2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Picks, Predictions, Odds and Best Bets

Betting on the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is open and the favorite for the award is three-time champion Rudy Gobert at +300, with Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo coming in next at +350 and +400 respectively.

Big men make up most of the guys on the betting board, with Jrue Holiday the only guy under 6"6 in the Top-10 favorites for the 2021-22 NBA DPOY.


Rudy Gobert +300

Anthony Davis +350

Giannis Antetokounmpo +400

Bam Adebayo +1000

Ben Simmons +1400

Joel Embiid +1400

Myles Turner +1600

Jrue Holiday +2500

Draymond Green +2500

Now, let's get into our expert DPOY picks and predictions for the 2021-22 NBA season ⬇️

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NBA DPOY Predictions

DPOY Best Picks

Ryan: Giannis Antetokounmpo +450
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First up, I'm going with the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year, Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

The Greek Freak suffered from voter fatigue last season in both MVP and DPOY voting, but now that he's announced himself as the best player in the league (a 50-point closeout game in he finals will do that) he's set to figure highly in both awards again.

The Bucks have proven themselves as one of the best defensive units in the league for two years running now, with both Giannis and Jrue Holiday (see below) major reasons for this.

With my top pick for the 2021-22 NBA MVP being Luka Doncic, I'm backing Giannis in to take out the DPOY instead.

Jason: Giannis Antetokounmpo +450
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There isn't a great deal of value within this betting market with only three players even close to being in consideration, so we'll stick with the former winner and current NBA champ, Giannis, to recapture his DPOY award. Where Brooklyn have built their identity around powerful offense, Milwaukee have positioned themselves as the counter with suffocating defense. Antetokounmpo should feature in 70-75 games throughout the year, barring a bad injury, and will be putting up some very strong defensive numbers. This looks good.

NBA DPOY Value Picks

Ryan: Jrue Holiday +1500
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Sticking with the Bucks, my best value play is the best defensive guard in the NBA, Jrue Holiday.

As we said above, Jrue is the only player in the Top-10 favorites to stand at less than 6"6 (he's 6"2) and if any basketball fan was to pick a defensive player of this height, it would be him.

Holiday has long been recognized as a top defensive guard without really polling highly in the DPOY award. 

Jrue Holiday's highest placed finish in the DPOY award came in 2017-18 (7th), with the only other season that he polled being 2020-21 (8th).

With this lack of voter recognition, if the Bucks are as strong defensively once again, the narrative could fast become about Jrue Holiday winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2021-22.

Jason: Joel Embiid +1400
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I think we can all pretty safely assume that Ben Simmons will not be at the 76ers by the start of the season, or the trade deadline at the very latest. So, with Simmons gone, Embiid could flourish in a big, big way. The Cameroon native has always been a monster on defense and was in the MVP conversation last year up until an injury curtailed those chances. A strong season without the shadow of his underperforming partner who yield some awards for the big man.

NBA DPOY Sleepers

Ryan: Matisse Thybulle +3300
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Australian, Matisse Thybulle, will win a Defensive Player of the Year award one day, it's just a matter of picking the right year.

The 76ers have two of the favorites for the award (Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons) on their roster, but it could just be the versatile wing defender that shoots past them both to take it out this season.

Thybulle is an absolute menace on the defensive end, and teams both in the NBA and at the Olympics have discovered that in recent times.

The 24-year-old polled a vote in last season's DPOY and should only grow in fame over the next season, with his +3300 odds potentially looking like an absolute steal just weeks into the 2021-22 NBA season.

Jason: Draymond Green +3300
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The odds here seem off for someone who has already won this award and will be part of a team that will be better this season with the return of Klay Thompson. Granted, he did win this award in 2017, and the DPOY award seems to be more of a rebounding contest than anything else these days, but Green's defense authority is unmatched in this league and a good season by the Warriors could turn some heads if the Michigan State man plays well.

NBA Season Awards Previews

MORE: NBA ROTY Picks and Predictions

MORE: NBA DPOY Picks and Predictions

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