2022 NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Award Odds, Picks, and Winners

Every year, the NFL recognizes the best defender in the league with the Defensive Player of the Year award, which is given to the defensive player that has the greatest impact on their team.

Not only do the NFL’s best defensive players put up big individual numbers, but they also have a knack for coming up with clutch plays in the biggest moments.

Star players can take over on defense and make game changing plays that impact the outcome of a team’s entire season.

A sack, interception, or fumble forced recovery by the defense can be the difference between winning and losing games, making the playoffs, or even winning the Super Bowl.

Below, we will give the top 10 contenders for Defensive Player of the Year and predict which defensive player will win the award.

The Best Online Sportsbooks for NFL DPOY Odds

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds

According to the top online sportsbooks, pass rushers are expected to dominate the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award this season.

In fact, each of the top 10 candidates for the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award are either linebackers or defensive linemen.

Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt is the favorite to repeat and win the award once again in 2022.

Standing in his way is Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Micah Parsons, who is tied with Watt at +800 odds at the top offshore betting sites. Following a strong rookie season, Parsons is expected to take a leap forward as one of the league’s best defensive players in Year 2.

Myles Garrett (+900), Aaron Donald (+1000), and Nick Bosa (+1200) round out the top five players with the best NFL DPOY Award odds.

For a complete breakdown of the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award odds, check out the list below.

NFL Player NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds Play
TJ Watt +800 BetOnline logo
Micah Parsons +800 BetOnline logo
Myles Garrett +900 BetOnline logo
Aaron Donald +1000 BetOnline logo
Nick Bosa +1200 BetOnline logo
Rashan Gary +1600 BetOnline logo
Maxx Crosby +2000 BetOnline logo
Joey Bosa +2500 BetOnline logo
Chase Young +2500 BetOnline logo
Darius Leonard +2500 BetOnline logo
Derwin James Jr. +3300 BetOnline logo
Khalil Mack +4000 BetOnline logo
Von Miller +4000 BetOnline logo
Danielle Hunter +4000 BetOnline logo
Roquan Smith +4000 BetOnline logo
Jalen Ramsey +4000 BetOnline logo
Chandler Jones +5000 BetOnline logo
Devin White +5000 BetOnline logo
Trey Hendrickson +5000 BetOnline logo
Jaire Alexander +5000 BetOnline logo
Brian Burns +5000 BetOnline logo
Minkah Fitzpatrick +5000 BetOnline logo
Jeffrey Simmons +5000 BetOnline logo
Randy Gregory +6000 BetOnline logo
Bradley Chubb +6600 BetOnline logo
Chris Jones +6600 BetOnline logo
Xavien Howard +6600 BetOnline logo
Shaquil Barrett +6600 BetOnline logo
Matthew Judon +6600 BetOnline logo
Tyrann Mathieu +7500 BetOnline logo
Trevon Diggs +7500 BetOnline logo
Josh Allen +7500 BetOnline logo
Cameron Hayward +7500 BetOnline logo
Bobby Wagner +7500 BetOnline logo
Za’Darius Smith +7500 BetOnline logo
JC Jackson +7500 BetOnline logo
Patrick Surtain II +7500 BetOnline logo
Fred Warner +8000 BetOnline logo
Robert Quinn +8000 BetOnline logo
DeForest Buckner +8000 BetOnline logo
JJ Watt +10000 BetOnline logo
Stephon Gilmore +10000 BetOnline logo
AJ Terrell +10000 BetOnline logo
Marcus Peters +10000 BetOnline logo
Jamal Adams +10000 BetOnline logo
Harold Landry +10000 BetOnline logo
Demarcus Lawrence +10000 BetOnline logo
Cameron Jordan +10000 BetOnline logo
Kevin Byard +10000 BetOnline logo
Jessie Bates III +10000 BetOnline logo
Denzel Ward +10000 BetOnline logo
Darius Slay Jr. +10000 BetOnline logo
Budda Baker +10000 BetOnline logo
Aidan Hutchinson +10000 BetOnline logo
Kayvon Thibodeaux +10000 BetOnline logo
Marlon Humphrey +15000 BetOnline logo
Marcus Davenport +15000 BetOnline logo
Tre’Davious White +15000 BetOnline logo
Jadeveon Clowney +15000 BetOnline logo

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Candidates to Avoid

Chase Young Washington Commanders

The best NFL betting sites still have a few injured players near the top of their Defensive Player of the Year award list.

Before we get into our list of top 10 contenders, we will eliminate some players who would be strong candidates for DPOY but are expected to miss time due to injury.

Check out our list of NFL DPOY candidates to avoid below.

1. Shaquille Leonard, Indianapolis Colts (+2500)

Shaquille Leonard would be a leading candidate to win but he’s expected to miss nearly 25 percent of the regular season.

BetOnline lists Leonard with +2500 odds, the 10th best to win the award, but he will likely miss at least the first four weeks of the season.

This would likely eliminate any chance of him winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

2. Chase Young, Washington Commanders (+2500)

Chase Young, who BetOnline gives the ninth best chance, will also miss the first four weeks of the season.

He has not recovered from a torn ACL suffered in Week 10 of last year.

With Young set to miss significant time, it’s hard to see him winning the DPOY award this season.

3. Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers (+3300)

Another candidate that should be ruled out is Chargers’ safety Derwin James.

James is an excellent defender but injuries have caused him to miss significant time in his career. He is also on a team that has Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, who will get most of the credit on defense.

While James will have a strong impact, he is simply not a top 10 contender to win the DPOY award.

Predicting The Top 10 NFL Defensive Player Of Year Candidates in 2022

Now, we will get into the top 10 candidates to win the DPOY from our NFL experts.

Check out our list of candidates for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award below

Rank NFL Player NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds
1 TJ Watt +800
2 Aaron Donald +1000
3 Micah Parsons +800
4 Nick Bosa +1200
5 Rashan Gary +1600
6 Myles Garrett +900
7 Joey Bosa +2500
8 Von Miller +4000
9 Khalil Mack +4000
10 Chandler Jones +5000

NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Picks and Predictions

Joey Bosa L.A. Chargers

Next, we’ll go over some of the best bets to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award from our NFL experts.

Unfortunately, due to injuries, Chase Young and Shaquille Leonard did not make the list.

Scroll down below to learn which defensive players are the best bets to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and learn more about each candidate.

10. Chandler Jones, Las Vegas Raiders (+5000 Odds)

In 2019, Chandler Jones had 19 sacks on the year.

His 2020 season was filled with injuries and he only played five games. However, Jones returned strong with 10.5 sacks in 15 games last season.

He will be on an improved Vegas team that will need their defense to step up in a tough AFC West. Starting alongside Maxx Crosby, Jones will have a big year and record double-digit sacks once again.

Jones’ biggest concern is staying healthy.

If he can, Jones will have a big 2022 season and could be a sneaky candidate to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.

9. Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Chargers (+4000 Odds)

Leaving the lowly Chicago Bears and now playing on a playoff-caliber team, Khalil Mack has a chance to return to form in Los Angeles.

Pass rushers have dominated the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and Mack is still one of the best in the league at getting to opposing quarterbacks.

His job of attacking the QB will be much easier with star pass rusher Joey Bosa on the other side of him.

Now, defenses will not be able to double-team Mack. This will get him a lot of one-on-ones and he could easily record double-digit sacks as part of a renewed Chargers’ defense.

While Mack will not be as good as he was in his prime, he will be an impact player on a good team, which could be enough for him to get some DPOY votes.

Look for Mack to have a big year in 2022.

8. Von Miller, Buffalo Bills (+4000 Odds)

After winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams, Von Miller joined the Buffalo Bills in the offseason.

Even before signing Miller, Buffalo had one of the NFL’s best defenses.

The Bills allowed the fewest points per game in 2021. Buffalo was tied for third in total takeaways last season.

Miller adds a much-needed pass rush that Buffalo sorely missed last season. Sacks were about the only defensive category that Buffalo did not finish in the top 10 in last season.

Not only does Miller give Buffalo a veteran presence in the locker room, but it also gives the Bills one of the most clutch defensive players in the NFL.

Miller has 25.5 sacks in the fourth quarter and overtime since 2016. The only player with more is Aaron Donald.

Buffalo will win a lot of games and have a top-five defense in the league, which will help Miller garner significant media attention.

Miller will record double-digit sacks and be a force in 2022, making him a great pick at +4000 odds.

7. Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers (+2500 Odds)

As you can tell, the Los Angeles Chargers have a really good defense. Khalil Mack and Derwin James are among the top contenders for DPOY. The Chargers also added CB J.C. Jackson.

However, a case could be made that the best player on the Chargers’ defense is actually Joey Bosa.

Bosa is coming off a 10.5 sack season. He is poised to surpass his career-high of 12.5 sacks this year.

With Khalil Mack on the opposite side, teams will not be able to double-team Bosa as much in 2022, which should help him have a big year.

Bosa has a knack for forcing turnovers and making game changing plays too.

He forced seven fumbles last season.

The Chargers are going to win more games in 2022, which will also boost Bosa’s chances of winning the DPOY award.

With Bosa set to have his best season yet, he is a strong contender for the NFL DPOY award at +2500 odds.

6. Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns (+900 Odds)

Myles Garrett was tied for fifth in sacks last season with 16 sacks on the year.

He has recorded 10 sacks or more in four straight years and should be a force to be reckoned with once again in Cleveland.

Heading into Week 1, BetOnline gives Garrett the third-best odd to win the award.

The reason Garrett has not cracked the top five list is that his team will struggle due to Deshaun Watson’s suspension.

While the DPOY is an individual award, winning games and making the playoffs has an influence on the decision-making process.

Cleveland is not expected to win a lot of games with Jacoby Brissett under center, which could hurt Garrett’s chances at winning the award.

However, if Cleveland can be in playoff contention, Garrett and the defense will be the reason why.

Garrett will once again post double-digit sack numbers and be a force on defense but is slightly overpriced at +900 odds.

Who Will Be The Top-Five Contenders For NFL DPOY?

Among the favorites to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, Myles Garrett is the only player not listed in the top five in our DPOY conversation.

Instead, Rashan Gary will kick off our top-five list.

His upside in this Green Bay’s defense is massive and Gary has improved each year in the league.

Check out our list of the top-five DPOY candidates in the NFL ahead of the 2022-23 season below.

5. Rashan Gary, Green Bay Packers (+1600 Odds)

Rashan Gary NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Gary has improved in each of the three seasons he has been in the league.

This will be Green Bay’s best defense since Gary entered the league in 2019.

He had 9.5 sacks in 15 games last year.

While it might not be a bold prediction, Gary will set a career-high for himself by recording over 10 sacks on the year in 2022.

BetOnline is also projecting Gary for a big year, giving him the sixth-best chance at winning DPOY.

Green Bay is poised to have a top 5 or top 10 defense. The Packers will, in all likelihood, win the division and make the playoffs as well, which could ultimately help Gary’s case.

At +1600 odds, Gary is a strong 2022 DPOY candidate in 2022.

Bet on Gary (+1600) to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year by clicking the button below.

4. Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers (+1200 Odds)

Nick Bosa NFL DPOY Odds

Led by Nick Bosa, San Francisco will once again have a top-level defense in 2022.

Bosa was fourth in the league in sacks with 15.5 sacks last year and is one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.

Bosa recorded nine sacks in his rookie campaign in 2019. Then, he played just two games in 2020 due to injury.

Now in his fourth year, this will be Bosa’s best season yet.

He had 16 tackles for losses last year and will be a force in opposing backfields once again in 2022.

Bosa will also record more sacks than he did last season and he is a very strong candidate for DPOY for a 49ers’ team that will need to rely on its defense to get back to the NFL Playoffs in 2022.

Cash in on +1200 odds for Nick Bosa to win NFL DPOY by clicking the button below.

3. Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys (+800 Odds)

Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons set the league on fire in his rookie year.

He was voted into the Pro Bowl, named 1st Team All-Pro by the AP, and was the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Parsons was sixth in the league with 13 sacks and he had 20 tackles for losses last year.

Dallas also led the league last year in total takeaways.

As the leader of the Cowboy’s defense in 2022, BetOnline has Parsons tied for the best odd to win the NFL DPOY.

The reason he is not in the top two in our rankings is that Dallas is due for some heavy regression on defense this year.

They gave up a lot of yards but got a ridiculous amount of interceptions from Trevon Diggs, which will be difficult to repeat for a second consecutive year.

The number of takeaways will reduce and the Cowboys’ defense will take a step back as a result, which could ultimately hurt Parsons’ case for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Parsons will still have a big year but some regression is likely from Dallas’ defense.

To bet on Micah Parsons (+800) to win Defensive Player of the Year, click the button below.

2. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams (+1000 Odds)

Aaron Donald NFL DPOY

Aaron Donald is widely viewed as the best defensive player in the league.

He is a game changer and game plan wrecker that opposing offenses simply have to account for at all times.

Very few players, if any, have more of an impact on the defensive side of the ball than Donald.

He has recorded 11 sacks or more since 2017 and has had 14 tackles for losses or more in every campaign since then as well.

The Rams have one of the best defenses in the league and Donald is the main catalyst for their dominance.

One reason that could hold him back from winning the DPOY is a possible suspension for swinging a helmet at joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals.

If no suspension ensues, Donald will be a top contender for DPOY.

The best defensive player in the league is a great bet to win DPOY every season, and at +1000 odds, Donald should give NFL fans some added value here.

Bet on Aaron Donald to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year by clicking the button below.

Best Bet for 2022 NFL Defensive Player Of The Year

1. TJ Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers (+800 Odds)

T.J. Watt NFL Defensive Player of the Year

The Pittsburgh Steelers led the league with 55 sacks last season.

TJ Watt had 22.5 out of the 55 sacks for the Steelers last year. Watt led the league in sacks and would have broken the NFL record for sacks in a single season had he stayed healthy.

His 22.5 sacks came in just 15 games.

Watt tied Michael Strahan’s record of 22.5 sacks. If Watt played the full season last year, he would have easily beat the record.

He is unstoppable and the Steelers’ defense looks significantly different when Watt is not on the field.

Watt won the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year, and just like his brother did in 2014 and 2015, Watt will repeat and win the award once again in 2022.

Take TJ Watt to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year at BetOnline by clicking the button below.

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners

Since 1971, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award has been handed out to the league’s most outstanding player on defense.

Lawrence Taylor, JJ Watt, and Aaron Donald have all won the award three times, tied for the most ever.

Joe Greene, Ray Lewis, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, and Reggie White are the only other players to win the award at least twice.

Last year, Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher TJ Watt was the unanimous NFL Defensive Player of the Year with 22.5 sacks, tying the record for most sacks in a single season.

For a complete breakdown of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award winners, check out the list below.

Season Player Position Team
2021 T. J. Watt Linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 Aaron Donald Defensive tackle Los Angeles Rams
2019 Stephon Gilmore Cornerback New England Patriots
2018 Aaron Donald Defensive tackle Los Angeles Rams
2017 Aaron Donald Defensive tackle Los Angeles Rams
2016 Khalil Mack Defensive end Oakland Raiders
2015 J. J. Watt Defensive end Houston Texans
2014 J. J. Watt Defensive end Houston Texans
2013 Luke Kuechly Linebacker Carolina Panthers
2012 J. J. Watt Defensive end Houston Texans
2011 Terrell Suggs Linebacker Baltimore Ravens
2010 Troy Polamalu Safety Pittsburgh Steelers
2009 Charles Woodson Cornerback Green Bay Packers
2008 James Harrison Linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers
2007 Bob Sanders Safety Indianapolis Colts
2006 Jason Taylor Defensive end Miami Dolphins
2005 Brian Urlacher Linebacker Chicago Bears
2004 Ed Reed Safety Baltimore Ravens
2003 Ray Lewis Linebacker Baltimore Ravens
2002 Derrick Brooks Linebacker Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2001 Michael Strahan Defensive end New York Giants
2000 Ray Lewis Linebacker Baltimore Ravens
1999 Warren Sapp Defensive tackle Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1998 Reggie White Defensive end Green Bay Packers
1997 Dana Stubblefield Defensive tackle San Francisco 49ers
1996 Bruce Smith Defensive end Buffalo Bills
1995 Bryce Paup Linebacker Buffalo Bills
1994 Deion Sanders Cornerback San Francisco 49ers
1993 Rod Woodson Cornerback Pittsburgh Steelers
1992 Cortez Kennedy Defensive tackle Seattle Seahawks
1991 Pat Swilling Linebacker New Orleans Saints
1990 Bruce Smith Defensive end Buffalo Bills
1989 Keith Millard Defensive tackle Minnesota Vikings
1988 Mike Singletary Linebacker Chicago Bears
1987 Reggie White Defensive end Philadelphia Eagles
1986 Lawrence Taylor Linebacker New York Giants
1985 Mike Singletary Linebacker Chicago Bears
1984 Kenny Easley Safety Seattle Seahawks
1983 Doug Betters Defensive end Miami Dolphins
1982 Lawrence Taylor Linebacker New York Giants
1981 Lawrence Taylor Linebacker New York Giants
1980 Lester Hayes Cornerback Oakland Raiders
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Defensive end Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1978 Randy Gradishar Linebacker Denver Broncos
1977 Harvey Martin Defensive end Dallas Cowboys
1976 Jack Lambert Linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers
1975 Mel Blount Cornerback Pittsburgh Steelers
1974 Joe Greene Defensive tackle Pittsburgh Steelers
1973 Dick Anderson Safety Miami Dolphins
1972 Joe Greene Defensive tackle Pittsburgh Steelers
1971 Alan Page Defensive tackle Minnesota Vikings

NFL DPOY Award Winners by Position

On defense, cornerbacks and safeties have arguably the toughest jobs in football. The last line of defense, mistakes at both of these positions often end up costing the defense points.

This makes it hard for players at these crucial positions to get recognition among the league’s best defensive players. With just 11 combined wins coming from the secondary over the last 51 years, safeties (five) and cornerbacks (six) have won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award fewer times than any other position.

Linebackers lead the way with 17 total DPOY winners since 1971.

Defensive ends and defensive tackles have also won the Defensive Player of the Year award 13 times and 10 times, respectively.

Check out the chart below for a breakdown of the NFL DPOY Award winners by position.

Position NFL DPOY Winners
LB 17
DE 13
DT 10
CB 6
S 5
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