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NFL Defensive Player of the Year Predictions & Odds 2024: Preseason Rankings

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Fact-checked by: James Whitelock
Updated May 21, 2024
8 min read
  • Myles Garrett won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2023.

  • Micah Parsons opened as the betting favorite for 2024 Defensive Player of the Year.

  • Three different players have taken home DPOTY honors three times.

Every year, the top defensive player in the NFL during the season is recognized with the Defensive Player of the Year Award. It doesn’t matter if they’re linemen in the trenches, linebackers covering the field, or defensive backs playing in the secondary, all defensive players are eligible and capable of winning the honor. Since defensive players almost never win MVP, this is the pre-eminent award for NFL defensive players. 

Myles Garrett won a competitive three-player race for Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2023. T.J. Watt was a close second after receiving 11 first-place votes compared to Garrett’s 23 first-place votes. Micah Parsons was third in the voting, receiving seven first-place votes. Maxx Crosby and DaRon Bland rounded out the top five.

For the 2024 NFL season, Micah Parsons opened as the betting favorite. However, past winners Nick Bosa, T.J. Watt, and Myles Garrett should all be considered serious contenders to win against in 2024. Likewise, players like Maxx Crosby, Aidan Hutchinson, and others warrant consideration as well.

During the 2024 season, we’ll keep track of the betting odds and the top contenders for DPOTY. Even though the season hasn’t started yet, there are betting odds available. We will spend the season tracking the NFL’s best defensive players to see who is trending in the right direction and who is the best option to win DPOTY from a betting perspective. 

Let’s take a look at where the top defensive players in the NFL stand right now with regard to their chances of winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2024.

AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click on the odds in the table below to head over to DraftKings and place your bets on NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Check out our list of top-rated NFL betting sites for more betting opportunities.

Michae ParsonsLinebackerDallas Cowboys+500
T.J. WattLinebackerPittsburgh Steelers+550
Nick BosaDefensive EndSan Francisco 49ers+700
Maxx CrosbyDefensive EndLas Vegas Raiders+700
Myles GarrettDefensive EndCleveland Browns+750
Aidan HutchinsonDefensive EndDetroit Lions+1000
Will Anderson Jr.Defensive EndHouston Texans+2000
Josh AllenDefensive EndJacksonville Jaguars+2500
Danielle HunterDefensive EndHouston Texans+2500
Chris JonesDefensive TackleKansas City Chiefs+3000
Nfl Defensive Player Of The Year Predictions

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Predictions

We’ve seen in past years that the competition for Defensive Player of the Year is intense with several worthy candidates. That’s why we wanted to take a closer look at the top candidates and where they currently stand.

Micah Parsons - Linebacker, Cowboys (+500 at DraftKings)

It’s no surprise that Parsons opens as the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year. He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2021 and has been a serious contender for DPOTY in all three of his seasons in the league. Parsons set a new career-high for sacks in 2023 with 14. Given how good he’s been, it’s hard to believe that he hasn't won the award yet. If he puts together another season in 2024 that replicates the past few years, voters may give him the award in recognition of how long he’s dominated the league.

Bet on Micah Parson (+500) at DraftKings CTA icon

T.J. Watt - Linebacker, Steelers (+550 at DraftKings)

Watt is another previous recipient of Defensive Player of the Year, although he still needs to win it twice more to match his brother. Earning his second DPOTY award in 2024 isn’t out of the question. After all, he led the NFL with 19 sacks last season and was the runner-up behind Myles Garrett for Defensive Player of the Year. While Watt is a little older than some of the other elite pass-rushers, he’s led the NFL in both sacks and QB hits three times in the last four years. Based on last season, Watt is still in his prime and should be considered a threat to win Defensive Player of the Year.

Bet on T.J. Watt (+500) at DraftKings CTA icon

Nick Bosa - Defensive Line, 49ers (+700 at DraftKings)

It’s no secret that 2023 just wasn’t Bosa’s year. He held out during training camp until signing the massive contract that he deserves. But that caused him to get off to a slow start. Bosa started to come on strong late in the season, finishing with 10.5 sacks and adding two more in the playoffs. However, that type of production isn’t going to get a player close to Defensive Player of the Year. That being said, it’s not hard to envision Bosa getting back to the level he reached in 2022 when he won DPOTY after leading the league with 18.5 sacks. He’s still just 26 and among the NFL’s elite pass-rushers.

Bet on Nick Bosa (+700) at DraftKings CTA icon

Maxx Crosby - Defensive End, Raiders (+700 at DraftKings) 

Crosby is an interesting dark horse for this award. He wasn’t a first-round pick like all of the other candidates we’ve mentioned. Crosby has had to do things the hard way, building up his reputation over several years after being a fourth-round pick in 2019. To some extent, that still works against him, as does the fact that he plays for the Raiders, who weren’t strong defensively last season. With 14.5 sacks in 2023, Crosby was among the league leaders. However, he might have to lead the NFL in sacks and get help from his teammates if he’s going to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2024.

Bet on Maxx Crosby (+700) at DraftKings CTA icon

Myles Garrett - Defensive End, Browns (+750 at DraftKings)

Since the start of the offseason, Garrett has seen his odds drop considerably. There is no clear reason as to why Garrett now has the fifth-shortest odds. The only logical explanation is that with so many great candidates, it’s hard to fathom somebody winning DPOTY for a second straight season. However, Garrett figures to be in the mix since he’s more than capable of amassing 15 to 20 sacks. However, standing out head and shoulders above Parsons, Watt, Bosa, and others for a second straight year will be a stiff challenge for Garrett despite the fact that he remains one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers.

Bet on Myles Garrett (+750) at DraftKings CTA icon

Aidan Hutchinson - Defensive End, Lions (+1000 at DraftKings)

Two years into his career, Hutchinson has shown some obvious progression. He went from 9.5 sacks as a rookie to 11.5 sacks this past season. Despite earning a Pro Bowl invitation last season, he’s still not quite on the same level as players like Parsons, Bosa, Watt, and Garrett. But the potential is certainly there. Plus, Hutchinson plays for an up-and-coming team in Detroit. Those factors make him someone to watch as a dark horse for DPOTY.

Bet on Aidan Hutchinson (+1000) at DraftKings CTA icon

Will Anderson Jr. - Defensive End, Texans (+2000 at DraftKings)

After being a Pro Bowler and Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, there are serious expectations for Anderson in 2024. At the start of the offseason, he was more or less off the radar for Defensive Player of the Year. But he’s becoming a popular sleeper pick and is now among the top 10 candidates for the award. His seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss last year didn’t come close to telling the whole story with regard to Anderson’s impact on the field. Obviously, his productivity will have to increase this season if he’s going to outshine Parsons, Watt, Garrett, Bosa, and others. But he’s surely become somebody to watch closely this year.

Bet on Will Anderson Jr. (+2000) at DraftKings CTA icon

Josh Allen - Defensive End, Jaguars (+2500 at DraftKings)

We’d be remiss not to mention Allen among the top Defensive Player of the Year candidates for 2024. He finally lived up to his potential with 17.5 sacks last season. Needless to say, Allen picked a good time to hit the free-agent market after that kind of season. Of course, the question is whether he can do that in back-to-back seasons. It’s also not a guarantee that he’ll be back in Jacksonville next season. Those are questions to consider before backing Allen as a lucrative longshot to win DPOTY in 2024.

Bet on Josh Allen (+2500) at DraftKings CTA icon

Danielle Hunter - Defensive End, Texans (+2500 at DraftKings)

Hunter was a hot commodity on the free-agent market this year, getting a two-year, $49 million deal from the Texans. Being a part of the Houston defense under DeMeco Ryans has helped him become a second-tier candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Keep in mind that Hunter was under the radar a little last year despite collecting 16.5 sacks. If he can build off of that career high for a Houston team that has a chance to be a serious contender in the AFC, Hunter could break into the top tier of DPOTY contenders.

Bet on Danielle Hunter (+2500) at DraftKings CTA icon

Who Will Win Defensive Player of the Year?

My Pick - Nick Bosa (+700) at DraftKings

It’s hard to go wrong with any of the fiveleading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. Garrett is the reigning champ, Watt’s propensity for leading the league in sacks makes him a threat, and it’d be a shame if Parsons didn’t win the award at some point. However, if all things being equal, Bosa might be the best pass-rusher and defensive force in the NFL right now. He should be in his prime right now and more than capable of replicating his 2022 season. If that happens, Bosa will be tough to beat for Defensive Player of the Year despite the competition, which is why he’s our preseason pick for the award.

Bet on Nick Bosa (+700) at DraftKings CTA icon

Who Won AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2023?

Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns won Defensive Player of the Year in 2023. He finished the season with 14 sacks and four forced fumbles while helping the Browns reach the playoffs despite starting four different quarterbacks during the season.

AP Defensive Player of the Year Award History

The AP Defensive Player of the Year History was introduced in 1971 and has been handed out at the end of every NFL season since. It is voted upon by a panel of 50 sportswriters and is presented by the Associated Press.

Previous AP Defensive Player of the Year Winners

2023Myles GarrettDECleveland Browns
2022Nick BosaDESan Francisco 49ers
2021T.J. WattOLBPittsburgh Steelers
2020Aaron DonaldDTLos Angeles Rams
2019Stephon GilmoreCBNew England Patriots
2018Aaron DonaldDTLos Angeles Rams
2017Aaron DonaldDTLos Angeles Rams
2016Khalil MackDEOakland Raiders
2015J.J. WattDEHouston Texans
2014J.J. WattDEHouston Texans
2013Luke KuechlyILBCarolina Panthers
2012J.J. WattDEHouston Texans
2011Terrell SuggsOLBBaltimore Ravens
2010Troy PolamaluSPittsburgh Steelers
2009Charles WoodsonCBGreen Bay Packers
2008James HarrisonOLBPittsburgh Steelers
2007Bob SandersSIndianapolis Colts
2006Jason TaylorDEMiami Dolphins
2005Brian UrlacherILBChicago Bears
2004Ed ReedSBaltimore Ravens
2003Ray LewisILBBaltimore Ravens
2002Derrick BrooksLBTampa Bay Buccaneers
2001Michael StrahanDENew York Giants
2000Ray LewisILBBaltimore Ravens
1999Warren SappDTTampa Bay Buccaneers
1998Reggie WhiteDEGreen Bay Packers
1997Dana StubblefieldDTSan Francisco 49ers
1996Bruce SmithDEBuffalo Bills
1995Bryce PaupLBBuffalo Bills
1994Deion SandersCBSan Francisco 49ers
1993Rod WoodsonCBPittsburgh Steelers
1992Cortez KennedyDTSeattle Seahawks
1991Pat SwillingLBNew Orleans Saints
1990Bruce SmithDEBuffalo Bills
1989Keith MillardDEMinnesota Vikings
1988Mike SingletaryLBChicago Bears
1987Reggie WhiteDEPhiladelphia Eagles
1986Lawrence TaylorOLBNew York Giants
1985Mike SingletaryLBChicago Bears
1984Kenny EasleySSeattle Seahawks
1983Doug BetterDEMiami Dolphins
1982Lawrence TaylorOLBNew York Giants
1981Lawrence TaylorOLBNew York Giants
1980Lester HayesCBOakland Raiders
1979Lee Roy SelmonDETampa Bay Buccaneers
1978Randy GardisharLBDenver Broncos
1977Harvey MartinDEDallas Cowboys
1976Jack LambertLBPittsburgh Steelers
1975Mel BlountCBPittsburgh Steelers
1974Joe GreeneDTPittsburgh Steelers
1973Joe GreeneDTPittsburgh Steelers
1972Joe GreeneDTPittsburgh Steelers
1971Alan PageDTMinnesota Vikings

How to Choose the Best Sportsbook for Betting on Defensive Player of the Year

Before you place a wager on NFL Defensive Player of the Year, make sure you’re placing that bet at the right sportsbook. Sportsbooks often have different odds, different features, and different promos. This requires a little bit of research before finding the best sportsbook that’s right for you.

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How to Read Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Barring a heavy favorite, every candidate for Defensive Player of the Year will be assigned plus (+) odds. This means that the profit will be greater than the wager if that player wins. For example, if you get $100 on a player with +450 odds, you will profit $450. Of course, if one player is the clear favorite late in the season, he may have negative (-) odds. For instance, if a player has -200 odds, you will need to wager $200 in order to make a $100 profit.

NFL Defensive Player of the Year FAQ

What is the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award?

Who Won AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2023?

What Position Does the AP Defensive Player of the Year Play?

Who Has Won the Most AP Defensive Player of the Year Awards?

Can an MVP also win AP Defensive Player of the Year?

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Bryan Zarpentine

204 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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