Sports gambling is almost a national pastime in Ireland, with horse racing and football the favourite targets for our predictions. Later in the season the GAA sports also generate a great deal of gambling interest, but if you’re a fan of gambling on sports why not try something slightly different. The shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year has just been announced, including two Irish golfers in Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy, and the winner of the public vote will be announced on the 22nd December. No doubt you will have noticed that this year’s list has created a certain degree of anger at the absence of any female candidates, but what we feel is most striking is the lack of an obvious favourite for sports gambling fans in this final ten. We have not yet seen the bookmaker’s response to this list, but the odds will be very interesting when they are announced. There are for instance no footballers on the list, and team sports are represented by two cricketers in Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss presumably because of the successful Test side reaching number one in the world, although many would argue that the bowlers were more instrumental in achieving this feat. Of the individual sports, golf appears to be almost over represented with three golfers in the final ten, and although Luke Donald has reached number one in the world he has not yet won a major. Athletics has two nominees in Mo Farah and Dai Green, both having had good results at the world championships this year but hardly household names amongst non athletics fans. Mark Cavendish is a world champion, but even he will admit that it was only possible through an excellent team effort, and cycling is not yet a high profile sport even though the British team has excelled in recent years. The final two candidates are Amir Khan and Andy Murray, both of whom have also had good years, but are they obvious choices for sports gambling fans. Keep an eye on the odds and the general public’s response, this competition is wide open and may be a good gambling opportunity.