It seems only yesterday we watched Michael J. Fox blast his way into 2015 at the end of Back to the Future.
To an eight-year-old, 2015 seemed a lifetime away and yet here we are.
No, there aren’t any hoverboards, or power laces, and Jaws 19, thankfully, never came to light.
Sport plays a key part in the Back to the Future trilogy.
The film memorably predicted the Chicago Cubs would break their World Series drought (they last won in 1908) in 2015, while the theft of Grays Sports Almanac, and a betting spree, leads to a rupture in the space-time continuum. Great Scott …
While we at The New Daily don’t necessarily believe the Cubbies are a good value bet for Major League Baseball’s biggest prize (they’re paying $26 if you feel like a flutter), we have identified a few other good long shots for the year ahead.
Here are the roughies you should keep an eye on in 2015.
(Greig Johnston is a sub-standard punter, and this should be given consideration when deciding whether to follow his advice.)
AFL premiership – North Melbourne ($13)
No, we’re not fully convinced, but North did look very good in patches last season.
Sure they downed tools like a plumber on New Year’s Eve against Sydney in a prelim, but they’d had a tough couple of weeks disposing of Essendon and Geelong.
The loss of Levi Greenwood is a blow, but they added some class in Shaun Higgins while Jarrad Waite will give Drew Petrie a hand in the forward half.
There could be some excitement around Arden St in September.
Brownlow Medal – Luke Parker ($21)
Parker was nowhere in the Brownlow last season (12 votes) after a brilliant year, and the umpies like to acknowledge when they got it wrong by giving votes for average performances the following campaign.
Gary Ablett and Nat Fyfe will be hard to stop, but there’s no telling how the former’s wing will heal up. Fyfe, meanwhile, looks like a choir boy but is an angry young man (perhaps only now realising he’s stuck with ‘Nat’ as an abridged form of Nathan).
NRL premiership – Warriors ($15)
The Warriors missed out on the finals last season on points difference, and they could be on the cusp of a maiden NRL premiership.
Shaun Johnson oozes class, Sam Tomkins got better as last season went on and Simon Mannering is an inspirational leader. Ryan Hoffmann from the Melbourne Storm will be a handy addition.
The Warriors have also won three of the past five editions of the Toyota Cup, rugby league’s under-20 competition.
If a few of those young guns can make the senior team the good times could roll for Andrew McFadden’s side.
Dally M Medal – Anthony Milford ($17)
The Broncos’ young gun comes with a mighty wrap – and he inherits a No.6 jumper previously worn by league royalty like Wally Lewis, Kevin Walters and Darren Lockyer.
‘Milf’ is built for speed, and he looks set to light up Suncorp Stadium for the foreseeable future.
Rugby World Cup – Ireland ($10)
Let’s face it, it might take an Irishman to bet against the All Blacks.
If they do they would be well served to throw down a few bob on their own mob. The Six Nations champs went unbeaten in the northern autumn and Joe Schmidt’s team look to be in fine fettle.
With players like Jonny Sexton, Sean O’Brien (who is racing the clock to be fit for the tournament) and Tommy Bowe, the Irish could give the Southern Hemisphere giants a shake-up.
Cricket World Cup – Pakistan ($13)
Pakistan. Cricket’s own Kryptos – a puzzling wonder and fascination to people the world over. Sometimes they resemble a world class team, and at others they look like a grade side – on an end-of-season trip.
But Pakistan has some formidable weapons – Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan are all match winners on their day.
And let’s not forget they won the tournament the last time the final was played at the MCG, when Imran Khan led them past England in 1992.
Asian Cup – Iran ($7.50)
Iran skipper Javad Nekounam has socred four goals for Osasuna in Spain’s top flight this season, and he is joined in the squad by club teammate Karim Ansarifard.
Overseeing the operation is former Manchester United assistant and Portugal boss Carlos Queiroz, a man Sir Alex Ferguson described as “brilliant, just brilliant” and an “intelligent, meticulous man”.
They were good in a loss against eventual runners-up Argentina at the World Cup, and could be poised to win their first Asian Cup since 1976.
Super XV – Brumbies ($11)
After a fourth-placed finish in 2014, the Brumbies will be looking to repeat their march to the final in 2013.
And with talent like Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani, Jesse Mogg, Christian Lealiifano and Stephen Moore, who’s to say they can’t?
All odds from Sportsbet.com.au