Who's Best Bet To Win NFL Defensive Player Of The Year?

Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With four weeks officially in the books and Week 5 kicking off on Thursday night with an excellent matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, the NFL Player Futures prop betting landscape is officially starting to take shape.

BetOnline recently updated their “NFL Defensive Player of the Year” odds, and the top 10 shakes out as follows:

  • Myles Garrett (+225)
  • Trevon Diggs (+450)
  • Aaron Donald (+550)
  • T.J. Watt (+1000)
  • Joey Bosa (+1400)
  • Nick Bosa (+1600)
  • Chandler Jones (+1600)
  • Jalen Ramsey (+2000)
  • Brian Burns (+2500)
  • Devin White (+2800)

Star power is represented in abundance all throughout these odds. It’s wonderful to see such a fine mixture of veterans (Chandler Jones and Jalen Ramsey) and ascending players (Brian Burns and Devin White) battling for the league’s most prestigious defensive award. These three players especially caught our eye through the month of September.


No defensive player is currently performing at a higher level than Garrett is, so it’s easy to understand why the oddsmakers have labeled him as the favorite thus far. Garrett ranks first in the league in sacks (6), quarterback hits (14), tackles for loss (7), and is tied for second in quarterback pressures (24). If Garrett keeps performing at this trajectory, he’s on pace to top 25 sacks this season, which would best the single-season record previously set by Michael Strahan (22.5 sacks) in 2001.

That’s quite the expectation to place on a player’s shoulders, but if any player could achieve such a feat, it’s Garrett. The most feared pass rusher in the league, Garrett’s elite combination of speed and power is truly generational. The scary part is we don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.


A three-time winner of this award (2017, 2018, 2020), it would be foolish to not acknowledge the very likelihood that Donald becomes a four-time winner in 2021. The Los Angeles Rams have the look of a legitimate Super Bowl contender and Donald's dominant defensive play has a lot to do with their current success.

The most feared interior defensive lineman in the league, Donald may only have two sacks through the first four games, but he's commanding as much attention from opposing offensive lines as ever. Tune into any Rams game and you'll see Donald fight through a double team, and sometimes a triple team en route to being his usual disruptive self. When Donald isn't making a play in the backfield, he's doing the dirty work that allows his teammates to make the desired impact. Donald has taken this award home as many times as any previous winner in NFL history, and he's as good as ever in 2021.


Diggs may currently place second in the eyes of the oddsmakers, but we feel comfortable labeling him a "dark horse" seeing as this award has only been won by a cornerback twice in the last 25 years (Charles Woodson in 2009 and Stephen Gilmore in 2019). The odds may be stacked against him in some regards, but Diggs is performing at an exceptionally high level. 

The main reason why Dallas has fielded an improved defense under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Diggs has recorded an astounding five interceptions in four games. Looking at the advanced statistics, Diggs has scored a ball-hawk rate of 32% and a target EPA of -24.8, which ranks first among all qualifying cornerbacks, via Next Gen Stats. We expect Diggs to continue to make a strong case for himself.

Written By:

Justin Melo

Staff Writer

Justin Melo is an NFL draft analyst that cut his teeth at The Draft Breakdown and USA Today's Draft Wire. He specializes in interviewing prospects, but also produces big boards, mock drafts, and scouting reports. He also covers the Tennessee Titans nationally for Broadway Sports Media and SB Nation.