Anthony Davis Betting Favorite to Win 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year

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The 2019-20 season was the best one in Anthony Davis’ career. First, he orchestrated a move out of New Orleans and forced his way to the Los Angeles Lakers where he would team up with LeBron James. Then he and James would lead the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference before going all the way to win the 2019-20 NBA championship.

Sure, LeBron James won 2020 Finals MVP honors, the 4th of his career. But for AD, 2020 was the year when he won his first NBA championship. That was what’s important, considering that some of the greats before him like Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson never won a chip in their respective NBA careers. But now that The Brow has one ring on his finger, he can move on to chase personal awards as well.

Runner-Up in 2020

AD was one of the betting favorites to win the DPOY award last season. He was named among the finalists but finished as runner-up to Giannis Antetokounmpo in the voting. Despite Davis finishing third in the league in blocked shots (2.3 BPG) and being one of two centers in the Top 14 in steals (1.5 SPG), he received only 15 first-place votes and a total of 200 to finish behind Giannis Antetokounmpo who picked up 75 first-place votes and garnered a total of 432 points.

There were was no doubt that Giannis was the anchor of a Milwaukee defense that had some of the best stats in the history of the league. On their way to the best record in the league and the top seed in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the Bucks posted the third-best defensive rating in NBA history, behind only the 2003-04 Spurs and 2007-08 Celtics.

Season-wise, the gap between them and the no. 2 Raptors was as wide as the gap between Toronto and no.8 Brooklyn.

Antetokounmpo also had more Defensive Win Shares ( 4.7) than Davis (4.2) and the other finalist Rudy Gobert ( 4.2) Defensive Win Shares are an advanced stat that measures team wins contributed by a player’s defense. Giannis also made his opponents shoot worse than Davis and Gobert did so when you looked at advance stats, Antetokounmpo’s numbers would prove his case.

Betting Favorite for 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers head to the 2021 NBA season as the early odds on favorite to win the 2021 NBA championship. Aside from that, Anthony Davis has opened as the +225 odds on favorite to win the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Antetokounmpo is second in the current odds board at +325 while former winner Rudy Gobert is third at +350.

If the Lakers are to repeat as champions, they need to maintain their high-level play on both ends of the floor. The Lakers had the third-best Defensive Rating in the league last season but the departure of Dwight Howard, Danny Green, and Rajon Rondo could affect that.

Sure, the Lakers have added good defenders in Wesley Matthews, Dennis Schroder, and a former Defensive Player of the Year winner in Marc Gasol, but the onus on defense, and perhaps offense, lies on Anthony Davis.

LeBron James is expected to coast in the regular season as much as possible to preserve his aging body for a deep playoff run. Because of that, Davis will have to assert himself more for the Lakers. Montrezl Harrell is an excellent acquisition for Los Angeles but he’s a liability on defense and Davis must compensate for that, too. With the changes in the Lakers’ roster, the stage is set for Davis’ defensive skillset to be noticed even more next season.

Year of the Brow?

2021 could be the Year of the Brow. With the Lakers’ narrative in 2021, it appears that Anthony Davis could be headed to his best individual season ever. Davis is 27 years old and he will be paired with a soon to be 36-year old LeBron James. There is no denying that LBJ takes care of his body better than most players in the NBA, but even the King has admitted that the Lakers are Davis’ team.

Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo has improved every season and if the Bucks continue to play the defense they did last season, Giannis could still be in the running for a second consecutive DPOY award. Winning two in a row isn’t uncommon for this award. Just ask Rudy Gobert who won in 2018 and 2019.

Gobert will be looking for a third DPOY trophy. The Frenchman led the league in Defensive Plus-Minus last season and was equally deserving last year. However, the Lakers are going to be the most-watched team next season and Davis will be in the spotlight all season long. That should bode well for the Brow’s chances to win the DPOY and even the MVP, where he is currently fifth in the odds boards at +900.

Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...

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