Sportsbooks Looking at Rams’ Donald to Repeat as DPOY

Sam Donald With Los Angeles Rams Background

  • Oddsmakers once again favoring Donald for DPOY
  • Cardinals’ Jones makes monumental rise after 5-sack performance
  • Edge rushers make their marks among favorites

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald won his third AP Defensive Player of the Year award in four years last season, and after the NFL’s Week 1, oddsmakers have given Donald (+550) a slight edge to win his fourth in five years.

Donald had a sack, a tackle-for-loss and a quarterback hit as he comprised three tackles in Sunday night’s 34-14 win over the Bears. Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett (+600) and Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (+850) started the season off strong as well as they are lined up behind Donald.

Some online sportsbooks are posting Donald and Garrett even as both are sitting at (+600) and were even spotted as a simultaneous (+500) on some odds boards. Last season, Donald started at (+750) as his closest competition, according to opening odds, was Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (+1000).

Donald finished with 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, which helped secure the award as much of this award is also based on how much he occupies opposing defenses which opens up opportunities for his teammates.

The preseason odds showed:
Donald at (+400) followed by Garrett (+550) and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt (+700). Washington defensive end Chase Young (+1000) and 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (+1100) defined the top five. Donald and JJ Watt, who joined the Cardinals in the offseason, Bears linebacker Khalil Mack and Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore are the only past winners who have odds set for DPOY.

With Donald hovering around (+500) to (+600) and at (+525) now on some sportsbooks, Mack is seen at (+4000) as JJ Watt is at (+5500) with Gilmore  (+10000) on the Physically Unable to Perform list with as he will be sidelined for six weeks with a torn quad.

A Deep Field Pursuing Donald

Garrett (+600) had a strong start to his 2021 campaign as he notched a sack of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes with four tackles and three quarterback hits as the Browns fell to the Chiefs, 33-29, at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Jones (+850) moved the most as he had a sick five quarterback sacks in the Cardinals’ 38-13 beat down of the Titans in Nashville on Sunday. He had asked the Cardinals for a trade during the offseason and is an unrestricted free agent and now he won his fifth NFL Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance. Jones has moved across the boards with oddsmakers as he is seen at (+800) and (+900) after posting at (+4000) when the odds were released in mid-May. He had even fallen back to (+5000) in the preseason in late August.

Pittsburgh defensive end T.J. Watt was tied with Jones at a (+850) but also was even at (+800) via some oddsmakers. Watt had two sacks and hit Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen five times as the Steelers upset the Bills, 23-16, in Week 1.

Defensive Endings for Some QBs

A pair of solid defensive ends have the same numbers (+1400) in San Francisco’s Nick Bosa and Washington’s Chase Young.

Bosa’s numbers have dropped back a bit:
From where he opened at (+1100) in May as he has seen a fluctuation between that (+1100) and (+1500). Bosa opened his career with nine sacks in the 2019 season when he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, but only played in two games last season as he tore an ACL.

Young started at (+200) when the odds were announced in May and had posted at (+975) going into Week 1. He had a pedestrian afternoon in the 20-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday as he had three tackles, one for loss, and a pass defense.

Brotherly Love

Seldom do you have two brothers in the NFL or any professional sport, let alone posturing for the same award.

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, brother of Nick, currently sits at (+2000) after he appeared on the early odds boards at (+1400) and maintained that position through last weekend.

Joey Bosa forced one fumble in the win over Washington but had four tackles, one sack, and two quarterback hits.

A Dead Heat

Four players stopped with (+3000) odds this week, including Miami cornerback Xavien Howard, who had the third-most votes, last season.

Please Note:
His odds were surprisingly low in coming off of a season where he had 10 interceptions; however, he started at (+4000) and fell off to (+4500) in the summer before moving up as he forced a fumble in Sunday’s 17-16 shading of the Patriots. Howard is also posting (+2500) odds on some sportsbooks.

He is joined with his current (+3000), though, by Chargers safety Derwin James as well as Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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