SPOTY 2024 Odds: Luke Littler, Harry Kane and Olympic stars all in the running

 | January 04 | 

5 mins read

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Luke Littler may have tasted defeat in the PDC World Darts Championship final, but the 16-year-old has still captured the imagination of an entire nation.

The teenager’s fairy tale run to the final saw him steal sporting headlines across the globe, and although it ended in defeat, he has established himself as one of the sporting stars of 2024 - and we are only four days in! 

One of the end-of-year gongs he has put his name in the hat for is the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. We’ve taken a look at the early running in this market and assessed who could follow Mary Earps by winning this prestigious prize come December. 

Selected SPOTY 2024 Odds 

  • Harry Kane to win SPOTY 2024 @ 8/1
  • Mark Cavendish to win SPOTY 2024 @ 10/1
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson to win SPOTY 2024 @ 12/1
  • Luke Littler to win SPOTY 2024 @ 16/1
  • Zharnel Hughes to win SPOTY 2024 @ 50/1

The two current favourites beyond Littler are both footballers, with England captain Harry Kane and Real Madrid superstar Jude Bellingham level-pegging at 8/1 to lift the award. That all rests on the Three Lions' being successful at Euro 2024. If England fail to win the tournament, these two have little chance of winning the BBC recognition, and with the strength of France they may fall short once again. 

Gareth Southgate is likely to depart at the end of the summer no matter the outcome, but if you fancy England to go all the way, 8/1 marks exceptional value. I’d lean towards captain Kane rather than Bellingham, given Kane is likely to score key goals and as captain would be only the second man behind Sir Bobby Moore to lift a major trophy for England. 

HarryKaneSPOTY24 @ 8/1

Mark Cavendish is currently third favourite and certainly worthy of consideration. He is equal with five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx on 34 stage wins, and needs just one more first-place finish to hold that record outright. Cavendish was set to retire at the end of the 2023 season, but after breaking his collarbone in last year's Tour he will give the TdF one last go in a bid to become the most successful sprinter ever. 10/1 for him to make history doesn’t feel like a bad shout, but given the other gargantuan events taking place I can’t see him being in the frame for this award.

The darts duo of Luke Littler and Luke Humphries have obviously stolen the headlines early in the year, but it would take something remarkable for them to win SPOTY. The biggest event in the sport has already taken place, and even if world number one Humphries were to dominate this year and win the Premier League, it’s unlikely that will be enough. Equally, now Littler has failed in his quest to win on his debut, surely he is out of the running. He’s 11/4 to win the Premier League but I’d steer clear of both of these picks. 

The one thing that we must bring to the fore is the fact that 2024 is an Olympic year. In my opinion, the only thing that could stop an Olympian winning SPOTY 2024 is something completely exceptional and unexpected - or England winning a major football tournament. In 2000, Sir Steve Redgrave won, and in 2004 it was Dame Kelly Holmes. Cyclists won in 2008 and 2012 in the form of Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins, while Mo Farah got his deserved award in 2016. 

During the last Olympic year, the delayed Tokyo Games of 2021, Tom Daley came second and Adam Peaty third, beaten only by the remarkable Emma Raducanu, who burst onto the scene to win the US Open at 19. It seems unlikely that a similarly unpredictable event will happen this term, so backing an Olympian to win SPOTY 2024 makes a whole lot of sense. 

Katarina Johnson-Thompson currently leads the running - pardon the pun - in terms of Olympians at 12/1. Having won gold at the World Championships at Budapest this year, the heptathlete is in prime position to finally add an Olympic medal to her collection having had her Tokyo Games cut short by injury. 

800m star Keely Hodgkinson finished second in Tokyo in 2021 and second in Budapest last year, but if she can finally secure gold the price of 16/1 isn’t bad. However, in terms of middle-distance runners, you may have more success with Josh Kerr at 25/1For many, he was the major absentee from the 2023 shortlist as he defeated Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the 1500m to take gold in the Hungarian capital. If he can repeat that feat in Paris, it will go down as one of the great sporting achievements of the year and he will propel himself into the public sphere. 

Our outside selection, if you fancy a longshot, is sprinter Zharnel Hughes at 50/1. He is competing in the biggest events, in the biggest sporting competition on the planet - the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. He finished third in the 100m at the World Championships in 2023 and won gold at the European Championships in 2022 to establish himself as one of the fastest men on the planet. 

Noah Lyles, Christian Coleman and Ferdinand Omanyala all represent big threats, but nobody ran the 100m faster than Hughes across 2023. His 9.83 effort was wind-assisted, but he still has the ability to put a run together when it truly matters. If he wins the 100m at the Olympics, it is game over - and it doesn’t matter what anybody else does this year. A British gold medal in the 100m or 200m and the chance of success in the relay will give him a great chance.

At 50/1 I believe Zharnel Hughes is the value pick for SPOTY 2024. 

ZharnelHughes2024SPOTY @ 50/1

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