Marcus Smart Wins DPOY Award After Opening at +4400 Odds

Marcus Smart Defensive Player Of The Year Green Background

  • Marcus Smart was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year winner on Monday.
  • Smart beat Mikal Bridges and Rudy Gobert in the official voting where a panel of 100 sports writers and broadcasters.
  • Smart opened at +4400 to win the award and went as low as +30000 at the PointsBet USA app.

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was named as the NBA’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, beating out Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges in the official balloting.

Smart finished with 257 points with 37 first-place votes while Bridges came in second with 202 points and 22 first-place votes. Gobert came in third with 136 points and 12 first-place votes.

First Guard to win Since Gary Payton in 1996

Smart is the first guard since Gary Payton during the 1995-96 season to win the award. He is also only the second member of the Boston Celtics to be named as the league’s top defender, after Kevin Garnett in 2008. Smart is also only the second point guard, after Payton, to be named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and only the fifth guard ever to do so, after Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, and Payton. Jordan was the last guard to win the award in 1998.

The 6th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma State led the NBA with 1.1 loose ball recoveries per game, ranked 5th in Defensive Rating among guards at 105.2, and was 7th in the league in steals at 1.68 thefts per contest. He also finished tied for 10th in deflections with 106 and charges drawn with 16 while averaging a career-high 3.2 defensive rebounds per game.

But more than his statistics, Smart was the undisputed defensive spark of a Boston Celtics team that led the NBA in defensive rating ( 106.2 )and scoring defense (104.5 points per game allowed). With their defensive brilliance, the Celtics were able to turn around their season at the midway mark, going from 18-21 SU in January to finishing as the Eastern Conference’s second seed with a 51-31 record.

Smart Opened at +4000

Just like the Celtics, Smart flew under the radar after a slow start. He opened at +4000 odds to win the DPOY award at BetMGM before closing at -190 at the end of the regular season. At PointsBet USA, Smart had preseason odds of +6600 to win the award. He dropped to +20000 in December and +30000 in January 2022.

When the Celtics turned their season around after the All-Star break, Smart saw his odds shorten to +3300 in early March and then moved up to +1400 before the end of the month. At the start of April, Smart became the -125 odds on favorite at PointsBet USA. Smart was also listed at 241/1 in mid-February at the FD Sportsbook. His odds shortened to 66/1 in mid-March and opened in April at +135 odds.

As stunning as Smart’s turnaround in the DPOY odds boards has been the Celtics’ rise in the NBA championship betting boards. Boston was listed at +6600 at online sportsbook BetOnline after losing to the L.A. Clippers on December 29, 2021. The Celtics improved to +5000 right before the trade deadline but were still longshots at that time.

Then Boston leapfrogged the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers to move to 5th in the NBA title boards with their +900 odds at the BetOnline App. Boston is now up to fourth at +700, their shortest title odds this year.

The Celtics also now have the second-best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +300. Boston is also a -210 favorite to eliminate the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs. They are also a +325 betting favorite to beat the Nets 4-1 in their best-of-seven playoff series. Game 2 of that series is on Wednesday and Boston is a -3.5 point spread favorite to take a 2-0 series lead.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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