Myles Garrett and Aaron Donald Listed as Co-Favorites in NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds

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Myles Garrett has been able to take down quarterbacks all season with a league-high nine sacks in 2020. (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire)

  • Updated odds for NFL Defensive Player of the Year have been released
  • Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is now tied with Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald at +300
  • Read below for analysis and a pick to make right now

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett pulled even with Aaron Donald to lead the odds for 2020 Defensive Player of the Year after a big performance on Sunday afternoon against Cincinnati.

Donald had led the pack at +333 average odds heading into this week, but after a relatively quiet performance against Chicago, he is level with Garrett. Pittsburgh Steelers pass-rusher TJ Watt also tightened the race after getting a sack and four tackles in a win over previously undefeated Tennessee on Sunday.

The rest of the field in the NFL DPOY odds generally took a step back after Week 7.

2020 Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Player Week 7 Odds Current Odds
Aaron Donald +333 +300
Myles Garrett +400 +300
TJ Watt +617 +350
Khalil Mack +650 +750
Jaire Alexander +2500 +3200
Za’Darius Smith +2167 +3200
DeForest Buckner +4000 +3800
Minkah Fitzpatrick +3533 +3800
Bobby Wagner +3500 +4500

Odds taken Oct. 27 at FanDuel

Marquee Moments This Season

The total body of work is always the first and most basic measure of choosing a winner, but a signature game makes a big impact as well.

Donald’s most impressive game — and the one where he racked up most of his stats this season — came in Week 5 against the Washington Football Team. He finished with four sacks and three more hits on the combination of Kyle Allen and Alex Smith. Donald also recorded the fastest sack of the season in that game when he brought down Allen in the second quarter in 2.17 seconds.

Garrett’s numbers have come on a more consistent basis this season but, he did have a breakout with the national spotlight against the Bengals. Both of his sacks in that game came from the right side, including a strip-sack that resulted in a turnover for the Browns. Garrett leads the NFL in strip-sacks this season with four, and by the fourth quarter on Sunday, he was double-teamed by the Bengals every time he lined up on Joe Burrow’s blindside.

Garrett also made a particularly impressive play in the third quarter, when he tracked down Giovani Bernard on a screen pass.

Donald vs Garrett 2020 Comparison

Player Sacks QB Hits Total Tackles Tackles For Loss Forced Fumbles Fumbles Recovered
Aaron Donald 8 15 22 6 4 2
Myles Garrett 9 13 22 5 2 1

The Road Ahead

Going forward, Garrett appears to have a much friendlier schedule to pile up the stats. The Browns finish the season at home against Pittsburgh in a game that could have some of the highest stakes in Week 17. Should Garrett continue the pace that he’s on, he’s on this season, he’ll be leading the league in sacks with another chance to make an impression in the national spotlight.

If Donald can keep within a reasonable distance, he’ll certainly have an opportunity to stay in the conversation. In Weeks 10-13, the Rams play Seattle, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Arizona. With so many games against premier quarterbacks, Donald has a chance to catapult himself if he can replicate the sort of showing he had against Washington. However, in his last meeting with the 49ers in Week 6, he finished with just two total tackles and one hit on the quarterback.

The Final Decision

Donald won the award in 2017 and 2018, but he also has somewhat of an unspoken advantage in terms of perception as a fan and media favorite. That contrasts with the memory of Garrett swinging his helmet at Mason Rudolph last year, and sportswriters that vote in annual awards often lead with their own moral standards.

2021 AFC and NFC Championship Odds Tracker

Watt is an interesting contender and is further buoyed by the national opinion of the Steelers’ defense this season but, Garrett simply has too great of an opportunity to stack up numbers. This is really a two-horse race, and six of the last eight DPOY winners have been defensive linemen. Cleveland moves Garrett all over the defensive line, and he’s one of the most naturally athletic defensive players in the league, while Donald has primarily picked up his stats in bunches this season.

The Browns are playing to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and Garrett is supremely important to that effort. His consistency and versatility are too great to ignore, and he should continue to overtake Donald and lead the pack for the rest of the season.

The Pick: Myles Garrett +300

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Nick Krueger



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