NFL Season Preview: Defensive Player of the Year Odds

The favorite to win the National Football League’s Defensive Players of the Year is a member of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) celebrates with Jalen Ramsey (5) and fellow teammates on the field. This year, Donald is again the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year. (Image: Getty Images)

At +650, three-time award winner Aaron Donald leads an elite list of outstanding defensive players. Donald brought home the award in 2017, 2018, and 2020, only to lose out last year to T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Since entering the league in 2014, Donald has only twice recorded fewer than 10 sacks in a season. In those two seasons, he had nine and eight, respectively.

He faces double-teams on nearly every play, but still manages to be near the league leaders in sacks every season.

Myles Garrett (+650)

Tied at the top of the list as the co-favorite for the Defensive Player of the Year is defensive end Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns.

Like Donald, Garrett is a one-man gang on the field. With four straight seasons of double-figure sacks and a career-high of 16 last season, Garrett has his eyes set on leaping past Donald as the game’s most formidable defender.

T.J. Watt (+700)

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt has improved his sack total every year he’s played in the NFL, going from seven to 13 to 14.5 to 15 before tying an NFL record with 22.5 sacks last season (albeit in two extra games). He did this while missing two games and parts of three others.

Micah Parsons (+900)

The second-year Dallas Cowboys linebacker phenom, Micah Parsons, played in all but one game last season, recording 13 sacks with three forced fumbles. He’s entering just his second season and all the signs point to him becoming an elite defender in year two.

Nick Bosa (+1200), Joey Bosa (+2500)

Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers and his brother, Joey of the Los Angeles Chargers, are the fourth and fifth favorites to bring home the Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Entering his fourth season, Nick tied T.J. Watt last season for the league lead with 21.5 tackles for a loss to go with his 15.5 sacks.

His older brother Joey is entering his seventh year in the league, where he’s coming off his fourth Pro Bowl appearance after a season that saw him record a career-high seven forced fumbles.

Other Notables

Some others to consider for the Defensive Player of the Year award are the trifecta of players Khalil Mack of the Los Angeles Chargers, Rashan Gary of the Green Bay Packers, and Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, all of whom sit at +2800.

Another quartet of guys to keep an eye on at +3300 are Chase Young of the Washington Commanders, Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings, Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts, and Von Miller of the Buffalo Bills.

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