On Tuesday, we covered the Offensive Player of the Year bets to have your eye on, and now we’ll turn our attention to the defensive side of the football.
Unlike some of the other NFL awards, this is one that is reasonably position-less. Since 2010, we have seen a corner, safety, linebacker, EDGE and defensive tackle all bring home the award. That is both exciting, as we can dig deeper to find some gems, and a bit more difficult, since we can’t focus in on one impact area.
There’s certainly been a run of defensive linemen winning DPOY; seven of the last 10 winners have been in the trenches, and while last year’s winner TJ Watt is technically an outside linebacker, his role was to rush the passer.
Aaron Donald has brought home three Defensive Player of the Year wins since 2017 and is one of the favorites to win in 2022.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year betting odds
The top of the board is headlined by a pair of EDGE rushers, including last season’s winner. Repeat wins have become the norm of late. JJ Watt and Aaron Donald have accounted for six of the last 10 winners.
The current top 15, along with their odds and the sportsbook which offers us the best odds:
- Myles Garrett (+700 DK)
- TJ Watt (+800 FD)
- Aaron Donald (+900 FD)
- Micah Parsons (+1000 DK)
- Nick Bosa (+1500 DK)
- Joey Bosa (+2500 FD)
- Darius Leonard (+3000 DK)
- Maxx Crosby (+3000 FD)
- Danielle Hunter (+3500 FD)
- Khalil Mack (+3500 FD)
- Derwin James (+3500 DK)
- Chase Young (+3500 FD)
- Rashan Gary (+4000 DK)
- Von Miller (+4000 FD)
- Bradley Chubb (+5000 FD)
It’s a wide-ranging list, but I’ve found my two favorites for the 2022 season.
Micah Parsons +1000
Parsons was everything and more for the Dallas Cowboys in Year One. In what culminated with a Defensive Rookie of the Year award, Parsons finished the season with 84 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss and 3 forced fumbles.
The TFL numbers were right behind TJ Watt and Nick Bosa, who each had 21, and his sack total was sixth-highest in the NFL.
Parsons quickly became a defensive force for the Cowboys, and the impact he brings all over the field can go a long way towards winning Defensive Player of the Year.
Parsons received 10% of the votes for DPOY last season, finishing in second behind Watt. Sandwiched between Watt and Donald in just his first season is as impressive as it gets, and the logical next step is for him to bring home the win.
Dallas’ defense will likely need to turn it up a notch this season with some of the losses the Cowboys have sustained on offense. Parsons figures to lead that charge, and should the numbers follow, he’s a great bet to win DPOY.
Rashan Gary +4000
We’re shooting for value with our second selection in this futures market, looking to Green Bay EDGE Rashan Gary at +4000.
The Packers defense has been getting a lot of buzz this offseason, pushing to be regarded as the league’s top unit. CB Jaire Alexander, EDGE Preston Smith, S Adrian Amos and LB De’Vondre Campbell are just a handful of the notable names who hope to build on a strong 2021.
Surrounded by talent, Gary is well-positioned to rack up numbers and find himself in contention for this award by season’s end. Pro Football Focus had Gary as their fifth-ranked EDGE defender from last season, and all we’ve seen from Gary’s career up to this point is continued growth.
His sack totals have gone from 2.0 to 5.0 to 9.5 last season. Gary will need a big jump in the sack department to be a legitimate choice for this award, but that’s what we project and hope for when we load up a +4000 ticket.
With playmakers around him, the fourth year defender should get his share of 1-on-1 matchups, and with Alexander and Amos shutting down a quarterback’s top option, Gary may have a bit more time to get to the QB.
Gary is on the final year of his rookie contract, so there should be no lack of motivation to pile up a big season. I love this +4000 value on an impact defender on what could be one of the NFL’s top teams.