For three of the last four years, NBA Defensive Player of the Year has been dominated by one man: Rudy Gobert. And based on DOPY odds, it appears we are headed for another award-winning season for the defensive stopper.
But wait, is there someone we have been sleeping on?
While Gobert is the clear favorite on all oddsboards, there’s another player who stands out at one sportsbook.
Here are updated odds for the 2022 NBA Defensive Player Of The Year from a variety of legal sportsbooks.
|Rudy Gobert -130||Rudy Gobert -160||Rudy Gobert -155||Rudy Gobert -125||Rudy Gobert -150||Rudy Gobert -140|
|Bam Adebayo +600||Giannis Antetokounmpo +425||Giannis Antetokounmpo +440||Giannis Antetokounmpo +300||Giannis Antetokounmpo +450||Giannis Antetokounmpo +500|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo +700||Jaren Jackson Jr. +700||Jaren Jackson Jr. +950||Draymond Green +600||Jaren Jackson Jr. +900||Jaren Jackson Jr. +900|
|Draymond Green +1500||Draymond Green +1000||Draymond Green +1200||Jaren Jackson Jr. +800||Bam Adebayo +1000||Draymond Green +1100|
|Robert Williams +1500||Mikal Bridges +1600||Robert Williams +1300||Mikal Bridges +1400||Draymond Green +1200||Robert Williams +1400|
|Joel Embiid +2000||Bam Adebayo +1600||Joel Embiid +1600||Mikal Bridges +1800|
|Robert Williams +2000||Mikal Bridges +1800||Robert Williams +2000||Joel Embiid +2500|
|Bam Adebayo +3000||Joel Embiid +2400||Bam Adebayo +2000||Bam Adebayo +2500|
Did ya’ see that? Bam Adebayo has the second-shortest Defensive Player of the Year odds on PointsBet, but he’s well down the betting board at the other shops.
The Adebayo market may be adjusting, though. On Monday, the Heat big man could have been had at +8000 on FanDuel to win Defensive Player of the Year. On Tuesday, the FanDuel oddsmakers changed their tune, moving him down to +4900, then +4200, and then finally +1600.
BetRivers moved Adebayo from +8000 to +2000 in one fell swoop.
DraftKings has steadily tightened Adebayo’s price. On Monday, Adebayo was +5000 to win the award, before a move to +4000 and then to +3000 as of Wednesday morning. Still, DraftKings gives him just the eighth best shot at the the award.
Below, I make the case for why the longer odds are a massive miscalculation and why some of the “market leaders” could pay big for the mistake.
Case For Bam Adebayo As Defensive Player Of The Year
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Bam, is on a f—— bender right now,” Ringer Founder Bill Simmons said in a recent podcast.
Let’s dive into the statistics with some help from PointsBet Head of Trading Jay Croucher….
There are those who say, “Hey, Bam missed 25 games this year!”, and they are correct. He has missed 25 games. However, I see your situation and I raise you a situation:
Everyone wrote Bam off because he missed 25 games, not realising that Rudy won in a landslide in 2018 missing 26 games, Kawhi won missing 18 games. Games played isn’t determinative for DPOY – just have to play clear majority of the season. And on merit, Bam’s case > Rudy’s case.
— Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) March 1, 2022
Voters for NBA awards tend to get bored. That’s why LeBron James did not win MVP every year in Cleveland Part 1 and in Miami, and it may not bode well for Gobert’s fourth DPOY honor.
It is not like Gobert’s and Adebayo’s games played have been outlandishly lopsided, either. Ahead of tonight’s action, Gobert has played 46 games this year compared to Adebayo’s 37, and in fact, has missed more game recently than Adebayo.
And Bam has better stats in several defensive categories this season.
100%. Bam is on a much better team defense than Gobert (6th v 12th), has a better on-court defensive rating (102.4 v 104.7) and better on/off defensive numbers (+6.5 v +5.0). Don't see the case for Gobert over him.
— Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) March 1, 2022
Gobert does have the edge in blocks, 2.3 vs 0.9 per game, but Adebayo makes up for that with his stealing prowess (1.5 vs. 0.7), via NBA.com.
Are Sportsbooks Sleeping At The Wheel?
Defensive Rating is a stat showing how many points a player allows per 100 possessions. Is it a more precise metric than plus/minus because it takes into account only points scored as s result of the player’s defensive mistakes, not all points scored while a player is on the floor.
As PointsBet’s Croucher alludes to in the tweet above, Adebayo has the 20th best player defensive rating (102.4) among all players (including players without enough minutes to qualify for the award). Gobert comes in at 53rd with a 104.7.
Now that we know where each player stands on the season statistically, below I break down how they have fared in recent games. Hint: Adebayo has the momentum.
*Gobert has played in only 11 games since January 1st.
Bam Adebayo Defensive Stats Since February 1 (11 Games)
1.54 blocks, 1.73 Steals, 97.8 Defensive Rating (3rd best in the NBA)
Rudy Gobert Defensive Stats Since January 1 (11 Games)
2.1 Blocks, 0.54 Steals, 116.0 Defensive Rating (239th Best in the NBA)
End Of Season Will Provide Clarity
Bam Adebayo should not have been +8000 to win Defensive Player of the Year, that much we know. For bettors lucky enough to get in on that action, their closing-line value is on pace to be absolutely top notch.
What we need to see now is how these players close out the season and how many games they play.
But DPOY handicapping should be heavily focused on Adebayo as the NBA season hits the stretch run. He is playing the best basketball of his career at the right time.