The 2015 ESPY Awards are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 15th and will be hosted by actor/comedian Joel McHale. This will be a particularly interesting year for the ESPY’s as the event has been moved from ESPN to ABC, largely because Caitlyn Jenner will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award which is presented to an athlete who’s contributions transcend sports.
Though there has been some backlash to this decision (including prominent sports personalities like Bob Costas), the decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner for her accomplishments should lead to all-time viewership records.
With anticipation for the event at an all-time high, the square oddsmakers over at Sportsbook.com have decided to capitalize on this increased interest by posting odds for a number of marquee categories, along with an unusual prop bet regarding Jenner’s attire. (Because everybody must be desperate to know, Jenner is -500 to wear a red dress while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.)
The table’s below displays the current odds for five of the biggest categories including best athlete and best game. It will be updated if any additional sportsbooks post their odds. Bettors should know be aware that award winners are chosen exclusively based on fan voting, which can be viewed on ESPN’s website.
Best Male Athlete
Best Female Athlete
|Seahawks/Patriots (Super Bowl)||NFL||-1000|
|Athletics/Royals (Wild Card)||MLB||+550|
|Spurs/Clippers (Game 7)||NBA||+550|
Best NFL Player
Best NBA Player
There are a few easily noticeable irregularities that may help provide insight into which players are offering value. For starter, Stephen Curry is listed at -160 to be named the Best Male Athlete, however, he actually trails LeBron James (-150) for the Best NBA Player Award. Not only is Curry’s popularity soaring (which bodes well in a fan vote), but the former Davidson product also won both the NBA Championship and the MVP Award. At +125, Curry seems like an excellent value to win the Best NBA Player Award.
Another potential value play involves a category Curry has been nominated for — the Best Male Athlete Award. Texans DE J.J. Watt is arguably the most popular player in the nation’s most popular sport. Last season, the former Wisconsin Badger tallied 20.5 sacks, forced four fumbles, and returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown in one of the year’s most exciting plays.
Although Watt is a -250 favorite to win the Best NFL Player Award, he actually has longer odds to win the Best Male Athlete Award than last season’s MVP Aaron Rodgers (+200). Watt is a frequent guest on ESPN programming and, as a defensive player, would seem to represent the most contrarian nominee. Though we understand why Stephen Curry (-160) is the favorite, Watt seems to be vastly overpriced at +750.
In the other categories, Super Bowl XLIX seems like a no-brainer for Game of the Year while Serena Williams’ recent success should help her challenge Ronda Rousey for Best Female Athlete.
Will you be watching the ESPY’s this year? Do you disagree with any of our selections? Are any nominees offering bettors value? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.