Earlier today we posted an article that explained which NFL head coaches were on the hot seat and in jeopardy of losing their jobs. Based on his struggles last season in an environment where expectations are always sky-high, it wasn’t surprising to see Redskins head coach Jay Gruden listed as the favorite to be the first coach axed.
While it’s easy to get caught up in negativity and pessimism when discussing NFL coaches, it can also be rewarding to congratulate those who have done their job well. Last season the Arizona Cardinals posted an 11-5 record and reached the playoffs for the first time in five years. This achievement helped Bruce Arians win the Coach of the Year Award, despite not being listed as an option at BetOnline prior to the start of the season.
This year there’s no clear cut favorite for the NFL Coach of the Year Award, with Bill Belichick (NE), Chuck Pagano (IND) and John Fox (CHI) all listed at +800. While neither Fox nor Pagano have won the award before, Belichick’s genius has been acknowledged on three different occasions (’03, ’07 and ’10).
The table below compares the current Coach of the Year odds at 5Dimes and BetOnline. We will be update this information throughout the season as we receive new information.
|Coach||5Dimes (7/21)||BetOnline (7/21)|
|Jack Del Rio||+5000||+5000|
Past research indicates that the league looks very favorably on head coached who take a non-playoff team to the promised land. That can be said not only about Arians last season, but also with the majority of head coaches over the past decade. Ron Rivera helped the Panthers improve from 7 wins in 2012 to 12 wins in 2013. Bruce Arians helped the Colts improve from 2 wins in 2011 to 11 wins in 2012. Jim Harbaugh helped the 49ers improve from 6 wins in 2010 to 13 wins in 2011. This trend has persisted throughout history, with Bill Belichick’s past two wins as the sole anomalies.
Based on these past trends, one name immediately stands out: Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Renounced for his wide-open, high-scoring offenses, the Eagles were able to win 10 games last season despite starting the long forgotten Mark Sanchez at quarterback for nearly half the season. If Sam Bradford can stay healthy and DeMarco Murray can replace (or improve upon) the production of LeSean McCoy, it’s not hard to imagine Philadelphia winning the NFC East and earning a playoff spot.
Currently listed at +1000, Chip Kelly could potentially be offering value to bettors. Other names to consider include Bill O’Brien (+2500), Andy Reid (+4000) and Dan Quinn (+1400), who is taking over a very talented but underachieving Falcons roster.
Another potential value play is Saints head coach Sean Payton. The NFC South is arguably the weakest division in football which certainly helps New Orleans playoff aspirations. This also exemplifies the importance of shopping for the best line since Payton is currently 40/1 at 5Dimes but only 14/1 at BetOnline.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.