2022-23 NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds & predictions: Micah Parsons can pounce
The 2022 NFL season is on the way and as well as thinking about which teams are going to have success by winning their divisions, conferences or the Super Bowl, we can also make our predictions for who will win the individual awards.
Right now, we’re going to take a look at the odds for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, which was won for the first time last year by linebacker TJ Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers after his 22.5-sack season. It was not his family’s first success in this award, though, as his older brother JJ Watt is one of just three players to have won DPoY 3 times, alongside Lawrence Taylor and Aaron Donald. The recent list of winners shows the elite level of talent required to win, with Luke Kuechly, Khalil Mack and Stephon Gilmore the other winners apart from JJ Watt and Donald in the last decade.
Let’s take a look at the odds and the best bets to be made.
2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds
Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, best odds shown
Myles Garrett (Browns) (+700, FD/DK)
TJ Watt (Steelers) (+800, FD)
Aaron Donald (Rams) (+900, FD)
Micah Parsons (Cowboys) (+1000, FD/DK)
Nick Bosa (49ers) (+1500, DK)
Joey Bosa (Chargers) (+2500, FD)
Chase Young (Commanders) (+3000, FD)
Maxx Crosby (Raiders) (+3000, FD)
Khalil Mack (Chargers) (+3500, FD)
Darius Leonard (Colts) (+3500, DK)
Danielle Hunter (Vikings) (+3500, FD)
Derwin James (Chargers) (+3500, FD/DK)
Von Miller (Rams) (+4000, FD)
Bradley Chubb (Broncos) (+5000, FD)
Jalen Ramsey (Rams) (+5000, DK)
Troy Hendrickson (+5000, FD)
Fred Warner (49ers) (+5000, FD)
Roquan Smith (Bears) (+5000, FD)
Shaq Barrett (Bucs) (+5000, FD/DK)
As you can see, the market is led by one of the few undisputed top defensive players in the game today who is not yet on the honor roll — Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns. The dominant defensive end has probably now reached a stage where his infamous incident with Mason Rudolph will no longer impact his eligibility for awards such as this. And if he’s being judged on talent alone, he’s going to be a real contender. Garrett has wingman Jadeveon Clowney back with him again this season, but those taking short odds would want to see a stronger interior defensive line in place to enable the former Texas A&M star to feast. That is probably the weakest area of the entire Browns roster, though. Rookie Perrion Winfrey could prove to be just the animal inside that the team needs, but there are still questions.
TJ Watt and Donald should again be in contention if they can stay injury-free, but for our best bet, we’re looking to the younger generation.
2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year best bet: Micah Parsons (+1000)
Micah Parsons burst onto the NFL scene last season in a manner we haven’t seen for many years. The Cowboys rookie scooped the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and also came second in this category to Watt. The Steelers star garnered 42 of the 50 votes, but the rookie got 5 for an award most assumed he would not even be in the running for, while Donald got the other 3.
Parsons has established himself as a top talent with his 84 tackles, 13 sacks and 3 forced fumbles (plus 8 tackles and a strip-sack in the Pro Bowl), so he should be on everyone’s radar this time. Parsons signaled his intention to claim this trophy at the awards ceremony, saying: “I hope TJ and the rest of the league know that I’m still hungry. I’m coming for it next year. I’m excited to go for it,” so anyone backing Parsons will at least know they are on a real trier.
The loss of Randy Gregory from the Cowboys’ defense could assist Parsons in his bid to become DPoY, as he may spend more of his time as a pure pass-rusher than logging tackles and playing coverage as a linebacker, which he does equally well but those qualities don’t grab so many headlines as sacks. TV announcers will be buying into the narrative that we have a great new defensive player on our hands and that can only help his case.
2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year best longshot bet: Jeffery Simmons (+7500)
Going back to that list of winners, you won’t see many just very good players having a great year, it’s pretty much top talent only. So when looking for a longshot bet the nearly but not quite good enough brigade can be easily passed over. One player who doesn’t belong to that category, though, is Tennessee’s Jeffery Simmons, who has been called the next Aaron Donald, which isn’t a bad reputation to have. In fact, he’s even been called a “special type of talent” by Donald himself.
The one thing Simmons lacks is reputation, but that’s not a bad thing when it comes to odds. The 2019 first-round pick turns 25 in the next week and has begun to make the leap in terms of production, with 8.5 sacks last season. He looks like he can be unplayable on his day, and teams are already automatically assigning him double teams, but when that still doesn’t stop a player, you’re into Garrett and Donald territory and in the hunt for honors. It may well still be a year or two too soon for Simmons to reach the very top, but at these odds it’s worth paying to find out.