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NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Donald Opens As Fave For Third Year In A Row

NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Betting Odds 2020 Aaron Donald coming out of the tunnel

What can sometimes get lost in the NFL is how essential a good defensive player can be – a defensive lineman who can blow up a play, a shutdown cornerback to take away a team’s best receiver, or a linebacker who can cover the entire field sideline to sideline.

Well, the art of defense is not lost on the best football betting sites, who have newly released odds on which player will win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. The betting favorite is Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Donald, listed at +700 to win the DPOY award according to Bovada, won the award in 2017 and 2018. He also opened as the fave for the 2019 season but eventually lost it to New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. 

If you’re a new bettor and you’ve never wagered on NFL Futures before, you’re in luck because Odds Shark has a handy guide on how to bet on the NFL that will get you up to speed.

If you prefer offense over defense, you can also read up on which player is the favorite to win the NFL MVP award in 2020 instead.

Without further ado, below is the full list of NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds:

2020 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Odds
PlayerOdds
Aaron Donald+700
Nick Bosa+1000
Khalil Mack+1100
TJ Watt+1200
JJ Watt+1200
Myles Garrett+1200
Joey Bosa+2000
Chandler Jones+2000
Von Miller+2000
Derwin James+2000
Stephon Gilmore+2000
Danielle Hunter+2500
Jadeveon Clowney+2500
Jamal Adams+3000
Shaquil Barrett+3300
DeMarcus Lawrence+3300
Bobby Wagner+3300
Tre’Davious White+3300
Darius Leonard+3300
Tyrann Mathieu+4000
Jalen Ramsey+4000
Minkah Fitzpatrick+4000
DeForest Buckner+4000
Cameron Jordan+4000
Bradley Chubb+4000
Calais Campbell+5000
Za’Darius Smith+5000
Chris Jones+5000
Preston Smith+6000
Byron Jones+6000
Richard Sherman+6000
Melvin Ingram+6600
Marshon Lattimore+6600
Eric Kendricks+6600
Deion Jones+6600
Marcus Peters+7000
Leighton Vander Esch+7000
Trey Flowers+7000
Jaylon Smith+8000

Odds as of July 23 at Bovada

Why Donald Is The Favorite

Not to be confused with another popular Donald on this website, Aaron Donald deserves to be the favorite for NFL Defensive Player of the Year because he’s a man among boys.

In 2019, Donald had a “down” year by his standards with “only” 12.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, statistics that were pretty much identical to the numbers he posted in 2017 when he won this award, albeit while playing in only 14 games. In just the last three seasons, the wrecking ball with the Rams has amassed 43.5 sacks and 11 forced fumbles and some NFL coaches would dub him a “defensive terrorist.”

There are three reasons why Donald likely didn’t win this award in 2019:

  • The Rams defense struggled as a whole and didn’t close out the season well.
  • He’d won the award the previous two seasons and voter fatigue may have been at play. 
  • Stephon Gilmore had an outstanding season and led the NFL with six interceptions.

That being said, Donald’s stature may be what makes his feats all the more impressive. According to the NFL, the average height and weight for a defensive tackle is around six-foot-three and 310 pounds, while Donald measures in at around 6-1 and 280. His speed and uncanny strength is a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen and at 29, he is still in his prime.

His value at +700 is too hard to ignore considering he opened last year at +200, so bettors should take a hard look at this price and know that unless he gets hurt (he’s yet to miss a game due to injury in his career), he’ll be in the thick of the award race for the entire season.

What About The Brothers Bosa And Watts?

The fact that two sets of brothers are available to bet on for this prop, with all four being among the top seven options, is a testament to genetics in the game of football. Nick and Joey Bosa are the main pass rushers for the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers respectively while TJ and JJ Watt are relied upon by Pittsburgh and Houston to wreak havoc in their opponents’ backfields.

Nick Bosa

Out of the four, Nick Bosa is the fave at +1000 and, entering his second year, he’ll be counted on even more by San Francisco to blow up the pocket. The 49ers traded DeForest Buckner because they knew they had a game-changer in Bosa, who had nine sacks in 2019 and was in the top five in pocket pressure among all defensive ends in the NFL. He offers great value and hardly looks like he’s hit his peak.

TJ Watt

Then there’s TJ Watt, who quietly has led the Steelers in sacks in each of the last three seasons and had 14.5 in 2019. TJ has been in the shadow of his older brother JJ since he entered the NFL but his ability to get to the quarterback and disrupt the offense has made the current argument of “TJ vs JJ” a moot point. They each have odds at +1200 and while TJ is a decent value, you can't dismiss JJ either if he has one last great season in the tank.

Long Shots To Consider

If bettors don’t like wagering on favorites or like to identify dark horses for the Defensive Player of the Year prop for the upcoming NFL season, two players immediately stand out:

Chandler Jones

It’s hard to call the player who has the most sacks in the NFL over the last two seasons a long shot but Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones needs some love.

The younger brother of UFC fighter Jon Jones, Chandler has been a beast since entering the league in 2012 with the Patriots. He’s averaged double-digit sacks in five straight seasons and finished second in the NFL last year with 19. With the Cardinals expected to improve in 2020, the +2000 odds are quite enticing.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Another safety who could be in the spotlight is Pittsburgh Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick burst onto the scene in 2019 after being traded by the Miami Dolphins, proceeding to be the ballhawk everyone had expected when he was drafted out of Alabama.

After grabbing only two interceptions in 18 games with Miami, Fitzy grabbed five picks in 14 games (tied for second in the NFL) with Pittsburgh and spearheaded a Steelers secondary that ranked third in passing yards allowed last season.

It’s a lot to ask of Fitzpatrick to accomplish this feat again but considering the way the Steelers are built and his odds at +4000, he offers tremendous value for bettors looking to take an impact defensive player in the secondary.


Understanding NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds

When you check out your football sportsbook of choice, you’ll see defensive player odds that look something like this:

Aaron Donald +700

Nick Bosa +1000

Khalil Mack +1100

TJ Watt +1200

Chandler Jones +2000

To bet on these odds, you would be making a futures bet – more on that in a bit. In this case, there is no clear favorite like there would be on a moneyline or spread bet. When you don’t see odds with a minus sign (-) beside them, then the player with the lowest odds is the fave. The rest are considered underdogs.

If you think Aaron Donald is the defensive player to beat, and you bet $100 on him, you’d get a payout of $800 – you get your $100 back along with your winnings of $700.

Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.

What is a Prop Bet?

A prop is a bet on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain outcomes that may not necessarily upset the outcome of an NFL game. In this case, it’s the Defensive Player of the Year, an award given out after the regular season.

You can make a bet like this as soon as the odds are announced. Oddsmakers will move the lines as players pad their stats, succumb to injury or their production decreases. If you see odds you like, jump on them like a loose ball after a fumble, otherwise the action could move so much that you’ll barely make a profit or maybe even not make one at all.