NFL Defensive Player of the Year 2023 Odds & Predictions

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2024

Since 2012, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, given out by the Associated Press, has been dominated by multi-time winners: J.J. Watt (2012, 2014, and 2015), Aaron Donald (2017, 2018, and 2020).

Over that same span (11 years), the award has gone to pass-rushers nine times with traditional linebackers and cornerbacks claiming the award once each. A safety hasn’t won the award since 2010 (Troy Polamalu).

With that in mind, these best bets will focus on pass-rushers who can collapse the pocket and get after the quarterback. The 2022 DPOY, Nick Bosa, finished with 51 combined tackles, 18.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

To help guide you in our NFL predictions series, here are our 2023-24 Defensive Player of the Year predictions and betting tips.

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Odds

All NFL odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, January 2, at 11:00 a.m. ET.

  • Myles Garrett, EDGE, Cleveland Browns (-240)
  • Micah Parsons, EDGE, Dallas Cowboys (+250)
  • T.J. Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers (+380)
  • Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Las Vegas Raiders (+5000)
  • DaRon Bland, CB, Dallas Cowboys (N/A)

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Best Bet

Myles Garrett, EDGE, Cleveland Browns (-240)

WAGER: 1 Unit

My darkhorse candidate to win the award is Garrett. He’s not exactly a sleeper given his short odds to win the award, but the Browns do have what looks to be one of the best defenses.

As the focal point and primary disruptor, Garrett deserves a ton of praise given Cleveland’s defensive ascension in 2023. He finished the season with 14 sacks and four forced fumbles.

Best NFL Defensive Player of the Year Sleeper Bets

Micah Parsons, EDGE, Dallas Cowboys (+250)

WAGER: 0.25 Units

Parsons finished with a career-high 14 sacks, making his 2023 season his third straight with at least 13 sacks. However, he only had 64 combined tackles and one forced fumble, both career-lows.

Two of our NFL experts listed Parsons as their DPOY choice in our 2023-2024 NFL Season Predictions.

T.J. Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers (+380)

WAGER: 0.1 Unit

What may hurt his chances the most is the Steelers aren’t having a particularly good year on either side of the ball. The award, for better or worse, doesn’t always go to the best individual performer, but the player who spearheads one of the league’s top defenses in conjunction with a statistically significant season.

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award History

List of Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners

1971Alan PageDTMinnesota Vikings
1972Joe GreeneDTPittsburgh Steelers
1973Dick AndersonSMiami Dolphins
1974Joe GreeneDTPittsburgh Steelers
1975Mel BlountCBPittsburgh Steelers
1976Jack LambertLBPittsburgh Steelers
1977Harvey MartinDEDallas Cowboys
1978Randy GradisharLBDenver Broncos
1979Lee Roy SelmonDETampa Bay Buccaneers
1980Lester HayesCBOakland Raiders
1981Lawrence TaylorLBNew York Giants
1982Lawrence TaylorLBNew York Giants
1983Doug BettersDEMiami Dolphins
1984Kenny EasleySSeattle Seahawks
1985Mike SingletaryLBChicago Bears
1986Lawrence TaylorLBNew York Giants
1987Reggie WhiteDEPhiladelphia Eagles
1988Mike SingletaryLBChicago Bears
1989Keith MillardDTMinnesota Vikings
1990Bruce SmithDEBuffalo Bills
1991Pat SwillingLBNew Orleans Saints
1992Cortez KennedyDTSeattle Seahawks
1993Rod WoodsonCBPittsburgh Steelers
1994Deion SandersCBSan Francisco 49ers
1995Bryce PaupLBBuffalo Bills
1996Bruce SmithDEBuffalo Bills
1997Dana StubblefieldDTSan Francisco 49ers
1998Reggie WhiteDEGreen Bay Packers
1999Warren SappDTTampa Bay Buccaneers
2000Ray LewisLBBaltimore Ravens
2001Michael StrahanDENew York Giants
2002Derrick BrooksLBTampa Bay Buccaneers
2003Ray LewisLBBaltimore Ravens
2004Ed ReedSBaltimore Ravens
2005Brian UrlacherLBChicago Bears
2006Jason TaylorDEMiami Dolphins
2007Bob SandersSIndianapolis Colts
2008James HarrisonLBPittsburgh Steelers
2009Charles WoodsonCBGreen Bay Packers
2010Troy PolamaluSPittsburgh Steelers
2011Terrell SuggsLBBaltimore Ravens
2012J. J. WattDEHouston Texans
2013Luke KuechlyLBCarolina Panthers
2014J. J. WattDEHouston Texans
2015J. J. WattDEHouston Texans
2016Khalil MackDEOakland Raiders
2017Aaron DonaldDTLos Angeles Rams
2018Aaron DonaldDTLos Angeles Rams
2019Stephon GilmoreCBNew England Patriots
2020Aaron DonaldDTLos Angeles Rams
2021T. J. WattLBPittsburgh Steelers
2022Nick BosaDESan Francisco 49ers

Winners by position

  • Linebacker (17)
  • Defensive end (14)
  • Defensive tackle (10)
  • Cornerback (6)
  • Safety (5)

Who votes for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year?

There are multiple organizations that give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. However, the Associated Press’s award for the most outstanding defensive player is the award given out at the official NFL Honors ceremony. A panel of 50 sportswriters, chosen by the AP, who often cover the NFL and are known for their expertise. Other organizations that currently give out the award include the Pro Football Writers of America, The Sporting News, and Pro Football Focus.

Who has won multiple NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards?

Eight players have won NFL DPOY more than once. Lawrence Taylor (1981, 1982, 1986), J.J. Watt (2012, 2014, 2015), and Aaron Donald (2017, 2018, 2020) have won the award three times. Joe Greene (1972, 1974), Mike Singletary (1985, 1988), Bruce Smith (1990, 1996), Reggie White (1987, 1998), and Ray Lewis (2000, 2003) have each won twice.


Matt De Lima

Matt is a sports content editor at The Game Day with more than 10 years experience in the fantasy and betting spaces. He is a two-time Fantasy Sports Writing Association award finalist with previous experience working for Sports Illustrated, Full Time Fantasy, FFToolbox, 4for4, and RotoExperts. Born and raised in California, Matt now calls southern Maryland home. He is a Virginia Tech alumnus and a life-long 49ers, Lakers, and Dodgers fan.

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