NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds: Wemby is Huge Favorite

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Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs defends against Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter at Target Center on February 27, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Shane Jackson @Sjacksonmgm Jul 12, 2024, 2:36 PM
  • Get expert betting predictions for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year race.
  • Spurs center Victor Wembanyama is a -250 favorite to win his first DPOY award.

The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award selection process is straightforward. Voters tend to pick the best defensive player on one of the best defensive teams in the league.

That formula led to Rudy Gobert claiming his fourth DPOY award in 2023-24, as he led a Minnesota Timberwolves team that ranked first in defensive rating and first in points allowed per 100 possessions.

Remarkably, 11 of the previous 12 winners have played on a team that ranked first or second in defensive rating. All 12 of those DPOY winners were on a team that ranked first or second in points allowed per 100 possessions, a testament to the consistency of this formula.

But oddsmakers must expect that to change this season, with San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama starting as an overwhelming NBA betting favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2024-25. 

Odds to Win 2024 NBA Defensive Player of the Year

PlayerTeamOdds
Victor WembanyamaSpurs-250
Rudy GobertTimberwolves+900
Bam AdebayoHeat+1600
Giannis AntetokounmpoBucks+1600
Jaren Jackson Jr.Grizzlies+1800
Anthony DavisLakers+1800
Evan MobleyCavaliers+2000
Chet HolmgrenThunder+2200
OG AnunobyKnicks+2500
Joel Embiid76ers+2500

NBA Defensive Player of the Year favorite

Victor Wembanyama (-250)

Wembanyama was initially installed as a -225 favorite, but his basketball odds have pushed to -250. At his current price tag, Wemby has a 71.43% implied probability of winning this award.

Wembanyama is the biggest preseason favorite for any NBA award since at least 2003.

The 7-foot-4 big man will win plenty of DPOY awards in his career, perhaps starting with one this season. He averaged 3.6 blocks, 1.2 steals, and 8.4 defensive rebounds per game as a rookie last year.

But there is no reason to bet this -250 price in the offseason, especially when a player must play 65 games to win this award.

In addition, it’s difficult to see the Spurs jumping to a top-two defensive team in the league. Last year, they ranked 22nd in defensive rating and 21st in points allowed per 100 possessions.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year sleeper

Chet Holmgren (+2200)

Oklahoma City Thunder big man Chet Holmgren was Wemby’s biggest challenger in last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year odds race, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that proves to be the case for this year’s DPOY competition.

During his debut campaign, Holmgren ranked fifth in the league with an average of 2.3 blocks per game. The Thunder ranked fourth in defensive rating last year while claiming the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference.

After adding Alex Caruso and Isaiah Hartenstein in the offseason, Oklahoma City could challenge Minnesota for the best defensive team in the league. Holmgren will be the biggest beneficiary, as Hartenstein’s presence could help him pick up more weak-side blocks.

NBA Rookie of the Year prediction

Rudy Gobert (+900)

It seems silly not to take advantage of a +900 value for the reigning DPOY, especially when he has won this award four times.

Here are the preseason NBA odds price tags for Gobert’s previous DPOY campaigns:

  • 2023-24: +2000
  • 2020-21: +300
  • 2018-19: +160
  • 2017-18: +325

Gobert averaged 2.1 blocks per game last year for the Wolves. He has averaged over two blocks per contest in all but two seasons of his 11-year career.

If voters continue to follow their usual DPOY formula, Gobert should be the clear favorite in this market.

2023-24 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Voting

RankNameTeamVote Pts1st Place
1Rudy GobertMIN43372
2Victor WembanyamaSAS24519
3Bam AdebayoMIA913
4Anthony DavisLAL834
5Herbert JonesNOP140
6Jrue HolidayBOS71
7Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderOKC60
8Derrick WhiteBOS50
9Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL30
T10Jarrett AllenCLE10
T10Alex CarusoCHI10
T10Domantas SabonisSAC10
T10Jalen SuggsORL10

List of Defensive Player of the Year Winners

YearNameTeam
2023-24Rudy GobertMIN
2022-23Jaren Jackson Jr.MEM
2021-22Marcus SmartBOS
2020-21Rudy GobertUTA
2019-20Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL
2018-19Rudy GobertUTA
2017-18Rudy GobertUTA
2016-17Draymond GreenGSW
2015-16Kawhi LeonardSAS
2014-15Kawhi LeonardSAS
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About the Author

Shane Jackson

Read More @Sjacksonmgm

Shane Jackson is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM, covering MLB and NBA. After graduating from the University of Kansas, his previous stops include MLB.com, Lawrence Journal-World, Manhattan Mercury, Bet Chicago Sports, WynnBET, and Sportsbook Review.

Shane Jackson is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM, covering MLB and NBA. After graduating from the University of Kansas, his previous stops include MLB.com, Lawrence Journal-World, Manhattan Mercury, Bet Chicago Sports, WynnBET, and Sportsbook Review.