As the NBA has continued to evolved in recent years, the appreciation and weight put on winning the Defensive Player of the Year award has fallen for many. However, the old saying is that defense wins championships, which can easily be seen from the Toronto Raptors last season. Currently, Anthony Davis is the heavy favorite to win the award, at -230 odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Los Angeles Lakers are among the best defensive teams in the league this season, allowing the third-fewest points per game (105.2) and holding teams to the fourth-worst field goal percentage (43.7 percent). Much of this success has been attributed to the addition of Davis, who has helped the team in a few areas on the defensive side of the floor.
Davis averages 2.6 blocks per game (No. 2 in the NBA) and 1.5 steals per game (T-No. 14). He also has an average of 0.144 defensive win shares per 48 minutes, which ranks 14th in the NBA among players that have played at least 10 games.
Second in the odds to win the award is Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert (+340), who has won the award in back-to-back seasons. A third award would tie him with Dwight Howard and put him behind only Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, who have both won four.
Rounding out the top five in the odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year is Giannis Antetokounmpo (+650), Joel Embiid (+1000) and Ben Simmons (+2000).
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