Although we have yet to see any offshore sportsbooks offer NF Defensive Player of the Year odds, Ladbrokes became the first prominent oddsmaker to post a defense-related prop bet. Earlier this week the British based oddsmaker posted odds to lead the league in tackles for 48 of the league’s best defensive players.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who has twice led the league in tackles (153 in 2014, 164 in 2012), opened as the favorite to repeat as the league leader (+350). Lavonte David, who ranked third in football last season with 146 tackles, opened with the second best odds at +550.
This information can also be very valuable to fantasy football managers in leagues with independent defensive players (IDP). Linebackers typically dominate the top of the rankings, and tackles definitely drive this value.
The table below displays the current odds at Ladbrokes and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Two potentially undervalued players are Baltimore’s C.J. Mosley (+2000) and Jacksonville’s Paul Posluszny. In his rookie season, Mosley recorded 133 combined tackles which ranked him seventh in the league. With Haloti Ngata getting shipped off to Detroit, don’t be surprised if more teams attempt to run straight up the middle against the Ravens. This should create extra opportunity for a burgeon superstar.
Posluszny, who missed most of the 2014 season due to injury, tallied 791 combined tackles between 2008 and 2013 including a high of 162 during the 2013 season (despite playing in only 15 games). Teams frequently run straight up the middle when nursing large leads, and it seems safe to say that Jacksonville will be on the losing end on a lot of blowouts this season. That additional opportunity should benefit “Poz” if he’s able to stay on the field.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.