- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.