Murray is 2013 SPOTY favourite

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: December 17 2012, 9:04 GMT

Andy Murray has been installed as the early, across-the-board favourite for the 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Andy Murray: Favourite for 2013 SPOTY award
Andy Murray: Favourite for 2013 SPOTY award

The reigning US Open and Olympic tennis champion is a top price of 4/1 (William Hill, sportingbet) in the new book.

Murray was installed as the jolly immediately after Bradley Wiggins picked up the 2012 prize, comfortably winning the public vote, finishing ahead of Jessica Ennis. Murray was third.

Sky Bet have Wiggins at 20/1 to win again next year. They are keen to keep Murray onside and offer him at 11/4.

They also like the look of golfer Rory McIlroy, the reigning USPGA champion and world number one. Sky Bet have him at 5/1, whereas other firms will give you 10s. He finished only 10th in the 2012 poll.

Ennis is a general 6/1 shot to go one better in 2013 when she will bid to add the world heptathlon title to her Olympic gold.

Farah, fourth this year, will also be at those World Athletics Championships. He can be backed at 8/1 with William Hill.

2012 SPOTY result

1. Bradley Wiggins 492,064 (30.25%)
2. Jessica Ennis 372,765 (22.92%)
3. Andy Murray 230,444 (14.17%)
4. Mo Farah 131,327 (8.07%)
5. David Weir 114,633 (7.05%)
6. Ellie Simmonds 102,894 (6.33%)
7. Sir Chris Hoy 42,961 (2.64%)
8. Nicola Adams 35,560 (2.19%)
9. Ben Ainslie 35,373 (2.17%)
10. Rory McIlroy 29,729 (1.83%)
11. Katherine Grainger 28,626 (1.76%)
12. Sarah Storey 10,342 (0.64%)
Total votes: 1,626,718

With a home Ashes series and part of an away one to come in 2013, England cricket captain Alastair Cook is also prominent - he's 8/1 at Hill's and sportingbet. Team-mate Kevin Pietersen is a 40/1 shot at Sky Bet, with Monty Panesar quoted at 33s by sportingbet.

As for Formula One contenders, Jenson Button leads the way at 33/1 with Ladbrokes. Hill's go 14s.

With cyclists having won the last two awards, the Leeds-based layers are also keeping Chris Froome short.

Set to lead Team Sky's Tour de France bid next year, the Kenya-born Froome is just 5/1 with Hill's. Ladbrokes will give you 12/1.

Wiggins' win - thwarting a late gamble on Ennis - left William Hill with a headache.

They lost on Wiggins, as their Joe Crilly explained.

He said: "Wiggo was favourite for SPOTY since the day he first pulled on the Yellow Jersey (in July) and just like in France, he did not relinquish favouritism until the bitter end, beating off the toughest of competition in what has been the most incredible of sporting years.

"Because he was favourite for so long, he obviously attracted the big boys and a couple of £10,000 bets on Wiggins added to the many thousands of smaller bets means we are looking at quite a loss."