After Marcus Smart's surprise win in 2022, sportsbooks clearly sensed a return to order for NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds last season. 2023-24's early odds board tells the same story, with the bigs dominating yet again, occupying the vast majority of the NBA futures Top 10 odds to win DPOY.
It's a familiar face leading the way early, as three-time winner Rudy Gobert's now installed at the NBA odds favorite to win 2024 DPOY:
Odds to win 2023-24 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
|Rudy Gobert||Minnesota Timberwolves||+200|
|Anthony Davis||Los Angeles Lakers||+550|
|Evan Mobley||Cleveland Cavaliers||+950|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||+1,100|
|Brook Lopez||Milwaukee Bucks||+1,200|
|Victor Wembanyama||San Antonio Spurs||+1,400|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||Memphis Grizzlies||+1,600|
|Chet Holmgren||Oklahoma City Thunder||+1,600|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||+2,200|
|Scottie Barnes||Toronto Raptors||+2,500|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, December 5, 2023.
Favorites to win 2023-24 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Rudy Gobert (+200)
Rudy Gobert was supposed to carry the Timberwolves to the West's upper echelon after they grossly overpaid to trade for him last summer, but after stalling out initially, everything appears to be clicking for Minny this season.
The Wolves own the NBA's best defensive rating, and not only is Gobert leading the league in individual D-rating, but buoying the rest of the Wolves, who impressively and improbably occupy six spots in the league's Top 20.
As a result, this Minnesota team, just a year removed from mass infighting, is first in the West at 13-4, in large part because of its defense.
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Anthony Davis (+550)
Everyone always knew Anthony Davis had a DPOY ceiling, but between a sketchy health record and offensive onus, he'd never quite strung together that defining season-long case.
2023-24 could be his moment, tied for the league lead in blocks (2.8 per game) while routinely plugging holes elsewhere in the Lakers' suspect perimeter defense.
While the individual metrics and L.A.'s overall middling defense may hurt his case, there's also plenty of small-sample noise that's begun to correct itself as the season's wore on.
It was widely accepted that Davis was the best defender in the NBA playoffs last season, and the eye test is telling close to the same story so far in the new campaign.
Popular NBA futures markets
Understanding NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. We'll use 2022-23's DPOY race as an example:
As the season progressed, with Jaren Jackson Jr. having been a big favorite, his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number:
- Jaren Jackson Jr. -150
This means that a bettor needs to wager $150 to win $100. Other candidates with worse odds would have a plus (+) sign ahead of the number. Early in the season, before any clear favorite is established, betting options will be listed as such:
- Brook Lopez +650
Here, a bettor stands to profit $650 for every $100 wagered on Lopez.
If American odds aren't your thing, simply use our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.
How is the NBA Defensive Player of the Year decided?
Individual defensive performance
The NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award primarily focuses on an individual player's defensive prowess: Their ability to disrupt opponents' offensive plays, defend against various positions, and limit scoring opportunities while creating turnovers.
Stats play a significant role in assessing a player's defensive performance. When evaluating potential candidates for the Defensive Player of the Year award, consider the following key statistics:
Blocks: Rim protection is a crucial aspect of a big man’s defensive ability. Look for players who consistently rank among the league leaders in blocks per game.
Steals: Players with a high number of steals per game showcase their ability to anticipate plays, generate turnovers, and prevent opponents from scoring.
Rebounding: Rebounding is an essential defensive skill. Pay attention to players who excel in defensive rebounding, as it shows their ability to secure possessions for their team and prevent second-chance points.
Defensive rating (and other advanced metrics): Defensive rating quantifies a player's defensive impact by measuring the number of points allowed per 100 possessions while they’re on the court. A low defensive rating signifies a player's ability to limit opponents' scoring.
Consistency and durability
Consistency and durability are key factors to consider when evaluating potential DPOY winners. A player who appears in a significant number of games and doesn’t waver night-to-night is more likely to receive recognition.
Impact on team defense
While individual performance is crucial, a player’s impact on team defense is equally important. Look for players who elevate the defensive capabilities of their entire team. Analyze how a player's presence on the court affects their team's defensive efficiency, communication, and overall success. A strong candidate will anchor their team's D and make their teammates better defenders.
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NBA Defensive Player of the Year betting trends
Here are some trends to keep in mind when betting on NBA DPOY:
- This is historically a big man's trophy. Sixteen of the past 19 winners, and 31 of the 41 overall, have been centers or power forwards.
- No player since Alvin Robertson (1986) has won DPOY with three or fewer years of experience.
- No DPOY winner's team has ever missed the playoffs.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year history
|Year||NBA DPOY winner|
|2022-23||Jaren Jackson Jr.|
NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds FAQ
Memphis' Jaren Jackson Jr. won the 2023 DPOY trophy.
Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo are tied for the all-time record with four apiece.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is currently +1,600 to win the 2024 DPOY.