with William Hill.

Team of the Year has the look of a dead betting heat given GB Davis Cup Team are trading at 1-16 but there could be a value angle here. With Murray poised to win the individual award and given the fact it was overwhelmingly his solo effort in helping to win 11 of the 12 key Davis Cup matches, TPTB at the Beeb could see fit to award the women’s football team instead.

Third place at the women’s World Cup is historically significant: the first time an England football team has medalled since 1966. With star goalscorer Lucy Bronze among the shortlisted 12 it would be a classic move on the Beeb’s part to reward a women’s team, more so in light of Fury’s sexist remarks.

The call here for the individual award pre-show is: 1st Murray 2nd Ennis 3rd Sinfield. Hopefully some tricast odds become available in the next couple of days.


GB women’s football team – Team of the Year – 10-1 – 1pt win – William Hill, Coral

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  1. apleximus

    Hi Rob, thanks for another great read. I’m personally surprised that Mo Farah is such an enormous price.
    Given his high profile and incredible achievement of 2 gold medals at the World Championships (a run of 7 consecutive world/Olympic titles) why do you think he is as big as 150/1?

    • Rob

      Hi aplex. It’s a real shame for Mo but I think he is tainted by the Salazar drug accusations.

      I thought he would poll much better than he did back in 2012 when he only got 131k votes and that was when everyone loved Mo, he was doing the ‘Mo-bot’, did the chat show rounds etc.

    • Stuart

      Hi Rob

      Off topic but any thoughts on christmas number one single. The favourite seems to change by the day, first xfactor, then Justin Bieber, followed by one directions odds crashing and today NHS choir. How about star wars?

      • Rob

        Hi Stuart. It’s a cracking heat, isn’t it? Some of the issue this year has been lack of clarity from some bookies on whether they are settling on this weekend’s chart or Christmas Day’s.

        With a view to the Christmas Day official chart, Star Wars remains of interest. Over 400k likes on FB, it’s not on the same level as RATM but it won’t have to be.

        It has drifted to a surprisingly big price around 16-1 with money coming for the NHS Choir song now. One Direction crashed in price yesterday and is now drifting back out.

        What was clear, early on, was the XF winner’s single was well worth taking on. I managed to get a decent amount layed around 1.8. I’d still be happy to risk a few more quid on the Star Wars theme. Could be a few more fluctuations yet 🙂

  2. Stuart

    I see the NHS choir are running away with it in the odds Rob, game over or another red herring?

    • Rob

      Strong market confidence atm but a long way to go. Star Wars in at no55. Bieber strong in terms of streaming so NHS Choir going to have to do very well on iTunes.

      • Tim B

        A factor that might help the NHS Choir is the fact that Georgia and Giovanni are dancing to Coldplay’s “Fix You” tomorrow night on Strictly – a final that will be watched by thirteen million viewers. I don’t think this is any coincidence. It’s in the BBC’s interest for X Factor to not be Xmas Number One, although I doubt that they foresaw that Louisa Johnson wouldn’t even end up being a contender.

        • Rob

          Looks like Bieber could be coming back strongly. NHS Choir drifted again. A long way to run with this market.

  3. Rob

    Bieber now backed in to favourite. NHS Choir streaming figures poor.

  4. James

    Hi everyone. On the topic of novelty bets, I wonder if there is some value in betting on Strictly to be the top TV program on Xmas day?

    Mrs Brown’s Boys is the odds on favourite and achieved an overnight rating of 7.61m last year, ahead of EastEnders at 7.55m and Strictly at 7.0m.

    Over the past four years, the SCD Xmas rating has been 7.5m, 7.8m, 7.3m and 7.0m. Ratings for Strictly have been strong in 2015, and this year the show has been given a later time slot on Xmas day (18:15-19:30, compared to 17:00-18:15 in 2014).

    As happened last year, Mrs Brown’s Boys is up against Downton on ITV, however this years Downton is the last ever episode, which may persuade some more people to watch it live.

    EastEnders is starting at the same time as Downton (20:45).

    Strictly is currently priced at 16/1 with William Hill.

    • Rob

      Hi James. I think that’s a great shout. I’ve just taken some 14-1. I like the slot Strictly has, as you point out. Definitely over-priced.

      • James

        The Strictly odds continue to shorten!

        • Rob

          It is definitely the value shout James and a great spot. I am tempted to go in again at 12-1. Forgot to say, well done on the Kellie Top Female 5-2 at Skybet. Again, cracking value 🙂

          • James

            Hi Rob. Disappointing result, as Downton pips Strictly to the top spot.

            6.58m Downton (6.88m including +1 channel)
            6.49m Strictly
            6.41m Mrs Browns Boys
            6.36m Stick Man
            6.10m The Queen (BBC only)

          • Rob

            Hi James. That’s really unlucky. Close but no cigar, as they say. Strictly at double figure odds was still a great value call and those rating figures show that.

  5. Rob

    A surprisingly kind edit for Fury and he was placed towards the end. I think he has a very solid top 3 claim. Ennis or Sinfield might miss out if Fury gets on the podium.

  6. Rob

    1st Muzza
    2nd Sinfield
    3rd Ennis

    A fantastic result & an 8-1 winner for readers. Well done Muzza. British sporting legend. Great evening 🙂

  7. Rob

    Andy Murray 361,446 votes
    Kevin Sinfield 278,353
    Jessica Ennis-Hill 79,898
    Tyson Fury 72,330
    Lewis Hamilton 48,379
    Chris Froome 39,007
    Mo Farah 31,311
    Max Whitlock 25,925
    Greg Rutherford 23,492
    Lizzie Armitstead 22,356
    Adam Peaty 13,738
    Lucy Bronze 13,236

    Astonishing vote for Sinfield. They must have multi-voted like mad in Leeds. Pleased Jess held off Fury for 3rd.

  8. Bruce11

    Great results for the site and me personally with Muzza ew and Seinfeld ew and to finish second. Glad your year finished with a bang Rob.
    If I can allow myself a little smugness I have to say I always totally discounted the chances of Jess winning once Muzza had the Davis Cup win. She was still odds on at that point
    Here’s to a great 2016

    • Rob

      Thanks Bruce and well done to you. A truly vintage SPOTY this year. Looking forward to 2016 already 🙂

    • Rob

      SPOTY 2016 odds available already btw, including on BF exchange. A cracking year in prospect what with the summer Olympics and Euro 2016.

  9. James

    Hi Rob. I feel confident that the 2016 SPOTY shortlist will be dominated by Olympians/Paralympians, as happened in 2012.

    Jess Ennis-Hill has been shortlisted for the award four times, and on each occasion has finished in the top three. If she wins gold in Rio, I suspect the BBC will push her for the SPOTY award very strongly.

    That Rio gold is far from guaranteed though, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson a real threat in the heptathlon, so I wouldn’t be betting on Jess at this time.

    Cyclists have won SPOTY in the last two Olympic years, and Mark Cavendish also took home the prize in 2011. With this in mind, Laura Trott who won two golds in London, and two silvers in this year’s world championship, looks to be a decent each way value bet at 66/1.

    Another potential candidate for the 2016 shortlist is Charlotte Dujardin. She won two golds in London, and is the current world champion. She was nominated for SPOTY in 2014, and finished in a creditable 4th place. 100/1 each way looks to have a shade of value.

    Other Olympians that I am keeping an eye on for a potential top three placing are Adam Peaty (66/1), Dina Asher-Smith (66/1), James Guy (100/1), Jason Kenny (66/1) and Max Whitlock (200/1).

    • James

      Stan James currently have Jess Ennis-Hill at 14/1 to win SPOTY 2016. I doubt that price will last for long.

      • Rob

        Hi James. Excellent analysis again. I do think the KJT vs Jess battle for gold in Rio could be the defining moment of the sporting year. I think they are probably worth dutching at best odds.

        I had seen the 14s SJ. Annoying it is so hard to find SJ shops and any online account with them sadly doesn’t last long before it is restricted.

    • Stuart

      Hi Rob

      NHS closing in on Bieber. Going to be down to the wire by the looks.

      • Rob

        Hi Stuart. It’s a ding dong battle. Chris Evans has been pushing NHS Choir on his R2 breakfast show, it has been getting some high profile celeb endorsements on Twitter… it appears to have the momentum.

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