The 2021-22 NBA regular season is just a little over a month away from beginning, which means that it isn’t too early to start looking at individual award odds. Bovada is one of the sportsbook’s that has released odds for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award race and its current favorite is none other than Utah Jazz center Rudy Robert (+280).
If you’re familiar with basketball, you’ll know that Gobert has been one of the best defensive players over the last decade. The 7-foot-1 Frenchman has been named to the All-Defensive First Team in each of the last five seasons on top of the fact that he’s won three of the last four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards — including last year’s. To put things into perspective, Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace are the only two players in league history to have won the award four times. Receiving those honors for the fourth time would certainly cement Gobert as one of the best defensive centers of all time.
All Gobert has to do is continue playing as he did last season. A menace in the paint, he led the NBA in both total rebounds (960) and blocks (190). He also led all players with 5.2 defensive win shares, with the next closest being New York Knicks forward Julius Randle at 4.3. Gobert’s efforts led to the Jazz allowing the sixth-fewest points per game in 2020-21 (108.6) and things should stay that way as long as he continues to be a defensive anchor. Considering how he’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, expect Gobert to remain in the DPOY conversation throughout the upcoming season.
2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Wednesday, September 15
- Rudy Gobert (+280)
- Ben Simmons (+350)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+650)
- Anthony Davis (+800)
- Myles Turner (+800)
- Joel Embiid (+900)
- Bam Adebayo (+1300)
- Matisse Thybulle (+1900)
- Jrue Holiday (+2000)
- Draymond Green (+2200)
Complete odds list is available at Bovada.lv.
Ben Simmons NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds
While his future with his team is uncertain, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has the second-best odds (+350) to be named 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Even though a lot of people have been questioning his offensive skills after a disappointing playoff run this year, nobody can doubt how effective he is on the other side of the ball.
Simmons has never been named DPOY before, however, he’s been NBA All-Defense First Team in each of the last two campaigns. His 464 total steals since the 2017-18 season are the second-most in the league during that span, trailing only Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (471).
Even though he’s a guard, Simmons’ 6-foot-11 frame gives him an advantage over smaller players at the position. He averaged 7.2 rebounds per game last year, which was a drop from the previous campaign’s 7.8, however, that’s still a lot for a guard. His 3.3 defensive win shares in 2020-21 ranked T-6th while his overall 106.1 defensive rating was tied with LeBron James for fourth-best. So, even though Simmons may have his offensive struggles, his elite defense is invaluable to any team that he’s on. Continuing that play should keep him in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year conversation for years to come.
Giannis Antetokounmpo DPOY Odds
Another player who’s been one of the best defensive players over the last few years is none other than the reigning NBA Finals MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 26-year-old “Greek Freak” has been on four all-defensive teams in his year and was even named DPOY during the 2019-20 season. Now, he has +650 odds to take the award home for the second time in three years.
Antetokounmpo averaged 11.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game last year, showcasing his ability to get physical when needed. He’ll need to boost his rebound total this year if he wants to be named DPOY considering how he averaged 2.6 more the year that he won the award. Nevertheless, Antetokounmpo should be motivated following the Bucks’ championship victory earlier this year, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him having an award-worthy campaign.