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NBA predictions: Defensive Player of the Year picks for 2021-22 after All-Star break

We take a look at the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year, along with other contenders and possible value plays after the All-Star break.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 16, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Tyler Ross/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2021-22 NBA season resumes after the All-Star break, and now is a good time to look at the updated awards races for the year. Defensive Player of the Year has been dominated by one player in recent years and that seems to be the case again this season, although a return from injury could see a worthy challenger take the award. Here are the updated odds for the award heading into the last leg of the regular season, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

NBA DPOY Award 2021-22 odds after All-Star Break

The favorite: Rudy Gobert (+120)

Gobert missed some time ahead of the break with a calf injury but he’s back now and ready to lead the Jazz during the final stretch. Utah had cemented itself as a true contender before injuries to Donovan Mitchell and Gobert pushed the team back in the standings. He’s won in three of the last four seasons so there could be some voter fatigue but there’s also no one really standing in his way at the moment.

Other contenders

Draymond Green, Warriors: +320

If Green can get back to the court in time, he can put together enough of a sample size to contend with Gobert. Green has shown how special he can continue to be defensively and is integral to Golden State’s success on that end of the floor. If he was healthy, he’d have better odds and would be comparable to Gobert.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: +400

Antetokounmpo is in the MVP race as well and bettors can count on his consistency. Unfortunately, that means even his masterful performances don’t seem unexpected or impressive. The Greek Freak has a better shot at being named MVP, but could have an opening if Green remains out and the Jazz slip up in the West standings.

Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies: +700

Jackson Jr. has emerged as a two-way force for Memphis. He’s averaging 2.2 blocks per game this season, but the rebounding numbers are way down due to the presence of Steven Adams. If he had more boards, Jackson Jr. would be a strong value play for this award.

Best bet: Rudy Gobert (+120)

Jackson would’ve been the value play but there’s no reason to see anyone else catching Gobert. Green would have to come back and have a monster 10-15 game stretch to even challenge the Utah center, who should be able to lift his team during this last segment of the regular season.

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