NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: JJJ Makes Swift Impact

Memphis' Jaren Jackson Jr. turned his team's defense around almost instantly with his dynamic rim protection. As such, he's shot up the DPOY odds board and now sits as the odds-on favorite halfway through the season.

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2023 10:59 AM ET Read Time: 3 min
Jaren Jackson Jr NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

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

Player Team DPOY Odds
Jaren Jackson Jr. Grizzlies Memphis Grizzlies -150
Brook Lopez Bucks Milwaukee Bucks +550
Nicolas Claxton Suns Brooklyn Nets +800
OG Anunoby Raptors Toronto Raptors +1,600
Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks Milwaukee Bucks +1,800
Bam Adebayo Heat Miami Heat +1,800
Jarrett Allen CavaliersCleveland Cavaliers +2,500
Joel Embiid 76ers Philadelphia 76ers +3,000
Draymond Green 76ers Golden State Warriors +3,000
Evan Mobley CavaliersCleveland 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. 

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
2021-22 Marcus Smart
2020-21 Rudy Gobert
2019-20 Giannis Antetokounmpo
2018-19 Rudy Gobert
2017-18 Rudy Gobert
2016-17 Draymond Green
2015-16 Kawhi Leonard
2014-15 Kawhi Leonard
2013-14 Joakim Noah
2012-13 Marc Gasol
2011-12 Tyson Chandler
2010-11 Dwight Howard
2009-10 Dwight Howard
2008-09 Dwight Howard
2007-08 Kevin Garnett
2006-07 Marcus Camby
2005-06 Ben Wallace
2004-05 Ben Wallace
2003-04 Ron Artest
2002-03 Ben Wallace

NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds FAQ

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