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Christine Sinclair of Canada celebrates her goal during the Concacaf Women's Championship Semi-Final match between Panama against Canada as we look at our Northern Star Award prediction.
Christine Sinclair of Canada celebrates her goal during the Concacaf Women's Championship Semi-Final match between Panama against Canada. Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via AFP.

The 2023 Northern Star Award winner will be named soon, and in Ontario there are odds available at one of our best sports betting apps.

A glance at the list of Northern Star Award winners throughout history reveals a collection of some of the best and most revered Canadian athletes ever. That includes Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby and first baseman Joey Votto getting the honor twice. Tennis standout Bianca Andresscu was also given the award after winning the US Open in 2019.

More recently, the award recognizing the nation's best athlete in a given year was handed to Team Canada forward and three-time gold medalist Marie-Philip Poulin in 2022. Before her it was Damien Warner in 2021 after he secured gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics, cementing his status as the country's premier decathlete.

Jamal Murray, a leader from the 2023 NBA champion Denver Nuggets, is among the top candidates to receive the award this year, alongside Canadian Open champion Nick Taylor, and women's soccer legend Christine Sinclair, who won in 2012.

There are 40 Canadian sportswriters who vote on the award, and they're casting ballots on Dec. 11, with results expected that afternoon.

One of our best sportsbooks in Canada was offering odds on who will be the Nothern Star Award recipient in 2023. Let's evaluate the offerings that FanDuel was posting prior to pulling the market on Dec. 11, and dive in with a prediction.

Northern Star Award Winner odds

(Odds as of Nov. 29)

TeamFanDuel
Nick Taylor-125
Jamal Murray+250
Christine Sinclair+750
Connor McDavid+1500
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+3000
Zach Edey+3000
Brooke Henderson+4000
Jevon Holland+4000
Adam Hadwin+6000
Adam Svensson+6000

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Northern Star Award odds analysis

Taylor is easily the favorite and the only candidate listed at minus odds. Winning a playoff at the Canadian Open while hitting a 72-foot putt will have that effect.

There's a sizeable gap between Taylor at -125 and Murray at +250, and an even larger one separating the Nuggets stud from Sinclair at +750.

But the real chasm is the one between those three and everyone else. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid leads the second tier, though the 2023 Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy, Rocket Ricard Trophy, and Ted Lindsey Award winner is listed at a distant +1500.

The third tier consists of athletes given a price at or longer than +3000, including 2023 Wooden Award winner Zach Edey. Then Adam Hadwin and Adam Svensson round out the deep collection of four golfers in the top 10.

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Northern Star Award winner pick

Christine Sinclair (+750 via FanDuel)

Narratives often drive voting-based awards. We see that with many individual honors, and it's doubly true when there's a cross-sport discussion without a level-playing field for statistical comparisons.

The discourse around a grand overarching honor like the Northern Star Award then frequently centers around the best accomplishment that year, or it can shine a light on career brilliance.

And there's no greater example of the latter right now than Sinclair.

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The lynchpin of Canadian women's soccer is preparing to play her final international game on Dec. 5. Her storied run includes three Olympic medals, most notably leading Canada to its first gold in 2020.

She's scored 190 goals for her country over 329 matches, which is an all-time record internationally for both men and women. The 2012 Olympics in London was the first time the Canadian women earned a medal while taking bronze, and Sinclair led that effort as the tournament's top scorer with six goals. Being capped for Canada 328 times also highlights her list of accomplishments. 

Canada fell short during the 2023 Women's World Cup. But the well-earned deep respect nationwide for Sinclair and how she's pushed the grass-roots growth of soccer could help her rise above that stumble as she departs the international stage.

There's enough distance since her 2012 Northern Star Award win to minimize any concerns about voter fatigue among the Canadian sports journalists who make up the voting body. She's getting far longer odds through FanDuel than Taylor and Murray, but her body of work and individual achievements should shine through.

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