January Update on the 2021 NBA DPOY Odds – Which Contenders Are Looking Good for the Award?
Playing great defense in the NBA isn’t all about possessing size and strength. It’s about will and determination. It’s about effort and discipline, and it’s about being assertive. It’s about taking pride in every possession.
With the 2020-21 campaign now in full swing, certain guys are doing all of this at an extremely high level.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the NBA Defensive Player of the Year candidates. Starting with the DPOY odds.
Latest 2021 NBA DPOY Odds
The top three names on the betting sheet are the same ones who finished “1-2-3” in DPOY voting a season ago. Giannis is going for back-to-back while Rudy Gobert is trying to hoist the hardware for the third time in four years.
Anthony Davis has been great on the defensive end of the floor, but I’m reluctant to deem him the odds-on favorite. Especially when you compare his defensive stats in the early going with his numbers from the past three years.
|Anthony Davis – By the Numbers|
Still great numbers – but down a bit from his peak. As for who else could challenge the triumvirate at the top, I see three guys in particular.
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
His naysayers like to talk about his erratic jump shot. His fans praise his masterful court vision. However, not enough is said about Ben Simmons’ stalwart defense. The Sixers PG led the NBA in steals last year (finished 4th in the DPOY voting) and is once again up to his same tricks.
One of four players averaging at least 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks, the Aussie’s versatility and length makes him one of the most dynamic defenders in basketball. At 6’10” with great footwork good speed, Ben can legitimately guard all five positions.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Knotted with Simmons (+900) in the latest NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds, Joel Embiid is making a serious case to take home this award. Armed with at least one block and one steal in every game this season, Philly’s big man went on an absolute tear Tuesday night against Miami.
After a win in OT vs the Heat Tuesday, 76ers Joel Embiid became the 4th player with at least 45 points, 15 rebounds and 5 steals in a game. Embiid is the first to do it on the second-game of a back-to-back. Steals became official in 1973-74 h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/S4rD8RF1Mo— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 13, 2021
As long as Joel can stay healthy and the 76ers continue to win games, “The Process” will be in the thick of the conversation when the voting takes place.
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
If the season ended today, the league would be hard-pressed to hand this trophy to anyone other than Myles Turner. The 24-year-old center has always been hailed as a good defender, but the way he’s shielding the basket in 2020-21 has vaulted him into the “elite.”
Myles Turner is the first player with 8+ blocks in a game since…— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 7, 2021
Myles Turner earlier this season, who was the first to do it since…
Myles Turner in February of last season. pic.twitter.com/B9erucRtf4
Through January 12th, Myles Turner clocks in at 4.1 blocks/game. Nobody else in the NBA is averaging more than 2.6.
Domas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon are both playing like beasts, and Victor Oladipo’s health is yet to be a concern. Nevertheless, Turner’s dominant presence in the paint has been the catalyst behind the Pacers being just a half-game out first place in the East.
Who Will Win the NBA DPOY in 2021?
Two names to keep on your radar are Andre Drummond and Mitchell Robinson. Both centers are playing fantastic basketball and keeping their respective teams in the hunt for a top-eight seed in the Eastern Conference.
With that being said, Myles Turner is simply putting up too big of numbers on the defensive end not to take the cake.
Lurking at +1800 at one of the top NBA betting sites (BetUS), I suggest locking Myles in now. There’s a good chance this favorable price fades away soon.