T.J. Watt finished his third season in the NFL placing third in the voting for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. At least according to MGM’s betting odds, he begins his fourth season with the fifth-best odds to win the award for the 2020 season, behind several who have already won the award, plus the defending Defensive Rookie of the Year.
It should be no surprise that the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald is the favorite to win the award again. He has already won it twice, after all, and there are still those who believe he still deserved to win it last season. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated defender last season, with Cameron Heyward and Watt behind him rounding out the top three.
Donald is on top with +750 odds, and behind him is Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears at +1000. Watt’s oldest brother, J.J. Watt, has the third-best odds to win it after coming back from an injury that knocked out a big chunk of his 2019 season. Should he win it, he would become the first player ever to do so four times. He is already one of only two to win the award three times.
After Watt’s +1200 odds is Nick Bosa, the second-overall pick last season who won the Defensive Player of the Year Award, with +1300 odds. T.J. Watt is tied with Stephon Gilmore for the fifth-best odds. Gilmore, the New England Patriots cornerback, won the award a year ago, a relative rarity for his position.
In case you’re wondering, Minkah Fitzpatrick is on the board, with +3200 odds of winning, which ranks tied for 11th with third-year inside linebacker Darius Leonard. Cameron Heyward is deep on the board as a darkhorse with +20,000 odds. Devin Bush has slightly better odds at +10,000. No other Steelers are on the list.
No team has had more players win the Defensive Player of the Year Award in their history. Most recently, Troy Polamalu earned the distinction in 2010, and two years prior to that, it was James Harrison’s year in 2008 when he set a franchise record with 16 sacks. Rod Woodson also won the award.
The Steelers dominated the category in the 1970s, with Joe Greene winning twice, and Mel Blount and Jack Lambert also being recognize. That’s seven players in all, and no other team has more than four—the Ravens and Giants both at that mark. Only four teams have had at least three different players win it, and the Steelers are the only team with more than three.
Should Watt win the award, he would be the seventh different Steeler to do so in team history, and would also claim the eighth Defensive Player of the Year Award for the franchise. Over the past two seasons, he is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the NFL, and has three more forced fumbles than anybody else.