With the start of the 2023-24 NBA season less than two weeks away, it’s time to make our final few preseason predictions. This article covers which players are expected to contend for the title of NBA blocks leader for the upcoming season.
It’s hard to bet against reigning Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. Still, injuries happen, and several other quality candidates are ready to take over as the league leader.
Read on as we break down the odds and best bets for the 2023-24 NBA blocks leader.
NBA Blocks Leader Odds
NBA odds used for these blocks leader best bets are current as of Sunday, Oct. 15, and courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (+280)
- Walker Kessler (+330)
- Myles Turner (+500)
- Victor Wembanyama (+700)
- Nic Claxton (+850)
- Anthony Davis (+1500)
- Brook Lopez (+1500)
- Chet Holmgren (+2000)
- Mitchell Robinson (+2500)
- Joel Embiid (+2500)
- Kristaps Porzingis (+3300)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+3300)
Who Will Be the NBA Blocks Leader in 2024?
Jaren Jackson Jr. (+280)
It’s not always fun or profitable betting on the favorites, but Jackson is the exception to that rule. At +280, he is the two-time defending blocks leader, and last season’s DPOY is a strong bet with quality betting odds.
He finished fifth in MVP voting, and, at just 24, Jackson could take another step forward in his development this year. He averaged 3.0 blocks per game in the 2023 season, with Claxton and Lopez second at 2.5.
As a team last season, Memphis held their opponents to a league-leading 45.3% field goal percentage, a testament to Jackson’s ability to defend. As an individual, Jackson held his opponents to a 44.4% field goal percentage. With Marcus Smart on the roster, Memphis has the last two DPOY winners and is focused on playing crippling defense.
NBA Blocks Leader Favorites
Walker Kessler (+330)
Kessler is another candidate to block the most shots and win the DPOY award. He’s a longshot but is in the top 12 on the current NBA oddsboard. It’s an impressive feat for a second-year player.
- Check out our NBA DPOY odds & best bets.
As a rookie, Kessler dominated on the defensive end of the court, which led to his being used more and more by the Utah Jazz. Kessler may have finished fourth in the running of the block lead last season, but he played by far the fewest minutes among any player in the top eight in blocks (23.0).
It’s reasonable to assume that, should Kessler see 28-plus minutes per game, he could challenge Jackson for the best average in the NBA.
Myles Turner (+500)
Turner is another player to watch closely, with an average of 2.3 blocks per game in 2023 as a member of the Indiana Pacers. The center is one of the league’s elite shot blockers, thanks to his pterodactyl-like wingspan, explosiveness, and high basketball IQ.
Turner is no stranger to leading the NBA in blocks, as he’s done it twice before. He faces stiff competition, but at +500, Turner might be the best value on the odds board for this NBA futures bet.
NBA Blocks Leader Contenders
Victor Wembanyama (+700)
There hasn’t been so much hype surrounding an NBA Draft pick in years the way that people are chomping at the bit to see Wembanyama play. The 7 foot 4 phenom is a runaway favorite to win the Rookie of the Year and a legit contender to threaten Jackson for the league lead in blocks.
- Read more on Wembanyama in our NBA ROY odds & best bets.
Wemby has looked every bit as good as advertised in two preseason games, with 43 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks in 42 minutes. He may get bullied at just 225 lbs, but Wemby has the skill and length to be an elite defender in the NBA.
Nic Claxton (+850)
Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton is technically a contender to lead the NBA in blocks this season but is flirting with sleeper status as he’s dealing with an injury that caused him to miss time during the preseason.
Why precisely the sportsbooks are so low on Claxton is a mystery. Because, despite what the odds say, Claxton finished second in the NBA in blocks per game last season (2.5). He has a lot of competition to navigate, but if 2023 is any indication, Claxton is up for the challenge.
NBA Blocks Leader Sleepers
Anthony Davis (+1500)
Davis isn’t getting any younger, but he did lead the league in blocks in back-to-back seasons in 2015-16 and has the tools to do so again this year.
The biggest issue with Davis isn’t his skills but rather his durability. He struggles to stay on the floor and hasn’t played more than 65 games since 2018, when he was with the Pelicans.
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The threshold of 65 games is critical because, according to the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players must play at least 65 games to be considered for individual awards like the DPOY.
Davis is a risky bet, but if he manages to stay healthy, he could have a league-leading year in LA.
Chet Holmgren (+2000)
While not technically a rookie, Oklahoma City Thunder center Chet Holmgren is treated as one after missing the entire 2023 season because of a Lisfranc injury to his right foot. The former No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft suffered the injury trying to defend none other than LeBron James on a fast break during The CrawsOver Pro-Am event.
The reason he makes our list of sleepers is the 7-footer has the potential to be the best shot blocker of this generation. He has a blend of size, length, and skill to rise to elite status right out of the gate.
He averaged 3.7 blocks per game at Gonzaga and set the record with six blocks in one game in the NBA Summer League while averaging 3.5 blocks per contest. Summer league and preseason aren’t always great indicators of NBA success, but Holmgren has been a beast on defense at every level he’s played.