Trying to predict who will win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award months in advance is a task fraught with peril. Much will depend on how England get on at the World Cup in Brazil this summer. If – by some miracle – they win the thing, Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard would surely get first and second. If Roy Hodgson’s men flop, they won’t get a look-in. But read on to find out our early thoughts on the matter along with the latest betting odds for this fascinating contest.

Of course, this award has little to do with “personality” at all and is really about “achievement”. Andy Murray won it last year after finally winning Wimbledon, while Bradley Wiggins won the year before after winning Olympic Gold and the Tour de France. With Murray having gone off the boil somewhat, we can’t see him having as good a season this year and the best betting odds of 12/1 with BetVictor for him to win for a second time are not tempting.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, is the favourite at best odds of 29/21 with William Hill on the basis that he will probably win the Formula 1 Drivers Championship. But Hamilton only managed second place in SPOTY last time he won the championship (in 2008 when cyclist Chris Hoy was preferred, albeit in an Olympic year) and if anyone rises to glory in any other sport we think they’ll get the better of Hamilton.

A good outside bet at this stage would be to back Rooney at 50/1 with BetVictor. Paul Gascoigne won it in 1990 after crying at the World Cup, so if Wazza actually scores a few goals and England make it to the quarters or semis in style, that could be a very good value bet. Big “ifs”, of course, but at this early stage we’re lumping on Rooney at massive betting odds.

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