NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds 2022-23: Jackson’s Epic Defense Leads Pack

NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are now available to bet on and will fluctuate throughout the 2022-23 season based on performance and injuries. The DPOY award will be given to the best defensive player in the NBA this season, and the competition is steep. Check out the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds in the table below, as well as our favorite picks for the award!

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds 2022-23

Below is a table with all of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds available for the 2022-23 season. Last season, Marcus Smart took home the award after helping the Celtics become the best defensive team in the NBA. The narrative for Smart was overwhelming; he helped spark the change for Boston and, consequently, helped it get to the NBA Finals. See which players are favorites to win a little over halfway through the 2022-23 season, and check out their respective NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds below.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: DPOY Race

The NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds have constantly shifted so far this season; this award is wide open! The DPOY race is led by Jaren Jackson Jr and Brook Lopez, two incredible rim protectors. Check out the rankings and their NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds below!

1. Jaren Jackson Jr, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Last Week: 1
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 3.2 bpg, 1.0 spg
  • DPOY Odds:

Jaren Jackson Jr is not only the best shot blocker in the NBA but could just be the all-around best defender in the NBA. His NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds more than reflect this, considering he is already at minus odds just halfway through the season.

Since his return from a minor off-season knee surgery, Jackson’s defensive prowess has seemingly increased exponentially. His quickness off the floor, anticipatory timing, patience, and chase down and weak side blocking abilities are, in combination, one of the most impressive packages of any player in NBA history.

That’s right, I said it. He is one of the most impressive defensive players in the history of the NBA, and we haven’t even seen his ceiling yet. Jackson is fresh off a six-block game, despite only playing 26 minutes against the Phoenix Suns. Few players in league history have had this level of impact on defense.

In the past 14 games, he has recorded at least two blocks in every bout, on his way to averaging a shocking 3.5 blocks per game in an average of just 26 minutes. Further, since returning from his injury, Jackson has taken the Memphis Grizzlies from a botton ten defense to the No. 1 defense in the entire NBA.

The Grizzlies’ 108.5 defensive rating with “Triple J” playing is far and away the best. Additionally, Jackson is averaging a career-low three personal fouls per game. Foul trouble remains a concern at times, but he still finds ways to be extremely impactful, even if he picks up a couple of “cheap” ones.

The next step for him is definitely to continue improving at contesting opponents without fouling, as that could catapult him from great to arguably the best rim protector of all time. Does that seem premature? Possibly. Regardless, his NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds should continue to improve. Hop on them now.

In short, an injury is likely the only thing standing between Jaren and his first DPOY award. Look at the NBA on ESPN tweet below to see one of his recent stat lines!

2. Nicolas Claxton, Brooklyn Nets

  • Last Week: 3
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 2.7 bpg, 0.7 spg
  • DPOY Odds:

Nic Claxton has skyrocketed up our NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds ladder after the Brooklyn Nets put together the most impressive streak in the NBA this season: they had won 18 of 20 games before losing Kevin Durant to a knee injury.

Claxton’s phenomenal length, timing, and awareness make him a menace around the rim on the defensive end of the floor; he’s averaging just shy of three blocks per game, which is only behind the current Defensive Player of the Year favorite, Jaren Jackson Jr.

Claxton has been a major part of Brooklyn’s winning streak beyond the mesmerizing blocks; his ability to contest shots that he can’t block and switch when it is needed has allowed the Nets to boast the fifth-best defensive rating in that time.

Additionally, Claxton’s interior presence has allowed Brooklyn to rank fifth in opponent non-blocked two-point percentage, a strong indication of other teams’ struggles to score in and around the paint.

For Claxton to surpass Jaren Jackson Jr as the leader for the Defensive Player of the Year race, he would have to play even better than he already has been, Brooklyn would need to be the best team in the Eastern Conference, and Jackson would have to fall off substantially.

3. Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

  • Last Week: 4
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 0.8 bpg, 1.2 spg
  • DPOY Odds: 

Bam Adebayo is a player much like Giannis, who can switch 1-5 positions and has an impact on the defensive end far beyond what the stat sheet says. Adebayo averages less than one block per game and one steal per game, but his versatility and impact are undeniable.

Unfortunately for Adebayo, the narrative for DPOY is simply not on his side; if the stats aren’t visible, your team has fallen off defensively from last year, and a playoff birth is still in question, it’s borderline implausible to think he will get enough attention.

Last season, Marcus Smart may not have had eye-popping stats on the defensive end, but he was arguably the best defender on the best team. Additionally, Smart was an important catalyst in the mid-season mindset change that catapulted the Celtics from a No. 7 or 8 seed to the No. 2 seed.

Ultimately, Adebayo would have to be the Marcus Smart equivalent for this struggling Miami team for him to stand a chance at winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. It is possible but highly unlikely; Boston had multiple superstars to lean on. Meanwhile, the Heat are getting older, and the window is closing on a title run.

4. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks

  • Last Week: 2
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 2.5 bpg, 0.5 spg
  • DPOY Odds:

Brook Lopez is one of the favorites to win Defensive Player of the Year, and it makes sense why that is the case. Lopez is averaging just shy of three blocks per game and only fouling opponents just over two times per game. His ability to stay vertical and contest opponents driving to the basket and also play impressive drop coverage that makes it difficult for P&R ball handlers to know what to do gives him a phenomenal opportunity to win the award.

Lopez could beat out Jaren Jackson Jr and teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo for this award if this consistent defensive effort continues. Few players have been able to completely change their capabilities when coming into the league like Lopez, and the narrative is in his favor for that reason. He used to be a defensive liability during his early NBA days.

5. O.G. Anunoby, Toronto Raptors

  • Last Week: Not Ranked
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 0.8 bpg, 2.1 spg
  • DPOY Odds:

Here is an interesting hypothetical: what if O.G. Anunoby gets moved to a team like the Memphis Grizzlies before the end of the trade deadline and ends up being the missing piece that takes them from really good to title favorite?

Further, what if Jaren Jackson Jr loses eligibility for the award by not playing enough games before the end of the 2022-23 regular season, but Anunoby keeps the Grizzlies at the top of the Western Conference during his absence?

All of that is, of course, a long shot; however, with talks of the Toronto Raptors moving on from Anunoby and Memphis listed as a possible trade destination, it is not out of the realm of possibility.

This situation does not even have to be Memphis for it to work. There are multiple destinations Anunoby could be traded to that would make them a contender and, thus, reset his narrative completely.

Anunoby has had an incredibly impressive season, regardless of him needing a “narrative” to leapfrog some of these other players on this list. He has averaged over two steals per game, and leads the league in deflections per game.

His ability to use his height, length, lateral and hand quickness, and defensive IQ to his advantage is second to none. If he happens to get moved to a contender before the end of the trade deadline, you might want to keep an eye on his NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds. There might be some value there.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Qualifications And History

NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are formulated based on a combination of objectivity and subjectivity, as statistics are involved, but it still has hints of being an opinion-based award as well. Look no further back than last season when Marcus Smart won the DPOY award despite not ranking well in most of the advanced metrics that experts use today.

Still, all NBA awards have a level of subjectivity: some years, the voters seem to get it right, while other years, they may not. However, we will analyze a few of my favorite candidates to see which players have better chances than others to win the coveted NBA Defensive Player of the Year award! 

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Changes Explained

NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are based on the odds that a sportsbook gives a particular player to win that specific award. These odds are constantly changing because of catalysts to a player or team. This can include a coaching change, team shakeup, injury, and more.

For example, you can bet on a favorite to win the DPOY award at longer odds because they could always get injured or another unexpected event could happen. Those are several reasons why this is a very speculative bet that you should approach as more of a “fun” bet than a bet you are expecting to win.

For instance, Rudy Gobert was the favorite heading into the 2022-23 regular season, but is nowhere near the top of the Defensive Player of the Year voting. His NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are exceptionally long at this point; he virtually has no chance of winning. It is difficult to get individual awards correct, especially in the beginning of the season.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Futures Bettors

As is the case for all NBA award futures bets, they are speculative. Therefore, they usually have more favorable odds for bettors in the early stages (i.e., preseason or very beginning of the regular season.) The best NBA awards bettors have skill in spotting players’ talent and projecting what players and teams will be successful in any given year. Instinct, and a bit of luck, are also huge aspects required to be successful in an NBA award futures bet like the DPOY award. If you choose to bet on specific NBA awards, especially before or early in the season, try to enjoy it! They are challenging to get right!

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Preseason/Early Season Favorites

Check out the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds and favorite players below. Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Evan Mobley highlight an impressive group of elite frontcourt defenders so far in the 2022-23 season.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: The Favorite Brook Lopez

Often, we mention Giannis as the anchor for the Milwaukee Bucks’ defense, but in reality, Brook Lopez plays just as important of a role. Lopez is a high IQ pick-and-roll defender with a knack for protecting the rim at a high level; he’s averaging an impressive three blocks and merely 2.2 personal fouls per game!

Additionally, he holds a defensive rating of 104.9, which is nearly two points lower (better) than the Bucks’ defensive rating and the next closest team, too. It then shouldn’t come as a shock that his NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds have skyrocketed in the past few months.

If the Milwaukee Bucks beat out the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers to be the best defensive team in the NBA, then either Lopez or Giannis Antetokounmpo should have terrific odds of winning the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Any player that averages close to three blocks per game has more than a good chance at walking away with some individual hardware. Milwaukee has seemed to know for a while that Lopez was the best defensive center in the league, as this video is two years old. Look at its video below to see why Lopez only trails Jaren Jackson Jr in NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: The Other Favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo

It’s early in the year, but Giannis has looked like a menace on the defensive end of the floor during the 2022-23 NBA season. Antetokounmpo is not a newcomer to this award; he won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020.

Statistically, in terms of blocks and steals, Giannis has not been as dominant as other players, even his teammate Brook Lopez, but his impact is absolutely undeniable. An example of this is his defensive rating through the first half of the season: 106.6. By that metric, he has been playing even better on that end of the floor than the aforementioned Lopez, who is the favorite for the award on many sportsbooks.

The Bucks’ defense runs through Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez. The rest of the team usually falls in line if those three bring it on the defensive end. In the past few seasons, Milwaukee has been inconsistent on defense, but if Giannis brings consistency and ranks well in some of the advanced analytics that many voters rely on, he could very well win his second DPOY award.

Attached below are Antetokounmpo’s defensive highlights from last season. A special thank you to the Milwaukee Bucks YouTube Channel for this compilation.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: The Dark Horse Nic Claxton

Nic Claxton has arrived on the NBA Defensive Player of the Year scene after healing the Brooklyn Nets’ previously horrendous defense. Claxton has helped Brooklyn fly into the top ten in defensive rating and averages just shy of three blocks per game, which ranks second behind only Jaren Jackson Jr.

Even though the Nets struggle rebounding the ball, they at least have their rim protector for the foreseeable future, as Claxton is merely 23 years old. It could be tough for Claxton to surpass a player like Jackson Jr, who is on a historic pace right now in terms of blocks, but if he hangs around long enough, and a few players suffer injuries, it is not out of the realm of possibility for him to win.

Conclusion

Despite Rudy Gobert being the obvious preseason favorite to win his fourth DPOY award this year, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, Jaren Jackson Jr, Bam Adebayo, and several others have leap-frogged him early on in the 2022-23 season. The NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are far from a lock, though; expect a lot of volatility throughout the entire year, as evidenced by Lopez’s early jump from dark horse-like odds to being a favorite by all sportsbooks in the first half of the season.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds FAQ

Who won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last season?

Marcus Smart, a guard for the Boston Celtics, won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in the 2021-22 season after helping Boston go from barely being in the playoff picture at the mid-way point to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by the year’s end.) His NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds were incredibly long in the beginning of the season.

Where can you find NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds?

NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds can be found in our table above and on any sportsbook that offers NBA futures bets. These odds will constantly fluctuate based on a certain player’s performance during the NBA season.

Who is the favorite to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year?

Currently, Jaren Jackson Jr has the best NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds and is the favorite to win the NBA DPOY award for 2022-23. Jackson has taken the Grizzlies from one of the botton ten defensive teams to the undisputed best team on that end of the floor by averaging over three blocks per game.

Which player holds the most NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in a career?

Two of the best defensive anchors in the history of the NBA, Dikembe Mutombo, and Ben Wallace, have each won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in four separate seasons. Rudy Gobert and Dwight Howard have won the award three times.

Does the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award always go to the best defensive player?

The truth is that the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award is not always given to the best defensive player. Sometimes, the award’s recipient wins because they helped their respective team turn around previous misfortune on that end of the floor but did not boast the best individual stats. Check out the NBA Defensive Player of the Year updated odds above!

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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