NBA Defensive Player Odds Breakdown: Historically speaking, the Defensive Player of the Year award is reserved for big men. In fact, up until last season, the last time a guard won the award was back in 1996 when Gary Payton took home the honor.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart etched himself in the record book last year when he was named Defensive Player of the Year, beating out Suns Mikal Bridges and Rudy Gobert. Odds show that Smart is back in the mix again this season, but not quite as high on the odds board as a few other key players that we like a bit more.
RUDY GOBERT +425
While he had a spectacular year last season, setting career highs with 15.7 points per game and 14.7 rebounds per game, his advanced stats on the defensive end were down in comparison to seasons in which he won the award.
Continuing Our NBA Defensive Player Odds Breakdown: It seems as if Rudy Gobert is a front-runner to win Defensive Player of the Year every season and he’s currently the odds-on favorite heading into the 2022-23 season.
Gobert, who was just acquired by the Minnesota Timberwolves this offseason, has won the award three times, which is tied for the second-most in NBA history. While he had a spectacular year last season, setting career highs with 15.7 points per game and 14.7 rebounds per game, his advanced stats on the defensive end were down in comparison to seasons in which he won the award.
That should pick up again this season being he’s playing alongside another big man in Karl-Anthony Towns and two solid defenders in Kyle Anderson and Jaden McDaniels. Overall, the Wolves should have a strong defensive unit led by Gobert which voters will take into consideration when making their selections at the end of the season.
ROBERT WILLIAMS +850
Boston Celtics big man Robert Williams sits in third in the Defensive Player odds after making a very good case to win the award last season before getting beat out by his teammate. This confuses us a little bit because he has been dealing with injuries this offseason and it’s looking like he’s going to miss almost two months at the start of the season. Unless he comes back and has an absolute monster performance it’s going to be hard for voters to make a case for someone who misses that much time.
MIKAL BRIDGES +1200
Phoenix Suns guard Mikal Bridges is a player we like with good value on the board. He was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year last season and made a very strong case for himself. Bridges is a model of consistency in the NBA after playing all 82 games last season.
He’s a long, quick, athletic guard who led the Suns to a top-3 defensive rating last season while always guarding the opposing team’s best player. Bridges earned a spot on the All-Defensive First Team and set a career-high in defensive win shares. If he can repeat his performance from last season, which at this stage in his career is extremely doable, then we love these odds for him.
JOEL EMBIID +1800
Concluding Our NBA Defensive Player Odds Breakdown: At +1800 there is a lot of value here when it comes to betting on Joel Embiid to win the award. The Philadelphia 76ers should have a great all-around defense this year with the addition of PJ Tucker, De’Anthony Melton and Danuel House which will do nothing but make Embiid look better on that side of the ball.
The addition of James Harden last season and the development of Tyrese Maxey should take some of the offensive load off of Embiid this season and allow him to focus more of his efforts on the defensive end. While Embiid’s Defensive Player odds have never been top-notch, he’s earned votes over the past five seasons and finished as the runner-up in 2018. At this price, he’s our favorite value play and someone we think has a legit shot to take home the award.
Be sure to stay with us all season for the most up to date NBA players stats 2022.
OTHER PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
Bam Adebayo +600
Giannis Antetokounmpo +900
Draymond Green +1000
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