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How to Bet on the Laureus World Sports Awards

by Scott Kacsmar
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Laureus World Sports Award

The Laureus World Sports Awards honor the best in sport, including individuals and teams, from the previous year. The 2024 ceremony to honor the best in athletic achievement from 2023 will take place in Madrid on April 22, 2024. 

There are 6 main award categories that the Academy oversees each year, and you can bet on these markets at a top-rated sportsbook like BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more).

We go over the betting markets below and offer our best advice on how to approach each one.

Breakthrough of the Year

The nominees for Breakthrough of the Year by an individual athlete include (odds at BetOnline):

  • Coco Gauff (+100)
  • Salma Paralluelo (+400)
  • Linda Caicedo (+480)
  • Qin Haiyang (+500)
  • Jude Bellingham (+600)
  • Josh Kerr (+700)

This award goes to the newcomer to their sport who has made a great early impact. Someone might want to let BetOnline know they have Coco Gauff’s named spelled incorrectly as “Cauff” because the 19-year-old tennis star is your likely winner this year.

Gauff was actually nominated for this award in 2020 a year after she entered Wimbledon, became the youngest player in tournament history to qualify for the main draw, and she beat Venus Williams on her way to reaching the 4th round.

But in 2023, Gauff made more history by winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open, beating Aryna Sabalenka. She is the first American teenager to win at Flushing Meadows since the legendary Serena Williams did it in 1999. Gauff has already won 6 WTA Tour singles titles and 8 doubles titles. She finished 2023 ranked No. 3 in the world and should only get better.

Look for her to finish No. 1 in the voting here and win Breakthrough of the Year.

Pick: Breakthrough of the Year – Coco Gauff (+100) at BetOnline

Comeback of the Year

The nominees for Comeback of the Year by an individual athlete include (odds at BetOnline):

  • Siya Kolisi (+150)
  • Simone Biles (+250)
  • Marketa Vondrousova (+400)
  • Jamal Murray (+450)
  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson (+600)
  • Sebastien Haller (+1000)

The Comeback of the Year award has typically gone to someone recovering from a serious injury or health issue, only to continue having success at their sport. For example, Denmark footballer Christian Eriksen won the award in 2023 for his return to the field after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match in June 2021.

This year, the odds-on favorite is South African rugby player Siya Kolisi, who needed a full ACL reconstruction on his knee. It typically takes 9 months to recover from this, but he returned to action in 119 days. He is a captain and led his team to back-to-back Rugby World Cup victories despite the injury.

But Kolisi is facing great competition from American gymnastic legend Simone Biles, who already won Sportswoman of the Year 3 times in 2017, 2019 and 2020. The Laureus World Sports Awards panel knows her well, and she was already nominated for Comeback Player of the Year in 2022.

Biles took a 2-year break from her sport to focus on her mental health. Upon her return, she won 4 more gold medals in October, and she became the first gymnast to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition. That is something that is considered the most difficult jump in women’s gymnastics.

Kolisi did something incredible and could easily win, but let’s not discount the greatness of Biles, her story, and her past success at this award show. There is good value with her at these odds.

Pick: Comeback of the Year – Simone Biles (+250) at BetOnline

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

The nominees for the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability include (odds at BetOnline):

  • Danylo Chufarov (+170)
  • Simone Barlaam (+200)
  • Diede De Groot (+400)
  • Markus Rehm (+600)
  • Nicole Murray (+700)
  • Luca Ekler (+700)

These are all great achievements, but it looks to be a close race between para swimmers Danylo Chufarov (Ukraine) and Simone Barlaam (Italy).

Barlaam is just 23 years old and won 6 gold medals at the Allianz Para Swimming World Championship in Manchester in a variety of events. He also made history by becoming the fastest S9 swimmer in the 50m freestyle with a world record of 23.96 seconds.

Not to be outdone, Chufarov is a visually impaired swimmer who won 3 gold medals at the Allianz Para Swimming World Championship. He also won a silver medal and set 2 world records.

Barlaam, who was born with a deformed hip that made his right leg shorter than his left, is the more accomplished swimmer between the two and is a 13-time world champion. However, Chufarov may have him beat on the narrative as he found his success in 2023 after surviving the Russia-Ukraine war where he was limited on food, water, electricity, heat, and communication. He survived and returned to the pool in 2023, winning his first world championship gold medal since 2013 as he is 34 years old and past his athletic prime.

Either swimmer is a perfectly fine pick, but we’ll go with Chufarov getting acknowledged for his adversity here.

Pick: Best Sportsperson with a Disability – Danylo Chufarov (+170) at BetOnline

Team of the Year

The nominees for Team of the Year include (odds at BetOnline):

  • Spain Women’s Football Team (+180)
  • Manchester City Men’s Football Team (+200)
  • Oracle Red Bull Racing (+380)
  • South Africa Rugby Union Team (+500)
  • Germany Basketball Team (+600)
  • Europe Ryder Cup Team (+1000)

With respect to the dominance of the Austria motor racing team known as Oracle Red Bull Racing, this looks like a 2-team battle between a couple of football teams.

This is nothing new for the Laureus Sports Awards as 4 of 5 winners for Team of the Year since 2019 have been football (soccer) clubs. But this is expected to be a close battle.

Manchester City, under the guidance of coach Pep Guardiola in the 2022-23 season, won their 1st European Cup and became the 2nd English club to complete the continental treble of the UEFA Champions League. They won their 5th Premier League title in the last 6 years. Guardiola has won 14 major trophies with the club since 2016, and many of his players had standout years in the 2022-23 season. Erling Haaland was named Premier League Player of the Year after setting a Premier League record with 36 goals.

The Women’s World Cup was won by Spain for the 1st time ever in 2023. In the knockout rounds, Spain beat Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden to advance to the final, where they defeated England 1-0. Captain Olga Carmona delivered her team’s only goal in the win. It is only Europe’s third team to have won a world championship, joining Norway (1995) and Germany (2003, 2007).

With Manchester City having such a great run of things in recent years, we might see voters give the edge to the women from Spain for breaking through to win the World Cup the way they did.

However, Manchester City has never won this award before, and completing a treble at the highest level of competitive football is something to honor. With Erling Haaland also nominated for Sportsman of the Year, we think the team gets the rightful recognition for this run and wins this award over the women from Spain.

Pick: Team of the Year – Manchester City Men’s Football Team (+200) at BetOnline

Sportswoman of the Year

The nominees for Sportswoman of the Year include (odds at BetOnline):

  • Sha’carri Richardson (+120)
  • Mikaela Shiffrin (+160)
  • Aitana Bonmati (+300)
  • Faith Kipyegon (+800)
  • Shericka Jackson (+900)

The odds see this as a 2-woman race between a couple of Americans in skiing legend Mikaela Shiffrin and track-and-field sprinter Sha’carri Richardson.

Shiffrin is in the debate for the best Alpine skier of all time. She has now won 88 World Cup races, a new record. She also won her 7th World Championship gold medal in giant slalom.

Shiffrin has been nominated 6 times in the past for a Laureus Award, and she has yet to win. Will the 7th time be the charm? We are going to say no because Richardson did something really special in 2023.

Richardson dominated at the World Championship in Budapest. She won the gold medal at 100 metres, and she did so in record time (10.65 seconds). She also did it against stiff competition in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won this award in 2023.

Winning a championship, setting a speed record, and beating the reigning Sportswoman of the Year sure sounds like a path to becoming the new Sportswoman of the Year. Richardson also won gold as part of Team USA in the women’s 4x100m relay final with another record-setting time (41.03 seconds).

You can crown here at better than even odds too.

Pick: Sportswoman of the Year – Sha’carri Richardson (+120) at BetOnline

Sportsman of the Year

The nominees for Sportsman of the Year include (odds at BetOnline):

  • Novak Djokovic (-180)
  • Max Verstappen (+360)
  • Lionel Messi (+500)
  • Erling Haaland (+650)
  • Noah Lyles (+1200)
  • Mondo Duplantis (+1200)

Our final award is the one with the most slanted odds as Novak Djokovic is a heavy favorite to win yet again. He would beat out very good years for motor racing’s Max Verstappen and footballer Lionel Messi, who won this award in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

But Djokovic had one of the best years of his career in 2023 as he won his 23rd and 24th Grand Slam men’s single titles, giving him the record over Rafael Nadal (22). Djokovic was able to win the Australian Open and French Open while just coming up short at Wimbledon. He finished as the year-end No. 1 in the world for a record 8th time, and he became the first player to win 7 titles in the ATP Finals.

In 2023, Djokovic only participated in 12 tournaments, but he led everyone with 7 title wins, his most in a season since 2016. At 36 years old, he continues to play at the highest level.

A 4-time winner of the Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus Sports Awards, a 5th win would tie Djokovic with Roger Federer (5) for the most such wins in history. Look for him to do just that.

Pick: Sportsman of the Year – Novak Djokovic (-180) at BetOnline

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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