- Marcus Smart is the new betting favorite to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
- Smart moved from +200 to +150 on Monday before settling as the +110 odds on favorite at PointsBet USA.
- The last guard to win the award was Gary Payton during the 1995-96 NBA season.
Don’t look now but Marcus Smart has a legit chance of becoming the first Celtics player since Kevin Garnett during the team’s 2008 championship year to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Smart and teammate Robert Williams III recently moved inside the Top 7 of the DPOY betting boards but with the Celtics’ continuing to display their defensive brilliance, Smart has moved to the top of the betting boards on Monday.
Marcus Smart is New Betting Favorite to win DPOY
— Tom Giles (@TomGilesNBCS) March 28, 2022
From a +200 on Sunday morning, Smart became the +150 betting favorite to win the award at online sportsbook PointsBet USA on Monday evening and opened at +110 Tuesday morning. Erstwhile favorite Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat fell from +225 to +375 while Mikal Bridges and Rudy Gobert are the only other contenders to have odds shorter than +1000 at +400 and +450, respectively.
As if taking the cue from PointsBet, the other top NBA sportsbooks also moved Smart to the top of the DPOY betting boards. BetMGM currently has the Celtics guard as the +160 favorite with Adebayo slipping to second at +250. Bridges and Gobert follow at +340 and +450, respectively. At the FD Sportsbook, Smart is at +170 while Adebayo is at +260. Bridges is third at +390 while Gobert is 4th at +440.
Caesars has Smart at a shorter +130 odds with Adebayo behind him at +250. Bridges is at +400 while Gobert is listed at +500. The BetOnline App currently has the shortest odds for Smart at even money. Interestingly, BetOnline has Bridges as the second favorite at +250 while Adebayo is third there with his +300 odds. Gobert is still 4th at +500 while Giannis Antetokounmpo completes the Top 5 with his +1000 odds.
First Guard to Win DPOY since Gary Payton in 1995-96?
According to oddsmakers, Marcus Smart has a real chance to be the first guard to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton in 1995-96 ?https://t.co/zJR3jzty1T
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) March 30, 2022
As the new DPOY betting favorite, Smart has a legitimate shot at becoming the first guard to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award since Gary Payton during the 1994-95 season. After The Glove won, the award has been awarded to frontcourt players, mostly centers with only Ron Artest, Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only non-centers to win the award. While he is short on height, Smart isn’t as far as being deserving to win the award this year.
Smart is arguably the best one-on-one defender on the Celtics. He and Robert Williams III are the anchors of the best defense in the NBA this season. Individually, Smart ranks 5th overall with 111 total steals this season and is tied for 4th with an average of 1.7 steals per game. He is also tied for 10th with 3.4 defensive win shares this season and defensive box plus-minus at 1.8.
Being the betting favorite doesn’t guarantee that Smart wins the DPOY award this season. It won’t even make him an outright finalist to win the award. However, it’s an indication that he’s being regarded as one of the league’s top defensive players. Defense has been the main reason why the Celtics have been able to turn their season around. It’s about time that the main man behind that defense is recognized.