NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds: Should Trevon Diggs be the favorite?

Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Only six cornerbacks have ever won NFL Defensive Player of the Year in the 50-year history of the award. After a historic start to the season, could Trevon Diggs be the seventh?

The Cowboys cornerback - who fittingly wears No. 7 - has intercepted seven passes through his team's first six games and has at least one pick in each contest, both tying NFL records. Despite playing one fewer contest than most defenders, he currently leads the league in interceptions (7), interception yards (142), passes defended (11), and defensive touchdowns (2), and he's on pace to break or match NFL records in all four categories.

Still, oddsmakers remain skeptical of his chances to win DPOY. Diggs is currently priced at +500 to win the award behind Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett (+350) and just ahead of Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (+600) and Rams lineman Aaron Donald (+800) - the three players who entered the year as the favorites to win the award.

PLAYER ODDS
Myles Garrett +350
Trevon Diggs +500
T.J. Watt +600
Aaron Donald +800
Derwin James +2500
Jalen Ramsey +2500
Maxx Crosby +2500
Joey Bosa +3000
Devin White +3500
Nick Bosa +3500
Chandler Jones +4000
Matt Judon +4000
Danielle Hunter +5000
Brian Burns +5000
Darius Leonard +6500
Jessie Bates +6500
Chase Young +6500

Conversely, it's been a meteoric rise for Diggs, who was dealing as high as 150-1 before the year prior to his ball-hawking start to the season. And while this pace surely isn't sustainable across 17 games, it doesn't need to be: The last player to intercept seven passes through six games was Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson, who ran away with DPOY honors in 1993 despite recording just one more interception over his final 10 games.

It's not just the interceptions, either. Diggs' expected points added (EPA) when targeted is a ridiculous -37.7 - by far the best by any defender - and his passer rating allowed (53.5) ranks ninth among players with at least 100 coverage snaps. That comes despite him allowing the fourth-most receiving yards (419) in the league, which is easily one of the two biggest factors working against him.

The other factor? His competition is on a record pace, too. Garrett currently leads the NFL in sacks (9.5) and is on pace to barely eclipse Michael Strahan's official record of 22.5 set in 2001, with an assist from the 17-game schedule. Garrett already set the Browns' franchise record for sacks in a game (4.5) and also ranks in the top two in the league in quarterback hits (18) and tackles for loss (9).

He's unlikely to sustain that record sack pace, just like Diggs likely won't intercept a pass in each of the next 11 games. Close competitions like this tend to favor linemen and pass-rushers, who have won this award in six of the last seven years. The one exception was Stephon Gilmore, whose final stat line was arguably less impressive than what we've seen from Diggs thus far.

The Cowboys star has benefitted from some luck along the way, but it's hard to deny the magnitude of his interception streak, which feels like a rarity compared to the gaudy sack totals that come along seemingly every few seasons. Even if he doesn't sustain his interception totals, his overall value on defense is being shorted by the market thus far. And if he does threaten the NFL record for interceptions in a season? This award will be Diggs' to lose.

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

Comments
NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds: Should Trevon Diggs be the favorite?
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox