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Rudy Gobert Given +145 Odds to Repeat as Defensive Player of the Year; Is He the Best Bet?

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in NBA Basketball

Oct 15, 2019 · 3:07 PM PDT

Rudy Gobert going in for a layup.
Rudy Gobert has won the Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. By Paul Holcomb (Wikimedia) [CC License]
  • Rudy Gobert has won the Defensive Player of the Year award in back-to-back years.
  • Gobert averaged 2.3 blocks per game along with 12.9 rebounds last season.
  • Centers have won this award in 23 of the last 28 years.

Rudy Gobert has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in two straight seasons and the oddsmakers expect him to win again.

He’s a sizeable favorite for this prop while Giannis Antetokounmpo is next in line. Who is the best bet of the bunch to eventually win this award?

2019 NBA Defensive Player Of The Year Award Odds

Player Odds
Rudy Gobert +145
Giannis Antetokounmpo +375
Paul George +599
Anthony Davis +800
Joel Embiid +850
Kawhi Leonard +1600
Draymond Green +1800
Myles Turner +2000
Jrue Holiday +2500
Mitchell Robinson +2500
Ben Simmons +4000
Brook Lopez +5000
Zion Williamson +7000
Al Horford +7000
Clint Capela +7000

*Odds taken 10/15/19

Although the NBA game has changed drastically over the last decade, it’s worth noting that centers traditionally take home this award. Since the 1991-92 season, a center has won the Defensive Player of the Year award 23 times. All other positions have won the award five times.

Gobert Has Been a Beast on Defense

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been an absolute monster on defense over the last couple of seasons, making him a fairly easy shoe-in to win the award.

Last season, Gobert averaged 2.3 blocks per game along with 12.9 rebounds and 0.8 steals. He finished with a PER of 24.60.

What you have to like about Gobert is that he’s on a team that preaches defense and he’s the centerpiece.

Many teams are just run-and-gun, offense-oriented, but the Jazz are a team that prides itself on defense. Three Jazz starters finished in the Top 7 in Defensive Win Shares.

Gobert is pretty much money in the bank to average about 11 rebounds and at least 2.3 blocks per game. The question is who can really rival those types of numbers?

Pass on Anthony Davis

Although Davis might look like a decent value play on paper, I don’t like his situation.

To start, he’s playing on a team that was absolutely terrible defensively last season. They’ve completely re-modeled their roster and their coaching staff, so it’s unclear how they’ll be this year.

The other concern is that Davis will play alongside Dwight Howard quite a bit this season. Howard has fallen off in recent seasons, but much of that appears to be because of health. In the latest preseason game, Howard had 12 points, 13 rebounds, four steals and a block. I don’t expect him to keep that up but that will take a bite out of Davis’ numbers.

Also, remember that JaVale McGee is in the mix. He’ll take a few blocks and rebounds away from Davis, which will hurt his cause for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Value With Myles Turner?

There are a lot of good names on the board like Giannis, Draymond Green and Paul George, but I’m passing on all. I think the Bucks take a small step back this season, Green has a totally different environment with Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson out, and George is injured to start the season.

Turner could be a good play as he’s posted some impressive numbers over the last couple of seasons. Turner led the league in blocks last season with 2.7 and also had 0.8 steals per game. His rebounds were low at 7.2 but if that number inches up to double-digits, he’ll be among the finalists.

Gobert is the safe bet here but I personally like taking my chances with Turner at +2000. Entering his fifth year in the league, he should have the numbers to be in the running for this award.

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