Giannis Moved Up the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds Board
By: James Tillman
Happy Monday NBA fans and welcome back to our weekly discussion about the players in the running for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Over the past several months, the names that have dominated the conversation include Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers. Did this trend continue or was there a shakeup of some kind? Here’s a look at the latest FanDuel odds of the players with the best chances to win the DPOY award.
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Third-Best NBA DPOY Odds: Rudy Gobert (+420) Last Week’s Defensive Player of the Year odds (+300)
Rudy Gobert has won the Defensive Player of the Year award in each of the last two seasons. He was also the frontrunner before eventually being supplanted by Anthony Davis. Now, for the first time this season, Gobert has plummeted to the No. 3 spot. Despite his recent slide in the race, Gobert had a pretty decent week on the hardwood.
To kick things off, Gobert contributed 20 points and nine rebounds in the team’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He followed that up with a double-double against the New York Knicks, scoring 18 points and 14 rebounds. After a rather quiet nine points and seven rebounds against the Boston Celtics, Gobert finished with the week with a 10-point, 12-rebound effort against the Detroit Pistons. At the defensive end of the floor, Gobert averaged three blocks and he totaled five steals during his recent four-game stretch.
Even more important, he played a key role in the Jazz posting a 4-0 mark. While his chances of winning the award are slim and none, Gobert continues to show signs that he can be a defensive presence in the paint.
Second-Best NBA DPOY Odds: Giannis Antetokounmpo (+210). Last Week’s Defensive Player of the Year Odds
The NBA’s reigning MVP had been at the No. 3 spot over the past several months, but finally made his way to No. 2. Antetokounmpo played in three contests over the past week and he continues to show why he’s one of the most versatile players in the league. Against the Miami Heat, the Greek Freak struggled somewhat, scoring 13 points to go along with 15 rebounds. He shot just 6-for-18 from the floor. In a 119-100 win over the Indiana Pacers, he scored 29 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out six assists.
In a showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers – the second-best team in the NBA, Giannis finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Unfortunately, the Lakers went on to win the game 113-103. From a defensive standpoint, Antetokounmpo wasn’t overly great as he averaged one steal per contest and totaled just one block in those three contests.
Best DPOY Odds: Anthony Davis (-175) Last Week’s Defensive Player of the Year Odds (-175)
Similar to how Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse continues to sit atop the leaderboard in the COTY race, Davis continues to hold down the top spot in this race. Over the past week, Davis was productive at both ends of the court. He kicked off his week with a 37-point, 13-rebound effort in a 120-107 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then facing off against the best team in the league – the Milwaukee Bucks – Davis tallied 30 points and nine rebounds.
And what many expect to be a Western Conference Finals preview, Davis also had a solid outing against the LA Clippers. In that contest, he finished with 30 points (on 11-for-19 shooting) along with eight rebounds and two assists. From a defensive standpoint, Davis totaled five blocks and six steals during that stretch. Barring a major collapse down the stretch, Davis should win this race when it’s all said and done.