As the 2021 football season comes to an end, there are several awards that will be handed out. There are things like Rookie of the Year, MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year. One of the best things about these awards is that sports bettors have the ability to bet on these.
Listed on several different sportsbooks, there are odds given to players. Let’s take a look at the NFL stats for some of the top players who could earn the Defensive Player of the Year.
Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald is one of the most elite pass rushers in all of football. Having watched Donald play, there are not many offensive linemen who have the strength or the quickness to be able to block Donald one-on-one. Donald’s brute strength as well as his superior hand fighting skills make him a menace on opposing quarterbacks.
This season, Donald accumulated 84 total tackles, with 38 of them being solo tackles. This season Donald accumulated 12.5 sacks as well as 19 tackles for a loss. While Donald did not lead many categories he was close to the top in almost all of them. At the time of writing this, several sportsbooks have Donald in third in odds, somewhere right around +800.
Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys
Micah Parsons, Dallas first-round draft pick last season, has been just about everything Jerry Jones and the Cowboys organization could have hoped for. Parson, unlike the other two players in this article, plays the linebacker position. While Parsons spends a majority of his time chasing down running backs, Parsons was also in the backfield attacking quarterbacks as well.
Parsons was an immediate star in the first two weeks of the season when he broke Joey Bosa’s record for quarterback pressures in the first two weeks by obtaining 11. Parsons would go on to accumulate 47 of them over the span of his rookie season. Parsons was not done there, in week 9 he broke the record for the most sacks by a rookie for the Cowboys accumulating his ninth. Parsons would go on to finish the season with 13 total sacks.
T.J. Watt Pittsburgh Steelers
The overall favorite to win the award is the Pittsburgh Steeler defensive end, T.J. Watt. Not only is Watt one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, he also has elite chase down speed, making it very tough for the opponent’s running backs to get outside the ends. Watt had one of the most dominant seasons of any defensive player, leading the league in tackles for a loss as well as sacks.
While there was some controversy, as far as the overall record, Watt was able to tie the NFL record for most sacks in a season record of 22.5 sacks. Watt only had one game this season where he did not record at least one quarterback hit in the game. Amongst the other top 10 sack leaders, Watt is in third for total tackles on the season with 64. The Pittsburgh Steelers relied heavily on their defense to get them to the postseason and Watt was the best player on that side of the ball.
Making the Pick
For betting purposes, the biggest thing the bettor is going to want to do is to make sure the odds make sense. For several different sportsbooks, the odds for Watt to win have ranged from -250 all the way up to -500. While there is not a lot of money to be made by taking Watt, bettors feel confident that this one is a win when they take Watt.
If the bettor likes someone else to win the award, there is plenty of money to be made. There is a big case to be made for Parsons to win this award. With his odds floating around +300 – +400, bettors could possibly triple or quadruple their money. Hopefully, this will help in making a bettor’s decision on who will win the Defensive Player of the Year.