After Marcus Smart upended the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds last season, a different story is unfolding for 2022-23, with Smart's price to win Defensive Player of the Year opening considerably worse than the contenders he beat out, and not gaining any upward traction.
It seems sportsbooks are sensing a return to order this season, with one particular defensive duo standing head-and-shoulders above the rest in the early going.
With the market taking shape as games roll on, here's a look at the latest NBA odds for 2023 DPOY:
Odds to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year
|Brook Lopez||Milwaukee Bucks||+180|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||+350|
|OG Anunoby||Toronto Raptors||+600|
|Evan Mobley||Cleveland Cavaliers||+1,000|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||+1,400|
|Joel Embiid||Philadelphia 76ers||+1,400|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||Memphis Grizzlies||+1,600|
|Rudy Gobert||Minnesota Timberwolves||+1,600|
|Anthony Davis||Los Angeles Lakers||+2,200|
|Mikal Bridges||Phoenix Suns||+3,000|
|Jarrett Allen||Cleveland Cavaliers||+3,500|
|Draymond Green||Golden State Warriors||+3,500|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, December 1, 2022.
Favorites to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Brook Lopez (+180)
The Bucks took a definite step back on defense for most of last season, and plenty of pundits missed the forest for the trees in estimating just how much that regression was due to the absence of one Brook Lopez.
Milwaukee's starting center had taken home All-Defense honors in 2020, and teamed with Giannis to form the NBA's best rim-protection tag-team.
Now fully healthy, Lopez is having a standout season, leading the league in blocks by a nautical mile while ranking near the top of most major defensive metrics.
The Bucks sporting the NBA's best defense only bolsters both he and Giannis' cases, but one has to wonder at what point they'll cannibalize each other's equity.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+350)
Settling into a default position among the DPOY contenders is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who's on the shortlist for the most versatile defender in league history.
Giannis' supernatural combination of length and agility allows him to swallow waterbug guards just as easily as brute-force centers. He consistently racks up "stocks" numbers among the league leaders, and annually rocks an elite metrics portfolio.
The Bucks were almost never fully healthy last season, and with better luck in 2022-23, should be among the NBA's best, with Giannis at the core of an elite-when-engaged defense.
Milwaukee leads the league in D-rating so far — no longer content to just wall off the paint, the Bucks are also now conceding one of the league's lower 3-point rates.
OG Anunoby (+600)
After a bit of a stall in his career arc last season, the breakout campaign everyone expected from Raptors swingman OG Anunoby just appears to have arrived a year late.
Not only has Anunoby been scoring at a career-high rate through early Raptors injuries, he's leading the league in steals and becoming this season's token perimeter defender no opposing star wants to face.
Wrote about OG Anunoby’s traveling torture dungeon. This guy takes. https://t.co/d7IATbLYJ8— Tyler Parker (@tylrparkr) December 1, 2022
Anunoby's brand of physical defense puts many on edge, and his hit list is littered with apex attackers held to pedestrian outputs, while his versatility continues to be a key cog to the Raptors' amorphous Top-10 defense.
Understanding NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. We'll use 2019-20's Rookie of the Year odds race as an example:
As the season progressed, with Ja Morant having been a huge favorite, his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number:
- Ja Morant -500
This means that a bettor needs to wager $500 to win $100. Other candidates with worse odds would have a plus (+) sign ahead of the number. Early in the season, before any clear favorite is established, betting options will be listed as such:
- Zion Williamson +650
Here, a bettor stands to profit $650 for every $100 wagered.
If American odds aren't your thing, simply use our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.
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NBA Defensive Player of the Year history
|Year||NBA DPOY winner|
NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds FAQ
Boston's Marcus Smart won the 2021-22 DPOY award.
Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo are tied for the all-time record with four apiece.
Marcus Smart is currently +4,000 to win DPOY.