2022 NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Odds & Predictions: Favorites, Contenders, Longshots

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Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett has the shortest odds to claim 2022 Defensive Player of the Year (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

The battle for the 2022 NFL season’s Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award is headed by three pass rushers. The Browns’ Myles Garrett, Steelers’ T.J. Watt, and Rams’ Aaron Donald – all priced in the +600 to +800 range by oddsmakers – sit atop early odds lists and are the only players tagged shorter than 10-1.

As we delve deeper into handicapping the league’s most outstanding, offense-frightening defensemen, you’ll notice most oddsboards are top-heavy with quarterback seekers. You won’t find a defensive back until Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson, who is priced between +5000 and +8000.

This should be no surprise to experienced DPOY bettors, considering that linebackers, defensive ends, and defensive tackles have won the award 17, 13, and 10 times, respectively, whereas cornerbacks (six) and safeties (five) have been honored far less often.

No matter which direction you decide to go, just know that DPOY bets, like most other futures bets, have a low implied probability of success. Therefore, these wagers offer high payouts for small investments. Value, of course, is always a consideration.

Odds on 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the YearDraftKingsFanDuelBetMGM, Use Code TODAYPointsBet: Use code BONUSDAY
DE Myles Garrett+700+600+600+650
LB T.J. Watt+700+700+650+700
DT Aaron Donald+700+800+800+650
LB Micah Parsons+1000+1000+900+1100
DE Nick Bosa+1500+1200+1200+1600
DE Joey Bosa+2000+2000+2000+2800
DE Chase Young+2000+2500+2500+2500
LB Khalil Mack+2500+2500+2500+3300
LB Von Miller+2500+3500+4000+3300
DE Danielle Hunter+2800+3500+4000+3300
LB Bradley Chubb+3000+4000+4000NL
DE Maxx Crosby+2800+3000+3000+5000
DE Trey Hendrickson+4000+4000+4000+5000
LB Fred Warner+3500+5000+5000+5000
LB Bobby Wagner+5000+6000+6600+6600
CB J.C. Jackson+6500+5000+5000+8000
DE Brian Burns+5000+5000+5000+6000
CB Jalen Ramsey+5000+4000+4000+5000
LB Darius Leonard+3500+5000+3000+10000
DE Randy Gregory+6000+5000+5000+5000

DPOY Favorites

Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns (+700, DraftKings)

The 2017 No. 1 overall draft pick inflicts more fear into quarterbacks and offensive linemen by the year. He saw his 12 sacks in 2020 and raised himself to 16 in 2021.

Garrett’s ability to stay healthy for an entire season has been a problem, but when he plays, his presence is felt by opposing offenses. He has the second-highest career sacks-per-game average – behind just T.J. Watt – with 58.5 sacks in 68 games (0.86).

Despite a strong presence on the field and earning recent back-to-back First-Team All-Pro selections, the Browns’ elite edge rusher hasn’t received a single DPOY vote during his five-year career. That can be primarily attributed to Cleveland’s lack of wins since Garrett was drafted in 2017. Based on that logic, Garrett landing the recognition he deserves may depend on the status of Deshaun Watson, Cleveland’s new QB who could be facing a lengthy suspension.

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T.J. Watt, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers (+700, multiple sportsbooks)

After finishing third and second in DPOY voting in 2020 and 2021, respectively, T.J. Watt was able to woo the voters enough to capture last season’s DPOY honor. He equaled Hall of Famer Michael Strahan’s single-season sacks record with 22.5, while also leading the league in quarterback hits (39) and tackles for loss (21).

The Pittsburgh pass rusher has solidified himself as a perennial defensive superstar and has a great chance to become the fourth player in the award’s history to win back-to-back DPOYs (Aaron Donald in 2017-18, Watt’s brother J.J. in 2014-15, Lawrence Taylor in 1981-82)

Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams (+800, FanDuel & BetMGM)

Backing Aaron Donald to win the award always seems to be a great value. He’s finished within the top five of voting in each of the last seven seasons – placing first three times – so you can always count on him to gather votes.

Donald was contemplating retirement after the Rams won Super Bowl 56 if he hadn’t gotten a new deal, but after inking the largest-ever non-quarterback contract, he’s ready and pumped to run it back.

Still just 31 years old and in his prime, Donald has put himself in the discussion of all-time great defensive players. But if he wants to become the league’s only four-time DPOY winner – surpassing J.J. Watt and Lawrence Taylor – and be seen as the defensive GOAT in many people’s eyes, then he’ll need another award-winning campaign.

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Second-Tier Contender

Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys (+1100, PointsBet)

It didn’t take long for 22-year-old rookie Micah Parsons to assert his dominance over the NFL’s grown men.

The Cowboys’ do-it-all linebacker was used all over the field, spying and preying on quarterbacks (league-leading 21.1% pressure rate) and chasing receivers in coverage (71.5% passer rating allowed). He totaled 84 combined tackles, 20 tackles for loss (second-most in the NFL), 13 sacks (sixth-most), and 30 quarterback hits (tied for fourth-most). 

If it weren’t for T.J. Watt tying the single-season sacks record, Parsons may have joined Lawrence Taylor as the only players to win DPOY in their rookie season.

The unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year enters the 2022 season with one year under his belt. This rare athlete could elevate his game to heights not commonly seen for a player at his age.

High-Value Longshots

Danielle Hunter, DE, Minnesota Vikings (+4000, BetMGM)

Any bettors looking for a high-risk, very-high reward pick should consider going with Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter. He is a forgotten player who was one of the best, most disruptive defensive linemen not too long ago.

This quarterback “Hunter” has been a nightmare for signal-callers throughout his six-year career, amassing double-digit sacks in three of the last five seasons. His breakout year was 2019, receiving the fifth most DPOY votes after tallying 70 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles.

The Vikings defensive end isn’t getting much love from oddsmakers because he was out of sight and out of mind for the better part of the past two seasons. He missed the entire 2020 season with a herniated disc and played just seven games in 2021 due to a torn pectoral muscle. A silver lining can be that those two injuries can’t aggravate each other.

If the two-time Pro Bowler can survive a full season while racking up another 14.5 sacks – which he has done twice – then he’ll warrant major DPOY consideration. Hunter believers should tackle his favorable odds before they improve during the season.

Darius Leonard, LB, Indianapolis Colts (+10000, PointsBet)

Ball carriers don’t feel safe with tackling machine Darius Leonard by their sides. The South Carolina native has accumulated 121-plus tackles in all of his four seasons, including a league-leading 163 in his rookie campaign.

Indy’s quarterback of the defense has been on an All-Pro team – including three First Teams – in all four seasons of his NFL career. It’s only a matter of time before he garners DPOY consideration.

Last year, the First-Team All-Pro showcased his versatility with 122 tackles, a league-leading eight forced fumbles, eight defended passes, and four interceptions. However, it still wasn’t enough to sway voters, partly because he completely shied away from the sacks department.

Leonard is more than capable of making tackles, causing takeaways, and sacking quarterbacks. He just needs to do all of that in the same season in order to grab voters’ attention.

Also read: NFL MVP Betting Odds | NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds | NFL Coach of the Year Odds

About the Author
Cyrus Eshaghoff

Cyrus Eshaghoff

Sports Betting Writer
Cyrus Eshaghoff is a New York-based sports writer. Whether it's heated debates or uncovering statistical insights, he loves discussing sports. Check out his Twitter account (@CyrusEshaghoff).

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