The NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award essentially recognizes the NFL’s top pass-rusher, as eight of the last nine recipients have been defensive linemen or edge-rushers.
That is shaping up to be the case again this season, as three of the game’s top sack artists have the lowest odds to win the honor entering Week 9.
Let’s break down the latest NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds and make some best bets.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Odds
NFL odds used for these best bets are current as of Wednesday, Nov. 1, and courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Micah Parsons (+180)
- Myles Garrett (+200)
- T.J. Watt (+250)
- Aidan Hutchinson (+1500)
- Chris Jones (+2500)
- Fred Warner (+3000)
- Nick Bosa (+3000)
- Maxx Crosby (+3500)
- Josh Allen (+4000)
- Khalil Mack (+5000)
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Best Bet
Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns (+200)
Garrett was my preseason pick at 7-1 odds, and I see no reason to switch it up.
The 27-year-old has anchored arguably the NFL’s top defense through the first two months of the season, as Cleveland leads the league in yards per game allowed (260) and is near the top in scoring defense (19.9 points allowed per contest).
- Don’t like defense? Check out our NFL Offensive Player of the Year Odds & Best Bets.
After racking up 16 sacks in back-to-back seasons, Garrett is on pace to exceed that total in 2023. He has recorded 8.5 sacks in seven games and forced four fumbles.
If Garrett and Cleveland’s defense continue their impressive play down the back half of the season, he’ll be an attractive proposition for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Contenders
Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys (+180)
After finishing runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in each of his two NFL seasons, Parsons is looking to get over the hump in 2023.
The Cowboys’ star is a certified game-wrecker, getting after opposing quarterbacks from any position on the defensive line. He can also hold his own in coverage when required, giving him an edge over Garrett in that regard.
However, Garrett has the statistical advantage at the season’s midway point, with Parsons recording six sacks and one forced fumble in Dallas’ first seven contests.
T.J. Watt, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers (+250)
Voter fatigue could work against Watt, who won the award in 2021 and watched his brother J.J. take home the trophy three times (2012, 2014, and 2015) during his illustrious career.
That said, the Steelers’ star pass-rusher has returned to his best form after an injury-hit 2022 campaign. Watt has matched Garrett with 8.5 sacks in seven games, but is has arguably stuffed the stat sheet even more than his AFC North counterpart.
The 29-year-old has forced two fumbles, three fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), an interception, and six passes defensed. Much like his older brother, T.J. is a one-man wrecking crew that can instantly turn a game in his team’s direction.
If he continues on his pace, he’ll be in the DPOY conversation come season’s end.
NFL Awards Betting Odds & Picks
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Sleeper
Danielle Hunter, LB, Minnesota Vikings (+6000)
Let’s get a little crazy.
Hunter isn’t exactly a household name, which won’t help his case in the voting process, but his early-season production speaks for itself. The 29-year-old leads the NFL in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (12). He has also forced three fumbles and racked up 37 tackles.
He’ll have plenty more opportunities to get after the quarterback in Brian Flores‘ blitz-heavy scheme, which has brought respectability back to Minnesota’s defense.
Hunter has long odds for a reason, but this 60-1 ticket could come through if he ends up leading the league with 20-plus sacks.
Previous NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners
2022: Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
2021: T.J. Watt, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
2020: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
2019: Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots
2018: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
2017: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
2016: Khalil Mack, OLB, Oakland Raiders
2015: J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2014: J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Carolina Panthers