2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds and best bets: Young in chasing pack behind favorites Donald and Garrett
The NHL season has come and gone, the NBA Finals will be wrapping up in the next week or so, and both Euro 2020 and Wimbledon are things of the past. We don’t even have any MLB regular-season action until Thursday. It may feel like a relatively slow period in sports at the moment, so now would be a good time to remember that football season is rapidly approaching.
The 2021 NFL campaign, which will hopefully be a lot more normal than the 2020 installment, will be here before we know it. This offseason has already been a wild one, with Julio Jones being dealt from Atlanta to Tennessee, Detroit and the Rams swapping quarterbacks (Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff), a whole host of draft-related trades, and Aaron Rodgers demanding out of Green Bay.
July and August are an exciting time of year for bettors because it’s when futures markets really start to heat up. Here at Pickswise, we have a ton of great content planned, including picks on the Super Bowl, Coach of the Year, win totals, and everything in between.
For now, we are going to discuss individual awards, specifically Defensive Player of the Year. Let’s take a look at the odds and discuss some best bets.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds
It is no surprise to see Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald a considerable favorite at +500. After all, he has won this award in three of the last four seasons. In one of those seasons, he recorded 20.5 sacks, but in the other two, he did not finish with more than 13.5 sacks. Donald does not have to go completely off statistically in order to be voted DPOY because it’s obvious that he can impact the game even on plays for which he does not get credit for a sack or a tackle for loss. No matter what (barring injury), he is sure to be in the mix for this honor.
Donald is followed on the favorites list by Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, and Chargers outside linebacker Joey Bosa.
With that, let’s delve into some of the best betting options.
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Defensive Player of the Year best bet: Chase Young (+2000)
Young made a relatively modest 7.5 sacks in 2020, which is why you can get him at +2000 to win Defensive Player of the Year. Those are odds I am not prepared to pass up. The former Ohio State standout has one NFL season under his belt and should get exponentially better in 2021.
Playing on overall stellar defensive unit that the Football Team boasts, Young won’t get double-teamed as frequently as Donald and some of the other names listed above. For multiple reasons, you have to think Young’s sack numbers are going to skyrocket. It should also be noted that the 2020 No. 2 overall pick produced 12.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries as a rookie.
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Best Defensive Player of the Year longshot bet: Jalen Ramsey (+3800)
Not too much unlike Young on TWFT, Ramsey has plenty of help on the Rams’ defense. Donald and company consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which obviously helps Ramsey and the rest of the secondary force turnovers.
The 26-year-old has not posted any interception numbers to speak of since his first three NFL seasons with the Jaguars, but that is due in part to injuries and also to the fact that interception statistics can be flukes. It’s not Ramsey’s fault that QBs avoid throwing in his direction. Like Donald, the FSU product always passes the eye test. With a slight uptick in numbers, DPOY contention would not be out of the question.
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