The Defensive Player of the Year betting odds for 2023 are dominated by pass rushers. That’s no real surprise, given that the award has been won by a player with double-digit sacks in 10 of the past 12 years. However, with strong showings, we’ve also seen linebackers and defensive backs put themselves in the frame.
In this article, we look at the odds for the top options for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, as well as getting predictions and longshot picks from our team of analysts.
Making up our team are PFN’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo, our Chief Content Officer David Bearman, Betting Director Brian Blewis, Betting and Fantasy Analysts Jason Katz and Kyle Soppe, and FOX Sports Chris “The Bear” Fallica.
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NFL Defensive Player of the Year Predictions
Wingo: No player does more than Micah Parsons (+650 at Caesars). If he just rushed the passer, he’d lead the league in sacks. If he just played LB, he’d lead the league in tackles. He’s the best-tooled defensive threat in the NFL.
Fallica: There will probably be some voter fatigue with Nick Bosa, and can Micah Parsons replicate what he did last year? With that in mind, I’ll go down the board a bit to Roquan Smith (+4000), who is a tackling machine and can do just about everything for a team that will be in playoff contention and is known for its defense.
Bearman: Micah Parsons is the obvious bet here, but I don’t want to join everyone else. I saw Sauce Gardner (+1500) up close last year, and he’s the real deal. He’ll get plenty of opportunities to shine in a tough division with HOF QBs. And if he shuts them down like he did others last year, he could be a surprise pick to win this one.
Katz: I really hate betting the odds favorite, but it feels like Micah Parsons’ year at +650. Parsons got DPOY votes as a rookie and finished second to Nick Bosa as a sophomore. Parsons wants to be the best defensive player in the NFL. This year, he very well may be.
He also has the benefit from two of the next three guys in terms of odds, having won it the past two seasons in Bosa and T.J. Watt. Having never won it before, the third time may very well be the charm for Parsons.
Blewis: I wrote about how Myles Garrett could be even better in new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s “wide-9” front, which is a scary sight to think about. He has recorded 16 sacks two years in a row, yet he still has untapped upside?!
This award is typically given to the best edge rusher in the NFL, and my prediction is that it will be Garrett (+750 at DraftKings) this season.
Soppe: Maxx Crosby (+2500 at FanDuel) has reached double-digit sacks twice in four seasons and is developing into a versatile game-wrecker. He’s the type of defender who wants to inflict pain, and those guys have a way of cashing tickets.
It’s important not to overlook a couple of things: He gets high0profile games against Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert that will raise awareness of his production, and he plays for a Raiders team that could win more games than most people think.
Part of that will be the stability of the offense under Jimmy Garoppolo, but he is rarely seen as a game-winner. If Garoppolo is keeping games close enough for one big defense play to swing outcomes, then Crosby could take home this award at nice odds.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Sleepers and Longshots
Wingo: Let’s not forget about Chris Jones (+3000). I don’t know if there is one defensive player that means more to his team than Jones to Kansas City. If Jones isn’t everything, the Chiefs have problems defensively. He might be the most important defender in the NFL.
Bearman: We know the Chargers have a dynamic offense. If Joey Bosa (+4500) can lead the defense to an elite level and a top seed in the loaded AFC, 45-1 would be a nice ticket to have.
Katz: There’s no love lost between this guy and me after what he did to Nick Foles last season, but Kayvon Thibodeaux at +5500 is the exact type of longshot we look for. Thibodeaux was once considered the best defensive prospect in the 2022 draft class and finished fourth in DROY voting last season.
We’ve seen plenty of players make significant leaps from their first season to their second. Thibodeaux undeniably has the raw talent to do so. If he does, he could be a surprise winner at very generous odds.
Blewis: Almost every recent DPOY winner has been a top favorite at edge rusher, Aaron Donald, or J.J. Watt. The one exception in the last decade was Stephon Gilmore in 2019, who was +8000 to win the award going into the season.
There are two cornerbacks, in my opinion, capable of having a DPOY-type season like Gilmore did a few years ago: Sauce Gardner and Patrick Surtain II. Gardner, however, is just +1500 to win the award, but Surtain is a juicy longshot (+4000 at DraftKings) if the Denver Broncos have an elite defense this season.
Recent Risers and Fallers
Micah Parsons, who is this year’s favorite, has seen his odds move from +650 to +500 since the start of training camp. As a result of Parsons’ odds getting even shorter, the second-best favorite in Myles Garrett saw his odds shift
Who Is the Favorite To Win Defensive Player of the Year?
The favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year is currently Micah Parsons at +500, as he heads up a top four that is dominated by pass rushers.
As of now at DraftKings, Parsons is in the mix with Myles Garrett (+800), T.J. Watt (+850), and Nick Bosa (+1200) as the top four options to win the Defensive Player of the Year award for oddsmakers.