After Marcus Smart upended the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds last season, a different story is unfolding for 2022-23, with Smart's price to win Defensive Player of the Year blotted out by the contenders he beat — pretty much all of whom are big men.
It seems sportsbooks are sensing a return to order this season, with one particular shot-swatter standing head-and-shoulders above the rest.
With the market taking shape as games roll on, here's a look at the latest NBA odds for 2023 DPOY:
Odds to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||Memphis Grizzlies||-150|
|Brook Lopez||Milwaukee Bucks||+550|
|Nicolas Claxton||Brooklyn Nets||+800|
|OG Anunoby||Toronto Raptors||+1,600|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||+1,800|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||+1,800|
|Jarrett Allen||Cleveland Cavaliers||+2,500|
|Joel Embiid||Philadelphia 76ers||+3,000|
|Draymond Green||Golden State Warriors||+3,000|
|Evan Mobley||Cleveland Cavaliers||+3,500|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, January 17, 2023.
Favorites to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Jaren Jackson Jr. (-150)
Jaren Jackson turned heads last season when he led the NBA in blocks, confirming his potential as a unicorn rim protector and not just a stunningly agile foul machine.
But the true litmus test of his impact on Memphis' defense came this season, when he sat for almost the first month, during which the Grizzlies logged the NBA's 20th-rated defense.
Jaren Jackson Jr tonight:— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 17, 2023
6 BLK (!!)
Leading the league in 5-block games. pic.twitter.com/Os4UFPTE2s
The improvement since Jackson's return has been staggering. The Grizz have posted the league's best defense since he first suited up in mid-November, ascending enough to own the No. 1 overall defense this season as of January 17. Jackson leads the league in blocks again by a wide margin, as well as opponent field goal percentage at the rim.
Jackson's impact has been undeniable, and Memphis holding onto one of the top seeds in the West only bolsters his intangibles.
Brook Lopez (+550)
The Bucks took a definite step back on defense for most of last season, and plenty of pundits missed the forest for the trees in estimating just how much that regression was due to the absence of one Brook Lopez.
Milwaukee's starting center had taken home All-Defense honors in 2020, and teamed with Giannis to form the NBA's best rim-protection tag team.
Now fully healthy, Lopez is having a standout season — leading the league in blocks prior to Jackson's return, while ranking near the top of most major defensive metrics.
The Bucks sporting one of the NBA's best defenses certainly helps, and in a market where one of Lopez or Giannis Antetokounmpo was bound to cannibalize the other's odds, Brook seems to have won out for now.
Understanding NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. We'll use 2019-20's Rookie of the Year odds race as an example:
As the season progressed, with Ja Morant having been a huge favorite, his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number:
- Ja Morant -500
This means that a bettor needs to wager $500 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:
- Zion Williamson +650
Here, a bettor stands to profit $650 for every $100 wagered.
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.
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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. 15 of the past 18 winners, and 30 of the 40 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|
NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds FAQ
Boston's Marcus Smart won the 2021-22 DPOY award.
Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo are tied for the all-time record with four apiece.
Marcus Smart is currently +10,000 to win DPOY.