The preseason NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds have Jaren Jackson Jr. and Evan Mobley, two versatile forwards with terrific defensive prowess, as the favorites to win DPOY. Check out all of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds in the table below, as well as our favorite candidates to win the award!
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds 2023-24
Below are the latest NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds for the upcoming 2023-24 regular season. Throughout the year, these will change, so stay tuned for odds updates to see which we believe could be favorable.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: DPOY Ladder
The NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds will continue to shift between the first days of the previous off-season until the end of the 2023-24 regular season. However, until the 2023-24 regular season begins, we will not have a ladder update, as no games are being played. In lieu of the ladder, there is a list of our favorite candidates to win the award and their respective NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds below!
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Preseason/Early Season Favorites
It is still the off-season, so we can only speculate on which player’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds have value; however, we still have our preseason/early season picks below for who we believe will win a DPOY this year!
Jackson secured his first-ever NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last season without much resistance; he averaged three blocks and one steal per game while anchoring one of the league’s best defenses. Jackson’s combination of lateral and vertical athleticism, length, jump timing, instincts, and quick burst off the floor give him potentially generational upside as a defender. Scarcely have we seen a defensive weapon like him!
Last season, “Triple J” ranked in the 99th percentile amongst bigs in block percentage (5.1%) and in the 87th percentile in steal percentage (1.5%) per Cleaning the Glass. What is even more impressive about Jackson is he was able to accomplish all of this while playing merely 28 minutes per game, primarily due to getting in foul trouble.
Discipline on the defensive end could catapult Jaren from a great defender to an all-time defender; if he can stay on the floor and log 34-36 minutes per game, imagine the kind of statistics, basic and advanced, that he will post! Ultimately, Jackson’s most significant competition this season is himself. As long as he stays healthy and on the floor without getting into too much foul trouble, he should win his second DPOY award.
Walker Kessler’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are +2500 as of mid-July 2023; there are 12 players with more favorable odds to win the award for the 2023-24 regular season. Frankly, this is shocking, even though Kessler is going into just his second year in the league.
As a rookie, Kessler dominated on the defensive end of the floor, and that led to a steady increase in minutes as the season continued. Now, Kessler has cemented his status as the center of the future for the Utah Jazz, and his minutes should rise substantially this season, especially given the importance of putting quality rim protectors on the floor.
Last season, Kessler averaged just 23 minutes and still posted 2.3 blocks per game. Kessler’s PER 36s from last season are outrageous; he recorded 3.7 blocks per 36 minutes. While he may not quite play 36 minutes this season, he could still average close to three blocks per game, which would instantly make him a contender for NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
What is out of Kessler’s control is Utah’s overall motivation as a team on that end of the floor. If the Jazz were to boast one of the better defenses in the league and Kessler posted great defensive individual statistics, then he will be in excellent shape; however, if Utah underperforms on that end, and in general, it might be tough for him to win.
Wemby’s current odds (+6000 as of July 2023) are a bit head-scratching for a number of reasons. For one, Wemby should easily log 30+ minutes per game, which would give him more than enough floor time to rack up blocks and steals. The Spurs might give him a night off every here and there; however, it is difficult to see him not playing a substantial amount when he is available.
Further, Wemby has proven to be a defensive force and should carry that talent to the NBA. Sure, it is a much more challenging league than where he was previously, but NBA players will still want to challenge him at the rim, giving him plenty of opportunities for blocks. As a matter of fact, Wemby averaged three blocks per game last season as a teenager in a pro league; he also recorded just shy of one steal per game.
Wemby already looks more fluid than a player like Rudy Gobert, who has been considered by some to be a generational interior defender and rim protector. While Victor may not be quite as strong and sturdy yet, he still has superb size (7-foot-5) and length (8-foot wingspan) to challenge any player. Even in Summer League, Wemby has oozed defensive upside, blocking seemingly unblockable step-back jump shots.
While rookies don’t usually compete for individual awards like this, we saw Walker Kessler still put together a strong campaign. There is no reason that Victor Wembanyama can’t post similar numbers and take this Spurs team from being a bottom three defensive team to a middle-of-the-road one.
The most important reminder that you will see again and again from us and from other sites is to always shop odds, especially for individual awards like NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds.
Chet Holmgren’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds are a perfect example of this: he’s +2000 to win DPOY on DraftKings, but +8000 BetRivers. That is a substantial payout difference, and this type of odds discrepancy exists for a ton of players across various individual awards, especially in the preseason.
While we have yet to see Holmgren in an NBA setting, we can expect a number of things. First, he will log a ton of minutes, as the Thunder continue to develop the chemistry between their young core. He will get plenty of playing time for OKC in his “rookie” season. Additionally, Holmgren will spend a substantial amount of time protecting the rim for the Thunder, a team that does not have much else in the form of interior presence.
Despite the chaos and disorganization of the “Summer League,” Holmgren still proved that his defensive presence in the paint is bordering on elite already. In four games of the Summer League, Holmgren logged 3.5 blocks per game; he was able to post those numbers after nearly a year off from high-level, physical basketball. Impressive.
Further, we can take that small sample size and add it in to his freshman season at Gonzaga, where he played fewer than 27 minutes per game but still nearly registered four blocks per game! Holmgren has only grown in height and strength since then, and his body is now much more prepared to handle physicality at the professional level.
Is it “likely” that Chet will win a DPOY in his first NBA season? Not necessarily. However, relative to his NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds, it is worth considering taking a swing on him. +8000 in the preseason is extremely long, especially given his history as a rim protector.
Don’t count Herb Jones out of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year race despite his long odds. While he might be a 60-to-1 underdog heading into the 2023-24 regular season, there could be some value in throwing a small bet down on Jones for a multitude of reasons.
As far as perimeter defenders go, Jones is widely regarded as one of the best in the NBA; his length, mirroring hands, quick feet, and overall defensive IQ make opponents groan the night before they play him.
Jones has already helped elevate this Pelicans defense from middle-of-the-road to one of the best in the league, evidenced by their 33.9% opponent three-point shooting percentage, which ranked first out of all teams. New Orleans also ranked second in the NBA in steals per game (Jones averaged 1.6 per game), and that number could go up this season.
Jones’s 1.6 steals per game placed him in a tie for fifth in the NBA; he averaged 1.7 the prior season, too. Further, he has averaged 30 minutes per game last year, and he should also start in the first few months due to Trey Murphy’s knee injury, giving him a spectacular opportunity to anchor an already impressive defense.
If the Pels have a strong bounce back this season and finish atop the Western Conference, boast the top defense in the NBA, and Herb Jones anchors it, then he has a legitimate chance to slip away with the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2023-24 season.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Players To Avoid
Does Rudy Gobert seriously have the seventh-best NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds on DraftKings? While Gobert is no stranger to Defensive Player of the Year awards (he has three), last season spelled out a brutal truth for Gobert backers: as long as he is in Minnesota, his chances of winning his fourth DPOY are slim to none.
Gobert’s defensive output during his first season in Minnesota crashed, as his blocks per game shrank to 1.4, his worst average since his rookie year. The Gobert-Timberwolves experiment has looked dreadful so far, and there is no indication that this will improve in year two. Additionally, Gobert was “played off the floor” quite a bit, as he averaged his fewest minutes per game since his second NBA season.
The Utah Jazz, under head coach Quin Snyder, found a way to maximize Gobert’s talents by funneling in drivers, forcing them to finish over or around Gobert; however, it seems those days are long gone.
Lastly, Gobert’s competition has only gotten stiffer, and his play style on both ends of the floor is starting to fade out. Players like Jaren Jackson Jr, Evan Mobley, Victor Wembanyama, Bam Adebayo, Chet Holmgren, and Anthony Davis possess similar size yet are all more versatile defensively. Gobert is the weakest perimeter defender out of every player listed above; switchability is essential to be considered an elite defender in today’s league.
Gobert’s dominant defensive days are past him, and his offensive ceiling and fit give him a limit on how much he can be played. His NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds hold no value at +1400.
When we consider the greatest rim protectors in the history of the league, Dikembe Mutombo would likely be one of the first names to come to mind; therefore, it should come as no shock that he won four Defensive Player of the Year awards in his career. However, age caught up with Mutombo, as it does with athletes of all sports, and his last DPOY came at age 34. Brook Lopez is no different.
While Lopez’s incredible transformation from being one of the most exploitable defenders in the NBA to becoming one of the best drop coverage rim protectors in the game is a Hollywood story itself, there is little chance that he can put together a repeat performance of last season as a 35-year-old.
No player has ever won at this age, and there are too many talented defenders to fend off this year: Jaren Jackson Jr, Evan Mobley, Nic Claxton, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bam Adebayo, Chet Holmgren, Mikal Bridges, Walker Kessler, OG Anunoby, and many other have substantially less miles on their body.
Ultimately, there is better value at this price elsewhere, including with Kessler, Holmgren, Myles Turner, and Victor Wembanyama’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds. Even if Lopez logs 2.5 blocks per game again, there should be at least two or three players who eclipse three per game.
While Lopez has remained fairly healthy for the majority of his career, there are just too many things that can go wrong for a big man at age 35. Look elsewhere for your DPOY futures.
Fading Anthony Davis’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds has nothing to do with talent, IQ, or athleticism. Instead, it has everything to do with both his inability to stay on the floor and his hyper-inflated DPOY odds.
Due to the NBA’s new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), players must play in at least 65 games in order to be eligible for individual awards like the MVP, DPOY, ROTY, and 6MOTY.
Unfortunately for AD and his DPOY backers, the odds of him even achieving eligibility during this upcoming season are slim to none. As a matter of fact, Davis has failed to play 65 or more games in five consecutive seasons; it was the 2017-18 campaign, when he was playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, that he last played in that many games.
Further, in the 11 years that Davis has been an NBA player, he has played 65 or more games in just four of those seasons. That means that had this new CBA been implemented at the beginning of his career, he would have been eligible in only 36% of the seasons. And Davis is not getting any younger, as his injury history continues to stack up.
At 10-to-1 preseason odds, it is challenging to see the value here, especially considering the fact that he has only played 65 or more games in four of his 11 NBA seasons. If his odds of being eligible for the actual award, not even beating out the other elite candidates, were at 10-to-1, then there might be some value. For now, stay away.
As far as switchability, physicality, and interior presence go, there are not many defenders that compare to Draymond Green. Green has already won an NBA Defensive Player of the Year award (2017) and has made four NBA All-Defensive First Teams in his illustrious career. So, why are we so down on his NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds?
For one, Green is entering the back end of his career; he is turning 34 years old this season, and if he were to win the award, he would tie Dikembe Mutombo for the record of oldest player to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Green still boasts above-average vertical athleticism and lateral quickness, but he is not the same athlete that he was in 2017 when he last won the award.
Even if Green were to recapture his previous form and twist “Father Time’s” arm, there is still one glaring issue: team defense on the road. The Warriors had an atrocious road defense last season, ranking 28th in defensive rating, behind only the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets, when they were away from Chase Center.
If the Warriors have a resurgence due to Jordan Poole’s departure (unlikely), they still will punt a ton of road games, as most of their key players are in their mid-30s. Golden State’s sole focus is going to be on making the playoffs; it won’t matter which seed, as it is always possible that the Dubs could rise to the occasion and play phenomenal basketball for a few months. However, the regular season simply does not matter nearly as much to these guys as it once did.
Recent “Defensive Player of the Year” history has not been kind to shooting guards, which is likely where Mikal Bridges will continue to be deployed for this Brookyn Nets team. As a matter of fact, the last time that a shooting guard won the DPOY award was 35 years ago when a man by the name of Michael Jordan secured it. Yikes.
In the 1987-88 season, Jordan averaged a ridiculous 3.2 steals per game, so there was simply no way that anyone else could have won the award that year. The simple fact of the matter is that two-guards don’t win this award and Mikal Bridges is not going to change the course of history in 2023-24, especially with the recent heavy trend on big men winning Defensive Player of the Year.
Further, over the past three seasons, Bridges has merely averaged 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. Those numbers won’t get it done with this panel of voters. How do we know that they won’t be enough? Well, Bridges ranked right around 50th in the NBA in steals per game.
Unless Bridges is the best defensive player on the league’s best team, similar to Marcus Smart when he won in 2021-22, then he has no shot. This should be obvious, but the Brooklyn Nets are not going to be anywhere near the best team in the NBA.
When Smart won the award, he averaged 1.7 steals per game, which Bridges has never done. The likelihood of Bridges posting career-best averages in steals and blocks per game, while also being the featured piece in the Nets’ offense, is virtually non-existent.
The Defensive Player of the Year award, like many other individual accolades, is not only based on statistics but on team success, too. If you don’t agree with that claim, take a look at the past 11 DPOY winners; every single team that the DPOY was on won at least 48 games (the 2011 lockout caused the 2011-12 season to be shortened to just 66 games.)
The Knicks were 36-30 in that season and would have had an outside shot of getting to 48 wins. Even in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons (condensed due to COVID-19), the Bucks and Jazz, respectively, still won more than 48 games.
So, how does any of this affect Nic Claxton? Well, to put it simply, there is no way that the Brooklyn Nets put together a 48-win season with their current roster unless Ben Simmons miraculously returns to the player he was a few years ago and a handful of other things happen in their favor.
Let’s imagine that the Nets somehow finish as a top-four team in the Eastern Conference, which is likely what it would take for them to scrape together 48 or more wins: Can Nic Claxton hold off Jaren Jackson Jr., Walker Kessler, Brook Lopez, Victor Wembanyama, Chet Holmgren, Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Evan Mobley, and Bam Adebayo for the DPOY award?
Even the most optimist Claxton backers are going to have a hard time getting behind the idea that he can outlast all of those players. Claxton’s 2.5 blocks per game last season was impressive, especially for a 24-year-old, but the combination of his competition and the Nets’ inevitable struggles will be too much to overcome.
Few bets have such little value as this Cam Payne Defensive Player of the Year future. For one, at the time this section was updated, Payne was not even rostered on a team; he was just released by the San Antonio Spurs and has not been signed to another team yet.
If Payne does sign with an NBA team now, it will likely be on a contending squad, where he will get backup minutes at the point guard position; his role will be primarily that of a facilitator off the bench, but he will not start anywhere. This is the primary reason why this future makes no sense: Payne won’t log starting minutes for any NBA team.
Michael Cooper won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1987 while coming off the bench in all but two games duirng the regular season; however, it is extremely unlikely that will ever happen again in the award’s history, especially for a player who had a 114.6 defensive rating in 20 minutes per game last season.
Further, Payne’s career steals per game average is merely 0.7. He has only averaged one or more steals per game in a season once in his career: the 2017-18 season with the Chicago Bulls. In that season, Payne only played in 25 games, though, so that statistic hardly counts. Payne is also not a threat to block any shots, so it is beyond challenging to see him anchoring an extremely successful defense as the best defender.
It should not take a genius to figure this out, but Payne’s 2.44% implied probability to win the DPOY award on DraftKings is beyond ludicrous. We are merely pointing this out, because the difference between his NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds and the actual likelihood that he wins this award is insane.
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: In some years, voters seem to get it right, while in 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: Previous Winners
- 2022-23: Jaren Jackson Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies
- 2021-22: Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics
- 2020-21: Rudy Gobert (3) – Utah Jazz
- 2019-20: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
- 2018-19: Rudy Gobert (2) – Utah Jazz
- 2017-18: Rudy Gobert (1) – Utah Jazz
- 2016-17: Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors
- 2015-16: Kawhi Leonard (2) – San Antonio Spurs
- 2014-15: Kawhi Leonard (1) – San Antonio Spurs
- 2013-14: Joakim Noah – Chicago Bulls
- 2012-13: Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies
- 2011-12: Tyson Chandler – New York Knicks
- 2010-11: Dwight Howard (3) – Orlando Magic
- 2009-10: Dwight Howard (2) – Orlando Magic
- 2008-09: Dwight Howard (1) – Orlando Magic
- 2007-08: Kevin Garnett – Boston Celtics
- 2006-07: Marcus Camby – Denver Nuggets
- 2005-06: Ben Wallace (4) – Detroit Pistons
- 2004-05: Ben Wallace (3) – Detroit Pistons
- 2003-04: Ron Artest – Indiana Pacers
- 2002-03: Ben Wallace (2) – Detroit Pistons
- 2001-02: Ben Wallace (1) – Detroit Pistons
- 2000-01: Dikembe Mutombo (4) – Philadelphia 76ers
- 1999-00: Alonzo Mourning (2) – Miami Heat
- 1998-99: Alonzo Mourning (1) – Miami Heat
- 1997-98: Dikembe Mutombo (3) – Atlanta Hawks
- 1996-97: Dikembe Mutombo (2) – Atlanta Hawks
- 1995-96: Gary Payton – Seattle SuperSonics
- 1994-95: Dikembe Mutombo (1) – Denver Nuggets
- 1993-94: Hakeem Olajuwon (2) – Houston Rockets
- 1992-93: Hakeem Olajuwon (1) – Houston Rockets
- 1991-92: David Robinson – San Antonio Spurs
- 1990-91: Dennis Rodman (2) – Detroit Pistons
- 1989-90: Dennis Rodman (1) – Detroit Pistons
- 1988-89: Mark Eaton (2) – Utah Jazz
- 1987-88: Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls
- 1986-87: Michael Cooper – Los Angeles Lakers
- 1985-86: Alvin Robertson – San Antonio Spurs
- 1984-85: Mark Eaton (1) – Utah Jazz
- 1983-84: Sidney Moncrief (2) – Milwaukee Bucks
- 1982-83: Sidney Moncrief (1) – Milwaukee Bucks
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 suffer an injury or another unexpected event could happen, like a trade (example: Rudy Gobert), that could derail a campaign. 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.
Building on the example given above, Rudy Gobert was the favorite heading into the 2022-23 regular season but was nowhere near the top of the Defensive Player of the Year voting after just a few weeks.
His NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds became exceptionally long, and he had no shot of winning the award, with other players like Jaren Jackson Jr and Brook Lopez having such incredible seasons on that end of the floor. It is difficult to get individual awards correct, especially at 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! The NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds might be more favorable, but the correct pick is always challenging to get right!
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds FAQ
- Who won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last season?
- Where can you find NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds?
- Who is the favorite to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year?
- Which player holds the most NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in a career?
- Does the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award always go to the best defensive player?
Who won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last season?
Jaren Jackson Jr, a power forward for the Memphis Grizzlies, won his first Defensive Player of the Year award after averaging roughly three blocks per game and displaying an impressive amount of rim protection; if he was not blocking a shot in the paint, he was almost certainly altering it.
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 particular player’s performance during the NBA season.
Who is the favorite to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year?
Currently, Jaren Jackson Jr, last season’s DPOY winner, has the best NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds and is the favorite to win the award for 2023-24, after he averaged roughly four “stocks” per game. However, the season has not started, and there are still a number of variables that go into winning an individual award over the course of an entire year, including team success.
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!