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Steelers OLB T.J. Watt Now Favorite for NFL Defensive Player of the Year



Steelers OLB T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 26, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is now the favorite to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, according to odds posted on Tuesday by Bet Online.

Watt’s odds shifted over the last week from +400 to +140, leapfrogging him ahead of Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who has the second-best odds at +160, and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who is third at +225.

Not every sportsbook has made Watt the favorite as of Tuesday evening. ESPN Bet has Watt at +240, third, with Parson at +190 and Garrett at +145. FanDuel Sportsbook has Watt at +250, Parsons at +175 and Garrett at +150.

Watt has been extremely consistent this season. His NFL-leading 13.5 sacks have come over 11 games, and he has at least a half-sack in nine of those 11.

Watt is tied for the NFL lead with Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings at 13.5, but Hunter has played one more game. Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Khalil Mack and Garrett are tied with 13 sacks in 11 games.

Watt has 12 tackles for loss, tied for sixth with Garrett, one less than Parsons and six behind Hunter. He is second in the league with 25 quarterback hits, behind only Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers. He is tied for seventh with three fumble recoveries.

The winner of the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, Watt was unable to defend his crown in 2022 because of a pec injury that caused him to miss half the season. Bosa won last year, with Parsons finishing second and Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs coming in third.

The award is voted on by a panel of 50 football journalists and broadcasters and is organized by the Associated Press and has been given out annually since 1971.

Watt was the seventh Steelers player to win the award, following Joe Greene (twice), Mel Blount, Jack Lambert, Rod Woodson, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. No other team has won the award more than four times.

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