How the Bookies See it
Anthony Joshua - The heavyweight boxer maintained his perfect career record with an 11th-round stoppage of Ukrainian legend Wladimir ‘Dr Steelhammer’ Klitschko in a scintillating fight at Wembley Stadium.
Chris Froome - Froome clinched a fourth Tour de France victory in July, before becoming the first British man to win the Vuelta a Espana.
Lewis Hamilton - Runner-up in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship in 2016, Hamilton has roared back in 2017 to dominate the season and surge towards a fourth world title.
Mo Farah - Farah’s final season as a track runner ended with another sparkling performance in front of his own fans at the London Stadium, as he won the 10,000 metres with one of his finest ever races and then took silver in the 5,000 metres.
Harry Kane - The Tottenham Hotspur striker finished as the Premier League's leading scorer at the end of the 2016/17 season and helped England to qualify for the World Cup.
SPOTY is as much a popularity contest as a recognition of sporting achievement, and Joshua has the sort of engaging personality to win over voters. AJ’s thrilling victory over Klitschko will live long in the memory and he is an understandable favourite, especially after consolidating his reputation with another impressive win over Carlos Takam in Cardiff in October. The odds of 1/4 aren't great, but considering the other names in contention it is hard to see anyone else lifting the trophy.
In terms of achievement, Hamilton certainly has a claim. However, the controversy over his tax affairs will not help a man who was once described by TV presenter Jonathan Ross as having about as much charisma as a clam. He has won the award before, back in 2014, and in a non-Olympic year short of remarkable British sporting feats, could be worth a small punt at 6/1 with Coral.
Froome has never had the same sort of connection with the public as former cycling favourites Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy, but if Mark Cavendish (2011) can win SPOTY, then Froome would certainly be a worthy recipient.
Farah has only previously made it into the top three once before so is unlikely to challenge after missing out on a double at the World Athletics Championships, a special award would be more fitting for Defoe than the main trophy, and other contenders such as swimming superstar Adam Peaty simply do not have enough of a profile to pick up the votes. Joshua is the obvious choice, but Hamilton is a former winner and offers more tempting odds so might be worth a cautious flutter
Sports.net’s Top Tip:
Lewis Hamilton to win SPOTY
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.