Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season is still a couple of months away, but it’s never too early to check out the updated NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds. Last season, Jets CB Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner became the third cornerback since 2000 to win DROY, beating out Lions’ DE Aidan Hutchison, Seahawks’ CB Tariq Woolen, and Giants’ LB Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Looking forward to this year’s rookie class, Texans’ linebacker Will Anderson Jr. is the favorite to win D-ROY. Since 2000, 13 linebackers have taken home the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, with Micah Parsons being the last in 2021. Therefore, it’s not impossible to think Anderson Jr. could have a monster year under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. However, the betting public is also putting down some wagers on Lions’ LB Jack Campbell, Patriots’ CB Christian Gonzalez, and Eagles’ DL Jalen Carter.
Below, we’ll look at the updated betting odds for the 2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and BetMGM’s insights on how the public is wagering on the action before training camp.
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds 2023
Odds courtesy of BetMGM. Click here for more odds and sign up for BetMGM today!
|Will Anderson Jr.||+400|
|Lukas Van Ness||+1400|
|Will McDonald IV||+2500|
|Joey Porter Jr.||+3000|
Anderson’s odds to win D-ROY opened at +350 but now sit at +400, which makes sense as he was the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and was one of the best defensive players in college football over the past two seasons. The former University of Alabama star will be an instant contributor at the second level and be a nice compliment to what Houston has in the secondary (Jalen Pitre and Derek Stingley Jr.).
For Anderson to take home the coveted award, he must make game-changing plays like Micah Parsons; and Shaquille Leonard did in their rookie seasons. Both players are listed as linebackers but play the position in different ways. Parsons was utilized off the edge for the Cowboys, making a notable impact on their defense in 2021. The former Penn State standout had 84 combined tackles, 30 QB hits, 20 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and three forced fumbles. Meanwhile, when Leonard won the award in 2018, he recorded 163 combined tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight pass deflections, seven sacks, and two sacks.
The blueprint is simple for Anderson, and he should get multiple opportunities to do so as the Texans work to find their identity under DeMeco Ryans and DC Matt Burke. At +400 odds, we believe that Anderson is being valued correctly but should have more than 6.5 percent of the tickets and 8.4 percent of the handle.
Another rookie who we believe should be getting some more respect is CB Joey Porter Jr. Porter’s opening odds for D-ROY were +2000 but have moved to +3000. The former Penn State defensive back had a solid collegiate career in Happy Valley, producing 113 combined tackles and 20 pass deflections.
Now granted, his lack of interceptions (1) at Penn State was held against him in the lead-up to the NFL draft, but Porter Jr. was a first-round talent that fell into a great situation with the Steelers in the second round. The Steelers added vet Patrick Peterson in free agency but needed a young cornerback to play on the outside, who can lockdown another team’s top wideout. Porter Jr. can do that and will have multiple opportunities to show it in a division with a ton of good pass-catchers.
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds 2023: BetMGM Market Report
|Will Anderson Jr.||+400||6.5%||8.6%|
|Joey Porter Jr.||+3000||6.5%||3.8%|
|Will McDonald IV||+2500||3.4%||3.8%|
|Lukas Van Ness||+1400||2.4%||0.9%|
Even though Anderson is the favorite to win D-ROY this season, Campbell is getting the most love from the betting public. The former Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker is receiving 15.9 percent of the tickets and 9.4 percent of the handle (fourth-most). He’s also BetMGM’s biggest liability for DROY, but that could change throughout the preseason.
Meanwhile, Carter is getting the most handle percentage (17.1) to win Defensive Rookie of the Year this season. The former University of Georgia standout d-lineman was dominant in the middle of the Bulldogs’ defense and played an integral role in helping them win back-to-back national championships. The 22-year-old defensive tackle has a pathway to playing meaningful snaps in Philly early as Javon Hargrave signed a four-year contract with the 49ers, and Fletcher Cox is another year older.
However, defensive tackles haven’t had much success in winning DROY, as only three have won it since 2000 (Aaron Donald, Sheldon Richardson, and Ndamukong Suh). Therefore, bettors might be better off waiting to see how the first few weeks of the regular season play out or putting it on a player such as Commanders’ CB Emmanuel Forbes. Forbes was drafted in the first round, has the third-highest handle percentage (14.4), and could be starting opposite Kendall Fuller in Week 1.
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