2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Odds

We’re still months away from the start of the NBA regular season, but this off-season has been an exciting thrill ride in its own right. We’ve seen LeBron James rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love traded for number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins, Pau Gasol move from Los Angeles to Chicago and Paul George suffer a gruesome leg injury derail his season before it even started.

With all of this player movement, it’s easy to overlook the vastly different coaching landscape across the league. Nine of the league’s thirty teams have a new head coach including: Lionel Hollins (Nets), David Blatt (Cavs), Stan Van Gundy (Pistons), Steve Kerr (Warriors), Byton Scott (Lakers), Jason Kidd (Bucks), Flip Saunders (T’Wolves), Derek Fisher (Knicks) and Quin Snyder (Jazz). But how will these new floor leaders fare next season?

Starting in the 1962-63 season, the NBA began awarding the Red Auerbach Trophy which is presented annually to the Coach of the Year. Last season Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich won the award for the third time in his career and the second time in the past three years, but does he have a chance to repeat?

Earlier this week a prominent offshore oddsmaker, Sportsbook.com, posted Coach of the Year odds for all thirty NBA head coaches with Popovich (+275) once again listed as the favorite. It’s interesting to see that Cleveland’s David Blatt, who coached Maccabi Tel Aviv last season, has the second best odds (+500) of winning the award.

The following table compares the current NBA Coach of the Year odds from one square book (Sportsbook.com) and one sharp book (5Dimes). As always, we encourage readers to shop for the best line before placing any bet.

Coach Team 5Dimes (10/10) Sportsbook (8/26)
Gregg Popovich San Antonio Spurs +275 +275
David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers +350 +500
Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls +650 +650
Doc Rivers Los Angeles Clippers +800 +800
Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns +1200 +1200
Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks +1200 +1200
Dwane Casey Toronto Raptors +1500 +1500
Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets +1800 +1800
Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors +1200 +2000
Terry Stotts Portland Trail Blazers +2000 +2000
Derek Fisher New York Knicks +2500 +2500
Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks +3000 +3000
Kevin McHale Houston Rockets +3000 +3000
Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder +3000 +3000
Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets +4000 +4000
Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans +4000 +4000
Eric Spoelstra Miami Heat +3500 +5000
Randy Wittman Washington Wizards +5000 +5000
Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets +6000 +6000
Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers +7500 +7500
Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons +8000 +8000
Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers +8000 +12500
David Joerger Memphis Grizzlies +12500 +12500
Brad Stevens Boston Celtics +20000 +20000
Flip Saunders Minnesota T'Wolves +20000 +20000
Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers +25000 +25000
Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic +25000 +25000
Michael Malone Sacramento Kings +25000 +25000
Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks +25000 +25000
Quin Snyder Utah Jazz +25000 +25000

With the exception of Orlando’s Doc Rivers in the 1999-2000 season, every single Coach of the Year recipient made the playoffs in their award winning season. Perhaps that explains the long odds for many of last season’s cellar dwellers.

It’s tough to identify value on a prop bet like this, but one intriguing name is Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy. In eight NBA seasons, Ron Jeremy’s doppelganger posted an impressive 371-208 record including seven playoff appearances and one NBA finals appearance (2008-09). Although the Pistons finished just 29-53 last season, there is plenty of talent on this team including Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, up-and-coming big man Andre Drummond and potentially unsigned RFA Greg Monroe.

Drummond, who stands 6’10” and 270 pounds, shares many similarities with Rockets center Dwight Howard. Considering Van Gundy’s success with Howard in Orlando, the 21-year old Drummond could emerge as one of the league’s premier players in his third professional season.

Factor in the lack of elite teams in the Eastern Conference and the Pistons look primed for a major turnaround. If Detroit can sneak into the playoffs with around 44 wins, that 15 game turnaround could be enough to land Van Gundy his first Coach of the Year award.

Who do you think will be named the 2014-15 Coach of the Year? Which coaches do you feel are being undervalued? Please leave any thoughts, comments or questions in the section below.

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David Solar

David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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