Get on this truck: Khalil Mack at +400 (and dropping fast!) to win Defensive Player of the Year
Week 1 in the NFL sure didn’t disappoint. The Cleveland Browns got oh so close to winning a game, we learned that the Buffalo Bills made a big mistake getting rid of Tyrod Taylor (who knew?), and I made myself look stupid predicting that the Detroit Lions would handily beat the New York Jets. You win some, you lose some, and today the stats and I are going to prove why Khalil Mack will be the 2018 Defensive Player of the yea, currently posted at +400 (down from +650 before opening Sunday).
Khalil Mack makes Bears better, Bears make Khalil Mack even better
First off, Khalil Mack is not *the* best defensive player in the NFL. However, he is the player who is in the best position to win the award. Now at +400 in the “To Win Defensive Player of the Year” proposition bet, he’s now got the shortest odds along with Aaron Donald, surpassing Joey Bosa (11/2 after not playing week 1) and still favored over Von Miller (now 9/2).
The Khalil Mack trade came out of nowhere. No reports of trade requests or rumors of the Raiders shopping Mack were out there. This is key because it establishes that the Bears, before getting Mack, were planning on playing without him despite the presence of Sam Acho, coming off his best statistical season since his rookie year in 2011, at Mack’s OLB spot.
Metaphorically speaking this means Mack is the icing on the defensive cake for the Bears. See, they already had a defensive standout in Akiem Hicks who had 8½ sacks along with 54 tackles. To put that into perspective, Mack himself last season notched 10½ sacks and 78 combined tackles. While Hicks’s numbers are very good, adding that superstar talent in Mack pushes him and the Bears over the edge. Along with Hicks, Chicago has third-year LB Leonard Floyd, who in his sophomore year had 34 combined tackles and 4½ sacks. These three along with the other lineman will help propel Mack back to POY year status.
One more you might cover, and two you definitely shouldn’t
• Aaron Donald. Donald is an absolute tank of a player who hasn’t even hit his prime yet. Last season, Donald had 11 sacks and 41 tackles in only 14 games. Of those 41, a staggering 32 were solo. Donald may be Mack’s biggest challenge this season. The Rams are building a super team on defense with Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib, and Marcus Peters to name a few. If anyone beats out Mack in the “To Win Defensive Player of the Year” prop, it’s Donald.
• Joey Bosa. The Los Angeles Chargers upstart, settling into his third year with the club, is impressive. In his sophomore year, he put up Pro Bowl-caliber numbers, posting 12½ sacks and 70 tackles. Unfortunately, a finger injury meant he could not participate in the Pro Bowl. This Chargers team perennially underachieves and if this happens again, Bosa may suffer the consequences in his stats. While dangerous, his youth and the team around him will prevent him from the 2018 defensive POY award.
• J.J Watt. When Watt is healthy and playing at 100%, he’s hands down the best player. The troubling part is that he hasn’t been healthy for 3+ years now. He and Jadeveon Clowney make up one of the best one-two punches in the league defensively, but they haven’t ever played a full season together. Odds aside do not bet on Watt as there is no guarantee he will be able to play 10 games, let alone 16.
There you have it, the case for taking Khalil Mack to win Defensive Player of the Year at +400. Get in now if interested, because those odds are only going down…