Ennis late surge in SPOTY market
But Wiggins still strong favourite for top Sports Personality prize
By Nigel Askham. Last Updated: 14/12/12 11:49am
Jessica Ennis: Leading contender for SPOTY
Golden girl Jessica Ennis is making a late surge in the BBC Sports Personality betting market to emerge as the major challenger to long-time favourite Bradley Wiggins.
Ennis, who finished third in the 2009 and 2010 event, was an 8/1 chance a month ago but is currently an 11/2 shot and is expected to strengthen further ahead of Sunday's all-star ceremony at London's ExCeL Arena.
Sky Bet trader Phil Charlton said: "If it comes down personality then she still has a wealth of backers. She was the face of Team GB in the London Olympics and has always done well in the competition not only for her outstanding achievements in track and field but also for her popularity away from the sporting arena.
"The level of her support is also indicated by the fact that even if she misses out on the top prize again she can still be backed at 1/3 to finish in the top three or at 6/5 in the 'Winner Without Bradley Wiggins' market," added Charlton.
But despite Ennis adding more interest to the top of the market Wiggins' massive achievements still make him the man to beat.
He remains the red-hot 1/3 favourite after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the individual time trial.
"Wiggins was even stronger at 1/8 after his Tour de France triumph but, almost inevitably after the success of other Olympians and the likes of Rory McIlroy and Andy Murray in August and September, his price eased to evens.
"I think the scale of his achievement has really clicked in again as the event approaches and although it's almost impossible to predict the quirky phone voting nature of the British public on the night it would still be a major shock if he didn't win it," added Charlton.
Sky Bet are also offering a 'straight forecast' market offering 7/4 for Wiggins to finish first and Ennis second. Other options available include Wiggins/Farah 9/4, Wiggins/Murray 5/1 and Ennis/Wiggins 7/1.
Charlton added: "It's without doubt the most successful year of British sport in the modern era and in any other year Andy Murray and Rory McIlroy would be at the top of the market after their Major successes but as it stands they are 14/1 and 80/1 respectively."