2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds & Picks: Can Mikal Bridges Win his First DPOY Award?

The 2022-23 NBA Season kicks off on Tuesday, Oct. 18. While fans are excited to see their favorite players score the ball, another portion of the fanbase has its sights set on defense and which player will be named the 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Last year, the Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart walked away with the 2021-22 DPOY honors. The talented defender averaged 1.7 steals and even saw a career-high 3.7 defensive win shares en route to winning the award for the first time in his career.

Will Smart be victorious again? Maybe, but FanDuel Sportsbook’s latest NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds help shed some light on how the race could unfold. With that being said, here are the latest award odds, along with Betting News’ picks.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds 2023
All NBA odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8:46 a.m. ET.

Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves (+400)
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (+700)
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics (+800)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (+1000)
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (+1400)
Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns (+1600)
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers (+2000)
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (+2000)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (+2100)
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (+2400)
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks (+2700)
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (+2700)
Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets (+2700)
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers (+2900)
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies (+2900)
Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (+4600)
Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers (+4600)
Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (+6000)
Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers (+6500)
Al Horford, Boston Celtics (+8000)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2023 Picks
Rudy Gobert to Win (+400)
To the surprise of few, Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is the current +400 favorite to be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Gobert has been one of the most dominant defensive forces in the league throughout his career. This fact is highlighted by his winning DPOY honors three times from 2018 to 2021, joining Dikembe Mutombo (4), Ben Wallace (4) and Dwight Howard (3) as the only other players in league history to win the award that many times.

While Gobert didn’t win the award last year, he still finished third in the voting process. After all, he did lead the league with a 36.3% defensive rebound percentage, while also averaging 2.1 blocks and tallying 4.3 defensive win shares.

Even though Gobert is now with the Timberwolves, he should still remain one of the NBA’s top defenders. Besides, Karl-Anthony Towns will handle most of the offensive responsibilities in Minnesota’s frontcourt while Gobert will be expected to be a defensive pillar.

Unless Gobert really regresses, history has proven that should be in this race right up until the very end.

Mikal Bridges to Win (+1600)
The upcoming season will only be Mikal Bridges’ fifth NBA campaign, but you wouldn’t know it by how he plays. The Philadelphia native has quickly become one of the league’s most noteworthy contenders, leading to his being a good pick for the 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year race.

For starters, Bridges is coming off a season that saw him being named first-team All-Defensive for the first time in his career. He accounted for 3.7 defensive win shares — up from 2.6 in 2020-21 — while also averaging 1.2 steals and 3.3 defensive rebounds.

Bridges’ efforts saw him finish as the runner-up to Smart in the DPOY race. What’s even more remarkable is that Bridges wasn’t even in the top 11 for voting during the previous season, proving the major strides that he’s made.

Coming that close to winning the award should ignite a fire inside Bridges. If he can continue his positive trajectory, it won’t be surprising if he brings the DPOY award to the Phoenix Suns.

Ben Simmons to Win (+2700)
Everyone and their mother have had fun with Ben Simmons-related memes over the last year or so. He hasn’t played a game since the 2020-21 NBA postseason, meaning many fans’ most recent memory of him is his offensive shortcomings.

Having said that, it’s important to remember how good Simmons is on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a two-time All-Defensive recipient and was even the NBA’s steal leader in 2020, averaging 2.1 steals per game.

That isn’t even to mention how he placed fourth in 2020 NBA Defensive of the Year Player voting before finishing as the runner-up just one year later.

Playing for the Brooklyn Nets should also help Simmons in his DPOY pursuit. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are the top scoring options in Brooklyn, while shooters like Seth Curry and Joe Harris will provide secondary support. That takes a lot of pressure off Simmons’ shoulders, allowing him to focus on his defensive duties.

Sure, he might be a dark horse option at the moment. But a healthy Simmons is one of the best defenders in the league and he could use his doubters as motivation to prove that he’s more than capable of being named the 2022-23 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

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