Rudy Gobert Favored to Be 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year

As the 2020-21 NBA Season progresses, individual award races are coming down to the wire. While wagering on who wins Most Valuable Player is often the most popular betting market for this category, it’s not the only award bettors can wager on. For instance, you can bet on who’ll win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is currently favored to win the award at -230, according to Bovada.

Gobert is constantly a frontrunner for the award, having won it twice since 2018.

As of April 1, Rudy Gobert is averaging a career-high 2.9 blocks per game this season, which is second-best in the NBA. He’s also averaging 13.3 rebounds per game, which is second-best as well. If Gobert wins the award for the third time, he’d become the fourth player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.

However, Gobert isn’t the only player to have a chance at becoming the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year. Scroll on to see who else Bovada has in the running.

2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Odds via Bovada as of Thursday, April 1

  • Rudy Gobert -230
  • Ben Simmons +185
  • Myles Turner +600
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +3300
  • Joel Embiid +5000

For the complete odds list, visit Bovada.lv.

Can Ben Simmons Upset Rudy Gobert?

For the last few seasons, Ben Simmons has been one of the better defensive players in the league. He was an All-Defensive First Team player last season, while also leading the league in steals. At +185, Simmons has the best odds (aside from Rudy Gobert) of winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the first time.

While he’s not leading the league in steals this season, Simmons is still averaging 1.5 per game, which is good for ninth. He’s also averaging 0.7 blocks, which is the most among point guards. His 7.8 rebounds per game are fifth-best among the position too.

Myles Turner’s Odds Are Fading

Earlier in the NBA season, Myles Turner was a frontrunner for the DPOY award. Nobody could keep up with the rate that Turner was blocking shots. As of April 1, he’s still leading the league with 3.5 blocks per game. No other player has averaged that many since Hassan Whiteside had 3.68 in the 2015-16 season.

Even though Turner’s blocking numbers are fantastic, he doesn’t have much else helping him to make a case for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. While his 0.9 steals per game is tied for fourth among renters, he doesn’t have the rebounding stats to help him. Despite being a center, Turner is only averaging 6.4 rebounds per game. He’ll need to improve his rebounding numbers to catch Rudy Gobert as the favorite.

Antetokounmpo, Embiid Long Shots

While Giannis Antetokounmpo won the DPOY award last season, he stands at +3300 to win it again in 2021. However, his rebounding numbers, including percentage, are down this season from 2020. His defensive rating per 100 possessions last season was 97 — a career-best. However, it’s at 106 this season. Even with Antetokounmpo displaying impressive defensive numbers, it may not be enough to leap past the likes of Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons.

Speaking of Simmons, his teammate Joel Embiid (+5000) is also involved in conversations surrounding the award. While he’s never won it before, Embiid is a two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team player. His 11.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game as a center looks good, but Embiid has been sidelined since mid-March. He’s expected to return to the lineup on April 3, but those few weeks that he missed are valuable. They could end up making the difference between competing for this award and being out of the race.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.