Wiggins, Ennis and Farah hard to oppose as SPOTY top three

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Technically, this is the most open Sports Personality of the Year contest in recent years, but a top three of Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah in that order is looking increasingly likely and can be backed at 3/1.

The lack of true achievements in recent years has resulted in some arguably substandard winners of the award, most notably Ryan Giggs in 2008 as more of a lifetime achievement type recognition and then Mark Cavendish last year.

Almost certainly, if either sports star had achieved the same things this year that they did when winning, they would not finish in the top five and potentially not even have made the final shortlist.

Wiggins is 3/10 to become the third cycling winner in five years and ticks pretty much every box.

Becoming the first ever British winner of the Tour De France, 99 years after the founding of the competition, is a stand-alone achievement on its own good enough for victory.

But throw in that he also won a gold in London to take his overall Olympics tally to seven medals in total, a figure that can be bettered than no other Brit, and this deserves added praise.

Wiggins also showed sportsmanship in the Tour De France when allowing other riders to catch up the peloton after running over tacks on the road, while his personality cannot be called into question given the way he came across in interviews.

Ennis has seen the most support in the SPOTY betting in the past week to be backed into 6/1 and the fact that she is appreciated by men and women alike boosts her chances of success.

She achieved under the greatest Olympic pressure as the poster girl of the Games and 2/1 is also a solid price she finishes second.

Farah is 9/4 to take third and is another to mix achievement and personality, particularly given the starting of his mobot celebration and camaraderie with Usain Bolt towards the end of the Olympics.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.