In a league full of offensively gifted players, defense has become a lost art.
Some of the better defenders in the league fail to see consistent floor time due to offensive deficiencies.
Considering those factors when predicting the NBA steals leader for the 2023-2024 season is important.
Let’s look at the latest NBA steals leader odds and pick out some best bets.
NBA Steals Leader Odds
NBA odds used for these steals leader best bets are current as of Monday, Oct. 16, and courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
- OG Anunoby (+310)
- Jimmy Butler (+340)
- Paul George (+500)
- Tyrese Haliburton (+1300)
- Marcus Smart (+1600)
- Dejounte Murray (+1900)
- Jalen Williams (+2100)
- Matisse Thybulle (+2300)
- Delon Wright (+2300)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+2800)
- Bilal Coulibaly (+2800)
- Chris Paul (+3100)
Who Will Be the NBA Steals Leader in 2024?
OG Anunoby (+310)
OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors is currently the odds-on favorite to be crowned the steals leader for the second consecutive season. The 26-year-old wing has made a name for himself on the defensive end, particularly in forcing turnovers.
Unlike several other players on the list, Anunoby does not rank within the top 10 in deflections per game. Instead, Anunoby generated many of his 1.9 steals per game last season from solid on-ball defense.
There aren’t any clear obstacles to Anunoby repeating last year’s success, as he remains a starter in Toronto and the focal point of the team’s defense.
NBA Steals Leader Favorites
Jimmy Butler (+340)
Don’t let his age fool you, Jimmy Butler is still one of the best players in the league at forcing turnovers at 34 years old. Butler is just a couple of years removed from capturing the steals crown in the 2020-2021 campaign.
Oddsmakers seem to believe that the 6-foot-7 wing will again give Anunoby a run for his money. Butler finished last year averaging 1.8 steals per game, just one-tenth of a steal per game less than Anunoby.
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Butler’s off-ball prowess saw the former All-Star lead the league with 70 deflections last season. Miami is a team that prides itself on the defensive end, and Butler has the benefit of playing alongside several other great defenders, including perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Bam Adebayo.
If Butler can keep himself in advantageous positions on the floor, there’s no reason why Miami’s superstar can’t finish the season as the steals leader.
Paul George (+500)
George is widely considered one of, if not the best, two-way players in the league and has been for some time now.
George won this award as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2018-2019 season, averaging 2.2 steals per game over 77 contests.
Availability has been the biggest factor hindering the former MVP candidate from winning this award again. The 6-foot-8 wing has not played more than 56 games since leading the league in steals in 2018.
If George can stay on the floor, he certainly possesses the tools to finish the regular season as steals leader once again.
NBA Steals Leader Contenders
Tyrese Haliburton (+1300)
At just 23 years old, Haliburton has already proven he is one of the best young all-around guards in the league.
The Pacers’ cornerstone finished last season averaging 1.6 steals per game in 56 games played. At a towering 6-foot-5, Haliburton uses his length to harass smaller guards and has a knack for defending without fouling.
The sky’s the limit for Haliburton, and this year could be the one where he propels himself to the top of the league in steals. Even if he ultimately falls short, his name should be in the conversation for many seasons to come.
Marcus Smart (+1600)
Smart is just one year removed from his Defensive Player of the Year campaign in the 2021-2022 season.
The 29-year-old will join the reigning DPOY Jaren Jackson Jr. after the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Smart via trade this offseason. Smart’s 1.5 steals per game last season was good enough for 10th in the league.
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How Smart will adapt to his new role in Memphis remains to be seen. The veteran point guard will likely see an extended run during the season’s first quarter, with All-NBA guard Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games.
Smart has consistently been one of the best defenders at the guard position and could warrant a longshot bet with his current odds.
NBA Steals Leader Sleepers
Dejounte Murray (+1900)
Murray is just two years removed from leading the league in steals back in the 2021-2022 season as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.
Murray’s 2.0 steals per game in that campaign slightly fell after joining the Atlanta Hawks. The two-way guard ranked 11th with 1.5 steals per game last season, but he could easily return to the form we saw in San Antonio.
The 27-year-old’s 6-foot-10 wingspan has consistently kept him amongst the league leaders in deflections per game. His 3.6 deflections per game last season was the second-highest figure in the league.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+2800)
Alexander’s 1.7 steals per game last season was good for fourth-best in the league.
Alexander will also now benefit from what seems to be elite rim protection from redshirt rookie Chet Holmgren. With such an influential big man roaming behind him, the 6-foot-6 combo guard can gamble and press opposing guards even more than before.
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Alexander is one of two Thunder players that could contend for the league lead in steals this season. Sophomore forward Jalen Williams put forth an impressive rookie campaign, leading all first-year men with 1.4 steals per game. Williams has higher odds than Alexander, making the All-NBA guard a slightly better value.