Best bets for NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2022-23

As we near the end of “betting week” here at, the odds for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award are next on the to-do list. Where is the best value to extrapolate from sports betting? A few contenders stand out, so let’s go ahead and examine my best bets and dark horse picks for DPOY at all the odds provided by DraftKings.

Defensive Player of the Year Best Pick: Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves (+450)

A three-time DPOY winner, Gobert has become the crown jewel in the association for excellence in rim protection. Now, as he enters his 10th year on a new team, Gobert has an opportunity to reclaim the award forcefully.

Alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, Gobert leaves a potential rebuild situation for a finished Western Conference contender. As Minnesota’s defensive-end enforcer, Gobert will line up the counting numbers and advanced metrics to once again prove his immense value in the area.

The Timberwolves were confident enough to pay a heavy price for Gobert because he amplifies all the talent around him. Towns and Edwards will benefit, but don’t forget that D’Angelo Russell is stepping into a contract year as a starting point guard that’s proving to be proof.

Throughout the offseason, Minnesota’s aggressive approach has resulted in a deep rotation nearing completion. With a variety of lineup combinations, the versatility of the Timberwolves will really come into its own.

It’s a unique fit on paper, but I’m wholeheartedly with Gobert and his long-term fit in Minnesota. Even as a heavy betting favorite at +450 odds at DraftKings there is still value to be paid out at the end of the season.

Defensive Player of the Year Best Bet: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (+1200)

Another titan in the DPOY race, it’s never wise to rule out Giannis, who is going all out for an attainable award. The Greek geek, who at his age is already one of the most decorated people in NBA history, feels ready to remind everyone just how good he and the Bucks really are.

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason in Milwaukee, with the most significant move being the signing of Bobby Portis. The Bucks’ roster is already crammed with talent that connects seamlessly with their generational superstar. Everything is gearing up for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks to end up near the Tip of the East once again, with the two-time MVP putting up monster numbers along the way.

Since Antetokounmpo made the leap to stardom in 2016-17, Antetokounmpo (stealing plus blocking) stocks have continued to rise. Over that span, Giannis averaged 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game, easily dominating at both ends of the court. If the Bucks continue their triumph and Giannis continues his reign of terror, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a finalist for this award.

Dark Horse Defensive Player of the Year Bet: Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns (+1400)

Last season’s runner-up behind Marcus Smart checks in as this year’s Dark Horse prediction. Eventually, the NBA began showing respect to fullbacks, with Smart and Bridges battling at the top of the DPOY leaderboard. Watch out for this trend to continue and maybe even normalize. While Bridges’ status in Phoenix could remain in limbo right now due to the Suns’ ongoing flirtation with securing Kevin Durant, there’s no denying that he’s one of the best all-around wing defenders. He is capable of locking down virtually any goalscorer archetype.

Expect a highly motivated Bridges to enter his fifth season, one that will put even more pressure on him to become a well-rounded pillar in the Suns’ success. While Bridges won’t post any flashy stats, the eye test has consistently proven that there aren’t many defenders on the same tier as the 2018 No. 10 overall.

Assuming that Phoenix stays at the top of the Western Conference hierarchy and is expected to run back most of their best rotation in the league at that point, Bridges’ DPOY argument is already written. If all goes according to plan, Bridges will be a finalist and potentially take the prize to the Valley this time.

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