Toronto Raptors star forward OG Anunoby has the perfect combination of factors that enable him to constantly fly under the radar when the best small forwards in the game are being discussed. In addition to playing in Toronto, the mild-mannered Anunoby doesn’t have the flashiest style of play.
Despite that, he is without question one of the best defensive players in the game, as his long wingspan, stocky frame, and athletic ability help him defend centers and guards with equal degrees of ease. The Raptors are leaning on his defense as one of the main cogs in the machine they are building over the next few years.
However, the oddsmakers over in Vegas don’t seem to be convinced by Anunoby’s ability based on some of the latest Defensive Player of the Year odds. Not only is Anunoby not among the favorites, but he isn’t anywhere close.
The odds at WynnBet have Anunoby at +7500 to win Defensive Player of the Year, meaning that a bet of $100 would net you $7,500 in return. Considering the quality we have seen from him in the past, this looks like a fantastic bet for Raptors fans to hop on, especially if Toronto makes it back to the playoffs.
Could Toronto Raptors star OG Anunoby win Defensive Player of the Year?
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is the favorite to repeat at +225, with Ben Simmons right behind him at +340. Anthony Davis (+400), Giannis Antetokounmpo (+500), and Myles Turner (+700) round out the top five.
Matisse Thybulle (+2000) doesn’t even start, and Mitchell Robinson (+3000) saw his production matched almost equally by Nerlens Noel, yet they have better odds than OG. In fact, Anunoby’s odds are the same as players like Kevin Durant, Kristaps Porzingis, and rookie Davion Mitchell! What?
Anunoby does have the disadvantage of playing on a team that likely won’t be contending, and voters have shown to foolishly favor box score stats like steals and blocks per game over versatility, but even that can’t excuse odds like this. Porzingis is a below-average defender, and Mitchell is a rookie who likely won’t even start for the Kings.
Admittedly, Anunoby will have a tough road, as players like Gobert, Davis, Giannis, and Jrue Holiday will make it hard for him to stand out in the eyes of the media. However, giving him odds like this is a sign that Vegas believes the writers won’t even give Anunoby a chance to take home DPOY honors.
Getting the Raptors back to the postseason would do wonders for Anunoby’s status within the league, and it could be enough to convince the voters to eschew the traditional favorites.