2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds & Analysis: Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Remains the Odds-on Favorite

The 2023 NBA Defensive player of the year award (DPOY)is being announced tonight, April 17th. With less than 24 hours until the winner of the award is announced, individuals can find odds for each of the frontrunners to win the award at major online sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel. Here are the top-5 candidates for the award this year.


1. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies (-155):

Jackson has separated himself as the frontrunner for this award this season. Jackson’s impact has been huge for the Grizzlies. Before he made his debut, the Grizzlies were 20th in defense in their first few games without hime, but since he made his debut in mid-November he’s helped the Grizzlies elevate to third overall in defense with a rating of 110.7. Jackson ranks first in blocks in the NBA at 3 per game and still averages just over 1 steal a game too. He also ranks first in FG percentage allowed at the rim at 51.2%. His presence is something teams have had to game plan around all year, and barring something crazy, he’s the one to beat for this award because of how impactful he’s been for the Grizzlies on defense across the board.
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2. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks (+250):

Brook Lopez has completely transformed the way he plays basketball during his career. Lopez started as an offensive-minded center, but has since transformed into a great defensive player as well, after being one of the worst defenders in the league for awhile before he transformed his game. Lopez’s issue is that he doesn’t have a lot of versatility on defense, but he can dominate down low in a drop-coverage defense. He’s tied for second in blocks at 2.5 per game and in total leads the NBA in total shots defended. His play down low has helped the Bucks have the 4th best defensive rating in the NBA this season at 110.9, while also being 14th in scoring defense at 113.3 PPG. Lopez’s evolution is what will keep him in contention against Jaren Jackson Jr.
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3. Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers (+5500):

Evan Mobley has anchored a defense with Jarrett Allen that’s the best scoring defense and best defense by rating in the NBA. They allow 107 PPG and have a rating of 109.9 on the season. Mobley is a 7’0″ center, but has a lot of versatility and is one of the best in the NBA in defensive isolation plays. Mobley is averaging 1.5 blocks per game and just under 1 steal per game for the season. Mobley being a tandem with Allen makes the Cavaliers dangerous on any given night. It seems too little too late for Mobley potentially for this award, but he’s a name to watch going forward, especially as a frontrunner for this award next year.

4. Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (+6000):

The Miami Heat have struggled this season at times, way more than we’ve seen recently on offense, but the defense has remained one of the best in the NBA and Bam Adebayo is one of the biggest reasons why. What sets him a part from other defenders is that he can defend every position on the court, 1-5. The issue is that his stats don’t jump out, with him only averaging around 1 block a game and just over 1 steal per game for the season. Still, his defensive presence has helped the Heat have the 2nd-ranked scoring defense in the NBA at 109.8 PPG. They’re also ranked 9th in overall defensive rating at 112.8 on the season. His presence is key, but his numbers don’t jump out and the Heat have taken a step back overall too which is why his odds are so low.

5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (+6000):

Giannis Antetokounmpo has cemented himself as the best two-way player in the NBA even more this year. He’s a top-3 candidate for the overall MVP award and his name being mentioned for this award only proves that point even more. He’s another player that is incredibly versatile and he can defend every position on the court too. The issue for him this year is that his stats don’t 100% jump out on defense as they usually do. He averages around 1 block and 1 steal per game for the season. Giannis is also being overshadowed by his teammate, Brook Lopez, who’s having a great year on defense and has the narrative behind him of becoming a great defender from a bad one. He’s also going up against another very versatile player in Jaren Jackson Jr., who’s having a better year than him. Still, Giannis will be in this conversation for as long as he wants to be.

Jake Faigus, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minored in sports management. He wrote for The Daily Wildcat, as well as the Arizona Fansided blog, Zona Zealots. He currently writes for Aaron Torres Media and runs social media for BracketFanatics.

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