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SPOTY Betting: Ben Stokes is on fire but there's a long way to go

England cricketer Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes celebrates his ton at Lord's
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The England all-rounder is the firm favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year after following World Cup heroics with a fine century against Australia at Lord's but does anyone stand out at longer odds? Max Liu has the latest...

"Dina Asher Smith [21.0] is another contender with a massive autumn ahead of her. The Athletics World Championships begin on 28 September and Asher Smith is a potential medal winner."

Ben Stokes is [2.22] favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) after he hit a century for England against Australia on Sunday.

The all-rounder's unbeaten 115 at Lord's turned the tide of the second Ashes Test and it may well have transformed England's position. The hosts only drew the match but, after Australia clung on to deny them, it's England who go into Thursday's third Test at Headingley with the momentum.

It's been an extraordinary summer for Stokes who played a key role in England winning the ICC World Cup in July - the first time in their history that England have won the tournament and a moment which, arguably, compares to the national football team's triumph in 1966 and the rugby teams victory in 2003.

Stokes has been praised for his performances on the field by, among others Betfair Ambassador Graeme Swann, and for the maturity he's shown in moving on from the nightclub incident that saw him miss England's Ashes tour to Australia last year. He oozes charisma and is a worth favourite for this prize.

Hamilton, Farrell and more in contention

Lewis Hamilton waves flag 956.jpg

You wouldn't guess from the weather but it's still the summertime, so there's a still a third of the year to go before the SPOTY winner is announced on 15 December. In that time, there will be three further Ashes Tests, as well as the Rugby World Cup and the conclusion of the F1 season.

If England win the World Cup, which begins on 20 September, then Own Farrell's current odds of [26.0] could tumble as he comes into contention. And it's not England we need to think about here - Welsh legend Alun Wynn Jones is [28.0], so if the Dragon roars in Japan then he could be one to watch.

Then of course there's Lewis Hamilton - an unbackable [1.05] to win the F1 Drivers' Championship for a sixth time. That would be an astonishing achievement, and put Hamilton within one title of Michael Schumacher's record seven. Mind you, Lewis won the championship last year, was nominated for SPOTY and failed to win, so think carefully before backing him at [8.0].

British runner Dina Asher Smith [21.0] is another contender with a massive autumn ahead of her. The Athletics World Championships begin on 28 September and Asher Smith, already a double European champion, is a potential medal winner. She performed impressively against a strong field at the Birmingham Grand Prix at the weekend.

There's a lot of football to be played before Christmas too, although not necessarily anything that would boost Raheem Sterling's [9.8] chances of winning. Arguably, though, the Manchester City forward has achieved enough already to justify winning, with the public firmly on his side after he spoke out eloquently about racism in the game.

Max Liu,

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