NFL 2023 – Defensive Player of the Year Odds and Best Bets

NFL 2023 - Defensive Player of the Year Odds and Best Bets

Just like the Offensive Player of the Year Award, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award has been handed out every year since 1971, when Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings won it. Alan Page in 1971 and Lawrence Taylor in 1986 are the only two defensive players to ever win the Most Valuable Player Award, making the Defensive Player of the Year Award the de facto award for the best player on the defensive side of the ball every year.

Defensive end Nick Bosa won the award in 2022, becoming the 14th defensive end to win and the first defensive end to win the award since Khalil Mack in 2016. Linebackers hold the most wins by position all time with 17 but have only won the award once (2021 TJ Watt) since Luke Kuechly in 2013. Defensive tackles have won 10 times, cornerbacks six, and safety has taken the award home five times.

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NFL 2023 – Defensive Player of the Year Odds and Best Bets

Last 10 Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners

2022 – Nick Bosa
2021 – TJ Watt
2020 – Aaron Donald
2019 – Stephon Gilmore
2018 – Aaron Donald
2017 – Aaron Donald
2016 – Khalil Mack
2015 – JJ Watt
2014 – JJ Watt
2013 – Luke Kuechly

2023 Defensive Player of the Year Award Winner Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Micah Parsons +550
Myles Garrett +675
TJ Watt +750
Nick Bosa +1100
Maxx Crosby +1200
Ahmad Gardner +1200
Brain Burns +2200
Hanson Reddick +2200
Aidan Hutchinson +2500
Aaron Donald +2600
Quinnen Williams +2800
Joey Bosa +3000
Chris Jones +3000
Rashan Gary +3000
Patrick Surtain +4000
Roquan Smith +4000
Matthew Judon +4000
Fred Warner +4000
Kayvon Thibodeaux +5000
Jaelen Phillips +5000
Bradley Chubb +5000
Von Miller +6000
Chase Young +6000
Trey Hendrickson +8000
Travon Walker +8000
Shaquille Leonard +8000
Derwin James +8000
ZaDarius Smith +10000
Jaycee Horn +10000
Danielle Hunter +10000
Justin Simmons +10000
Will Anderson +10000
Tariq Woolen +10000
Talanoa Hufanga +10000
Darius Slay Jr +10000

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2023 Defensive Player of the Year Award Best Bets

TJ Watt – Linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers (+750)

I’ve already made the case for TJ to lead the league in sacks in my 2023 NFL Sack Leader article. If Watt leads the league in sacks, there’s a good chance he’s also the Defensive Player of the Year. Defensive Player of the Year is an award that runs in the Watt family.

TJ’s brother JJ is a three-time winner of the award and the only unanimous winner of the award, earning a perfect 50 out of 50 possible votes in 2014. Just two seasons after he earned 49 of 50 votes in 2012. JJ also won the award in 2015, with TJ following in his brother’s shoes by winning the award in 2021.

Last season The 28-year-old only played in 10 games last season after tearing a pectoral muscle in their week one game against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, in 2021 Watt won Defensive Player of the Year after tying Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record at 22.5. Over his six-year career, Watt has logged 77.5 sacks.

The Steelers are a team known for their defensive prowess. Four of their seven draft choices in this year’s NFL draft were on the defensive side of the ball. Joey Porter Jr, who was selected at the end of the first round, helps shore up the coverage, allowing more time for Watt to get to the quarterback.

Aidan Hutchinson – Defensive End Detroit Lions (+2500)

The 22-year-old, six foot six inch, 265 lb #2 overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2022 NFL Draft impressed in his rookie season. One of the few bright spots on the Lions’ defense, Hutchinson recorded 52 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He even snagged three interceptions on his way to winning the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

Hutchinson really impressed by the fact that he didn’t seem to hit that “rookie wall.” At this level, 17 games in the regular season is a big change from the college game. From Week 11 to the end of the regular season, Hutchinson earned a PFF grade of 89.7, the third highest among all NFL edge players over that span.

At 25/1 odds, Hutchinson is a player who could take that sophomore leap and throw himself into the spotlight. The Lions are a team with higher expectations than they have had in a few years, they are currently the favorites to win the NFC North (+125 Caesars Sportsbook), and all eyes will be on the team. If Hutchinson steals the spotlight, he might also steal the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Jaelen Phillips – Linebacker Miami Dolphins (+5000)

Heading into his third NFL season, former first-round pick Jaelen Phillips showed up in a big way for the Miami Dolphins in 2022. Phillips posted an 89.8 pass-rush grade that ranked sixth-best at his position; he also added a 15.6% pressure rate (16th) and a 19.6% win rate (12th).

However, the sack numbers have been the biggest thing slacking from Phillips’s resume. Phillips recorded 8.5 in his rookie season and only seven in his sophomore year. Veteran linebacker Elandon Roberts, who led the team in tackles and tackle for loss, has moved on to Pittsburgh. That leaves more work for Jerome Baker and Phillips. He’s got the top-tier pass-rushing metrics. If the numbers can go up on a team competing to win one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, Phillips might be the longshot we need.

Tariq Woolen – Cornerback Seattle Seahawks +10000

Only six Cornerbacks have won in the history of the Defensive Player of the Year award. So Woolen being a longshot makes sense in that manner, but this guy is a baller. Woolen took the league by storm in his rookie season, making a case for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Woolen made the Pro Bowl and tied for the league lead with six interceptions, and finished with 63 tackles, three fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown.

Opposing quarterbacks had just a 46.1 passer rating targeting Woolen, the sixth-lowest rate in the NFL. Woolen checks in at No.76 on the NFL’s top-100 players list to go along with his blazing 98-speed rating on Madden. With Jamal Adams returning to the Seahawks backfield to cover Woolen’s backside, this truly talented young defensive back could put up some crazy stats that put him in the conversation. More than worth it at 100/1 odds.

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