On Tuesday, we covered bets on the Offensive Player of the Year to watch, and now we’ll turn our attention to the defensive side of football.
Unlike some of the other NFL awards, this one is reasonably positionless. Since 2010, we’ve seen a corner, safety, linebacker, EDGE, and defensive tackle win the award. It’s both exciting, as we can dig deeper to find gems, and a bit more challenging, as we can’t focus on just one area of impact.
There was definitely a DPOY winning defensive lineman series; seven of the last 10 winners have been in the trenches, and although last year’s winner TJ Watt was technically an outside linebacker, his role was to rush the passer.
Aaron Donald has won three Defensive Player of the Year wins since 2017 and is a favorite to win in 2022.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Betting Odds
The top of the board is headlined by a pair of EDGE rushers, including last season’s winner. Repeat wins have become the norm lately. JJ Watt and Aaron Donald have represented six of the past 10 winners.
The current top 15, as well as their odds and the bookmaker that offers us the best odds:
- Myles Garrett (+700 DNK)
- TJ Watt (+800 FD)
- Aaron Donald (+900 FD)
- Micah Parsons (+1000 DK)
- Nick Bosa (+1500 DK)
- Joey Bosa (+2500 DF)
- Darius Leonard (+3000 DK)
- Maxx Crosby (+3000 FD)
- Danielle Hunter (+3500 FD)
- Khalil Mack (+3500 DF)
- Derwin James (+3500 DK)
- Chase Young (+3500 FD)
- Rashan Gary (+4000 DK)
- Von Miller (+4000 FD)
- Bradley Chubb (+5000 FD)
It’s a long list, but I’ve found my two favorites for the 2022 season.
Micah Parsons +1000
Parsons was everything and more for the Dallas Cowboys in the first year. In what culminated with a Defensive Rookie of the Year award, Parsons finished the season with 84 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss, and 3 forced fumbles.
The TFL numbers were second only to TJ Watt and Nick Bosa, who each had 21, and his sack total was the sixth-highest in the NFL.
Parsons has quickly become a defensive force for the Cowboys, and the impact he brings across the court can go a long way in winning Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Parsons received 10% of the vote for DPOY last season, finish second behind Watt. Sandwiched between Watt and Donald in just his first season is as impressive as it gets, and the next logical step is for him to take the win.
Dallas’ defense will likely need to step up a notch this season with some of the losses the Cowboys have suffered on offense. Parsons thinks he’s leading this charge, and if the numbers follow, he’s a great bet to win DPOY.
Rashan Gary +4000
We’re aiming for value with our second pick in this futures market, looking at Green Bay EDGE Rashan Gary at +4000.
The Packers’ defense has garnered a lot of interest this offseason, pushing to be considered the best unit in the league. CB Jaire Alexander, EDGE Preston Smith, S Adrian Amos and LB De’Vondre Campbell are just a few of the notable names hoping to build on a strong 2021.
Surrounded by talent, Gary is well positioned to rack up the numbers and find himself in contention for this award by the end of the season. Pro Football Focus had Gary as their fifth-ranked EDGE defender from last season, and all we’ve seen from Gary’s career so far is continued growth.
His sack totals went from 2.0 to 5.0 to 9.5 last season. Gary will need a big leap in the bag department to be a legit pick for this price, but that’s what we project and hope for when charging a +4000 ticket.
With playmakers around him, the fourth-year defenseman should have his share of 1-on-1 matchups, and with Alexander and Amos shutting down the best option of a quarterback, Gary may have a little more time to get to QB.
Gary is in the final year of his rookie contract, so he shouldn’t be lacking in motivation to rack up a big season. I love that +4000 value on an impact defender on what could be one of the best teams in the NFL.