We’re now heading into Week 5 of the NFL regular season, and New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty is the man leading the league in interceptions. Still, somehow, his excellent performance to start out the year isn’t reflecting in the odds whatsoever for him to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
As far as his actual numbers are concerned, McCourty’s league-leading figure in interceptions totals at four, and he also has 13 tackles to attach to his 2019 resume — all of this in just four games. With that being said though, the oddsmakers don’t have him listed on the board at all to win the award.
According to online sportsbook Bovada, defensive tackle Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams) is currently the odds-on favorite to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year at +300, with linebacker Khalil Mack (Chicago Bears) not that far behind at +400. Coming in the third position, we have defensive end Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns) placed at +600. After that, the odds start to drop off a bit. In the No. 4 spot, linebacker Shaquil Barrett (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and defensive end J.J. Watt (Houston Texans) are in a tie at +1200. Afterwards, defensive end Joey Bosa (Los Angeles Chargers) comes in sixth place at +1400, while linebacker Von Miller (Denver Broncos) rounds out the leaderboard at +1800 odds in seventh.
The main reason why Devin McCourty might not be getting his respect is because of the competition that the New England Patriots have been facing off against to start out the season, because to say the least, it hasn’t exactly been the best. In their Week 1 contest, they would play a Pittsburgh Steelers team at home with an aging Ben Roethlisberger, no Antonio Brown and no Le’Veon Bell. After that, the competition would really fall off: at Miami Dolphins, vs. New York Jets, at Buffalo Bills. With that being said, it appears the sportsbooks seem to think that McCourty’s production will fall off as the season continues — only time will tell with that one.
With that being said, there have been players who have found themselves on the oddsboard, and then would disappear when the production wasn’t giving any value to the books. A couple examples have been cornerback Denzel Ward (Cleveland Browns) and strong safety Jamal Adams (New York Jets). And then you have a player such as the previously-mentioned Shaquil Barrett who is making his first appearance on the list this week. All three of their teams have played some stiff competition to start out the season, so as you see, the reason for McCourty not getting any love in the odds has to do with the lack of competition that the Patriots have faced off against.
When you really break down the schedule of the New England Patriots, you see that the level of competition has been pretty dismal. Altogether, with the exception of the 3-1 Buffalo Bills, the other teams that New England has faced off against has a total of just one win combined.
Coming up on the schedule, the Patriots play other weak teams in the form of the Washington Redskins, New York Giants and New York Jets. With that being said, it’s a perfect storm for McCourty to improve his stats even more, and maybe enough to finally get some respect from the oddsmakers. At least for right now, the weak competition just isn’t cutting it, but if the numbers keep going up, how can you deny him his respect?
Remember when I mentioned earlier though how McCourty has four interceptions this season? Just an interesting factoid to point out about that statistic: In the previous 68 games that McCourty has played throughout his career, he only has four interceptions combined — he’s managed to hit that in just four games this season.
When you consider that, it’s a bit understandable why he’s not getting any love in the odds, but if he continues to increase his stats, eventually that love will come. But like I said, the production has to continue, and his history doesn’t prove that kind of production.
To put it even more in perspective, McCourty’s best season was in 2010, his rookie year, where he would calculate seven interceptions for himself. To go along with those seven picks, he would also rack up 82 total tackles, with 69 belonging just to him. If McCourty is able to continue his current production, it’ll easily be the best season of his career.
Needless to say, McCourty is putting up some incredible numbers, averaging an interception per game to start out the season. It’s highly unlikely that McCourty continues that level of play, especially as the competition increases, but at least where we are right now, Devin McCourty is deserving to be apart of the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Despite getting off to a slow start with just one sack in four games, Aaron Donald is still the favorite to take home the award currently placed at +300 odds. However, as you’re about to see, he’s actually been on a bit of a decline with the sportsbooks.
Back in July when the odds for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year were officially released, Donald would originally open as the favorite at +200 odds, but after the first three games of the season, those odds were then dropped to +250. Now heading into Week 5, he’s shot down 50 points more at +300.
Aaron Donald enters the 2019 campaign as last season’s recipient of the award, and during that year, he would put up some pretty impressive numbers such as his 20.5 sacks and 59 total tackles. With those kind of numbers, you can see why the gambling community collectively is hesitant to stray away from Donald — at least for right now. As you’ve already seen, even though they’ve been small decreases, bettors are taking their dollars elsewhere bit by bit.
Is power linebacker Khalil Mack, sitting at +400 right now to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. To start out the new season, Mack has more than proved that he deserves to be apart of the discussion, already racking up 4.5 sacks in four games and he’s also added 12 tackles to the stat sheet. It should be noted that Mack would originally open at +400, where he is right now, but was as low as +550 after Week 3 was over with. If he continues to keep his production where it’s at though, it’s hard to see another decline for Mack anytime soon.
Someone who wasn’t even on the oddsboard to start out the season is Shaquil Barrett, but after putting up some flashy numbers to begin the year, Barrett not only has gotten respect, but he’s became a national story. So far this campaign, not only does he have 20 tackles already, but he also leads the National Football League with a mesmerizing nine sacks.
Like I already mentioned, Barrett wasn’t even on the minds of sportsbooks to kick off the season, but since his blazing start, he’s placed himself at a very profitable +1200 odds now. Needless to say though, if Barrett continues this level of play, he’ll surely be one of the finalists for the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
At least for right now though, you have to give the leverage to Khalil Mack to win the award at the end of the season, especially with the way the Chicago Bears are orchestrated on defense. You might want to take advantage of those +400 odds too, I don’t see them getting any lower with the season he’s poised to have.
But is Khalil Mack a guarantee to win the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year? Let’s go over the top favorites to win the award, crunch their numbers even more, review their betting odds, and then afterwards, I’ll be giving you my personal prediction (and long shot pick) for who I have as my DPOY heading into Week 5 of the NFL regular season. After you read and get your advice from me, you can then place your bet(s) over at one of the top football betting sites.
Aaron Donald remains the favorite in the odds, but it surely hasn’t been his statistics of why he’s on top of the board. The main reason: He’s last year’s winner of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award — that’s about all he has right now. For the season, he’s only collected a total of one sack in four games, and that would come against a struggling Cleveland Browns team. As far as his tackles are concerned, he has a total of 13 tackles, with eight of them being solo and four of them being for a loss. He’s also managed to hit the quarterback a total of four times. For the most part, Donald has been just a mediocre defensive player, but the odds still favor him — it’s just respect solely from him winning the award before.
Here’s the most solid pick for the NFL DOPY thus far into the season. Not only is Khalil Mack now a household brand name, but he’s also been putting up some excellent stats to jump out of the gate. In four games, he’s put up 4.5 sacks already, and he also has a combined 12 tackles to go along with that figure. As far as how many of them would be solo tackles, 10 of the 12 would belong just to Mack, with the other two being assisted. As far as tackles for losses, he would tally two, with four quarterback hits also happening in the process. It’s been a great year for Khalil Mack, and you can expect more of these numbers as the season goes along.
Myles Garrett wouldn’t do much against the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, but as far as his other performances are concerned, he’s been a flat-out beast this season. In total, Garrett has six sacks in four contests, and also has 13 tackles to go along with that figure. As far as those tackles are concerned, nine of them would be solo, with four being assisted — five of the tackles would be for a loss. In other numbers, he’s also managed to get to the quarterback plenty this year, hitting the QB a total of eight times to start things out. On top of that, he also has a forced fumble to go along with his resume. My only question for Myles Garrett though is: Can he keep up this level of play? If so, he’ll be a serious candidate for the award.
You have to give J.J. Watt a bit of a break here, because his stats are a bit tainted with him not being able to play in the first game of the season with an injury, because his numbers have been solid in three games. Combined, he has a total of three sacks, and he also has 13 tackles to go along with that figure. Six of those tackles would belong to just Watt, with the other seven being Watt assisting his Houston Texans teammates — two of those tackles would also be for a loss. Watt has also gotten to the quarterback plenty this year, hitting the signal caller a total of eight times. Watt has also been a fumble machine, forcing one and recovering two. J.J. Watt will always be a contender for this award, and the proof is seeing him with the flashy numbers yet again, and like Khalil Mack, he’s a household brand name. Solid long shot pick here with his profitable +1200 odds.
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