Wiggins odds-on for SPOTY gong
Bradley Wiggins' status as the favourite for the 2012 Sports Personality of the Year has received overwhelming support from Sky Bet punters.
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The Team Sky rider is odds-on for the award at 4/7 following a year in which he became the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France before claiming one of Britain's 29 gold medals at the Olympics.
Wiggins heads a stellar field for Sunday's showpiece event which contains multiple Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists, golf's No 1 player and Britain's first male Grand Slam singles champion in 76 years.
Despite the remarkable level of competition and being such a short price, Wiggins is still attracting the majority of the stakes in Sky Bet's market on the winner of the award.
The 32-year-old also received backing from skysports.com readers in a poll, with over 40 per cent of the votes going his way, more than twice the mount of any of the other 11 contenders.
Wiggins was actually installed as a 20/1 outsider for the award at the start of the year, but was cut to 4/5 after his historic Tour triumph and then trimmed in to as short as 1/7 after claiming his fourth gold medal.
Sky Bet have also reported a late surge for Jessica Ennis to pick up the award, prompting her price to be cut from 12/1 to 3/1 and making her the second favourite.
However, Ennis, who is among five females on the 12-strong shortlist, was only fourth in the poll with less than 10 per cent of the votes.
The 26-year-old was one of the iconic figures of the Games this summer and fulfilled expectations by claiming gold in the heptathlon.
News that Andy Murray will not be in attendance at the event has caused his odds to drift from as short as 2/1 to a current price of 16/1.
The Scot enjoyed the best year of his career, reaching the Wimbledon final before claiming Olympic gold in the men's singles and silver in the mixed doubles, then ending his wait for a first Grand Slam title at the US Open.
Murray came third in the poll, narrowly behind Mo Farah (6/1), who landed gold in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000m at the Olympics.
The 29-year-old had the nation on their feet with his stunning late surges to victory in both events before his signature 'Mobot' celebration, typifying the spirit of the Games.
Rory McIlroy, who enjoyed another stunning year as he won the USPGA Championship and cleared up with the end-of-year awards, was fifth in the poll but is rated as an 125/1 chance with Sky Bet.
Ellie Simmonds is their fifth favourite at 50/1 with fellow Paralympian David Weir also considered ahead of McIlroy at 80/1.
Sky Bet's Dale Tempest said: "We're continuing to take hefty stakes on Wiggins to pick up the award despite being such a short price and up against such esteemed competition.
"Punters are finding a bit of extra value in the forecast market, with Wiggins first and Ennis second popular at 2/1.
"While Wiggins has consistently been the favourite since winning the Tour de France, Ennis and Murray's prices have both moved significantly recently, with the latter attracting little interest seemingly due to his absence."