Betting on who will win the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, but can’t quite make up your mind? I’m here to help.
The British Broadcasting Company’s annual awards ceremony is held in December and is focused on celebrating the UK’s most outstanding sportsperson of the year. In 2020, things will be different owing to the global health crisis we find ourselves in. So, there will be no audience in attendance, and things will have a different feel altogether.
But one thing that will not change is the prestige of this award. Alongside high-level triumph in their field, the winning candidate typically exemplifies class, a strong sense of leadership, or has pulled off something truly magnificent to capture the hearts and minds of their fellow Brits.
Last year’s winner was Ben Stokes, who helped lead England to their first-ever Cricket World Cup. In the five years before Stokes’s award, cycling’s Geraint Thomas, track whiz Mo Farrah, tennis star Andy Murray (X2), and F1 legend Lewis Hamilton got the nod.
Hamilton, last year’s runner up, is also a hot favorite for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year gong. The bookies expect the Formula One icon to be there or thereabouts, with Manchester United and England’s Marcus Rashford also attracting a lot of bets.
Are you still debating on who will win the 2020 BBC SPOTY? Join me as I look at the odds, the favorites, and the outsiders before I make my prediction.
2020 BBC SPOTY Odds
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I’ve listed the top 15 candidates for the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award above, but you can get a full list on the Guts sportsbook.
I think the best candidate to start is with Lewis Hamilton (+180).
The Mercedes’ F1 superstar recently equaled Michael Schumacher’s long-standing record of 91 Grand Prix victories at Nürburgring. Hamilton is also on course to equal Schumacher’s record of seven Drivers’ Championships this year, with betting sites offering odds of -5000 on him to clinch his fourth consecutive title.
At +180, the icon of motorsports will be up there in December. Not only is he the undisputed best in his sport, but his help with pushing the message of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 has not gone unnoticed. Time Magazine felt strongly enough about Hamilton’s efforts that they named him on their list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Last year, the 2014 SPOTY winner was a great comfort to Harry Shaw, a terminally ill five-year-old who passed away not long after Hamilton sent him a Formula One car.
Recently awarded an MBE by the British Monarchy, Marcus Rashford’s odds to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year are also +180.
Rashford has been involved in a campaign to reverse the UK government’s decision not to provide free school meals for children from low-income families into the summer.
The Manchester United forward has worked tirelessly on an appeal to the government to eradicate child food poverty in the UK. If successful, it would mark a huge change for kids, like Rashford was in his youth, to have access to guaranteed meals.
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For the millions who do not have the platform to be heard.
From the rest of the top five, you have world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (+310) to consider.
Fury knocked out Deontay Wilder to win the WBC heavyweight title earlier this year. Not only was it an ultra-impressive performance for the “Gypsy King,” but marked a complete transformation from a dark period of substance abuse, obesity, and suicidal ideation.
Ronnie O’Sullivan (+575) won his sixth snooker world title in August, at the grand age of 44.
O’Sullivan went viral for his cheeky, honest assessment of the poor quality of young snooker players in the summer. A popular figure among sports fans, I’m not sure there is great value in his odds with even the best novelty betting sites.
If you’re looking to pass on the top four favorites for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, Jordan Henderson (+3300) comes in on the list at +3300.
Henderson lifted the 2019-20 EPL title as captain of Liverpool earlier this year. It was the first time that the club had won the Premiership and the first time since 1989-90 that they had finished top of England’s highest league.
We have had surprise winners before in the history of this award. Ryan Giggs in 2009, for example, stumped almost everyone. Could Henderson be the best outside bet for the SPOTY in 2020?
Outside Bets for 2020 BBC SPOTY
This year’s award is highly unlikely to go to anyone outside of the top three candidates.
Looking past Lewis Hamilton, Marcus Rashford, and Tyson Fury, it’s difficult to build a case for anyone else. Especially when the strength of this year’s candidates is so high.
Take Rory McIlroy (+4000), for example. I don’t think there is anyone outside of golf fans can tell you anything the County Down man has done that would see him win. His public image is pretty low profile compared to others, so I can’t see him doing well.
Anthony Joshua (+5000) has been an active supporter of Black Lives Matter, but he has yet to fight in 2020. No sporting highlight this year would suggest that he is in with a chance, and his odds are an indicator of that.
The likes of Liverpool fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold (+5000), 2019’s winner Ben Stokes (+6600), and jockey Frankie Dettori (+6600) appear among odds for the Sports Personality of the Year award to make up the numbers. At least, that’s what it seems.
There is an argument to make for someone like Jordan Henderson (+3300) squeezing into the top three on account of Liverpool’s huge support base. But I wouldn’t bet on him winning, even at those odds.
2020 Sports Personality of the Year Winner Prediction
It’s a tough one to call this year.
Although Tyson Fury’s star has never shone brighter with British people, I’m going to exclude him first. Although he knocked out Deontay Wilder to win the WBC title, which is arguably the best sporting achievement of any Brit in 2020, this vote tends to go stars that have achieved success closer to the end of the year.
You might be wondering why the hell I’d be giving Marcus Rashford’s odds (+180) as much respect as I do now. You might be scratching your head while reading this, in an effort to remember the last time he achieved anything on the pitch for Manchester United.
But Rashford’s one-man campaign is extraordinary in itself. It has resonated with so many people in the UK, and for that reason alone, I think he will get a ton of votes.
With that said, I can’t look past Lewis Hamilton’s odds to win the 2020 BBC SPOTY (+180).
Hamilton is the man in his sport by some distance. By December, he will have broken F1 records set by arguably the greatest to ever do it, Michael Schumacher.
Whether you agree with his humanitarian or philanthropic efforts or not, he has been an important contributor among a loud chorus of voices pushing for societal change.
Hamilton first won in 2014 but has also been a runner up on four separate occasions, including 2018 and 2019. That shows that he remains a popular choice with the wider British public, and I think that helps to make him a solid bet for the 2020 SPOTY.
Final Thoughts on the 2020 BBC SPOTY
While awards such as this tend to be close, it’s rare to see two outstanding candidates such as Hamilton and Rashford so evenly priced.
Whatever happens in December, I am sure that both men will endorse the efforts of the other. The public will pick their candidate this year, and I guess it will be the right one.