The offseason betting markets for the NFL keep getting started earlier and earlier. Bettors that are looking at these markets do have the opportunity to get a head start and get some better odds than others if they have strong convictions or strong ideas about how things are going to play out.
Take, for example, the odds to win NFL Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 NFL Season. There are a lot of factors that go into being Coach of the Year. Not only does the team have to be good, but exceeding expectations goes a long way in the minds of the voters.
Case in point, Bill Belichick has only won the award three times, though many would say that he’s the best coach of all-time and his run of division titles and Super Bowl titles is basically unprecedented.
You basically have to make the playoffs or at least win 10 games to win the NFL Coach of the Year. The only coach to win with a losing record was Jimmy Johnson in 1990 with the Dallas Cowboys at 7-9. The last coach to win with fewer than 10 victories was Bruce Arians, who only served as the head coach for 12 games after Chuck Pagano left the Colts to get treated for leukemia, in 2012.
Three of the last four winners have been young coaches, as Sean McVay, Matt Nagy, and Kevin Stefanski have all won. John Harbaugh also won as a grizzled veteran in 2019.
Let’s check out the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and then look at a few candidates.
2021 NFL COACH OF THE YEAR BETTING ODDS
NFL Coach Of The Year Betting Preview
That’s the full list for the 32 NFL teams. Remember that there are 17 games this season, so that will raise the bar a little bit more for the record that it takes to win the award. It also elevates the record required to make the playoffs.
A few other quick notes about the race for Coach of the Year:
– Joe Gibbs in 1982-83 is the last coach to win the award in back-to-back years; Don Shula did it in 1967-68 and is the only four-time winner
– Eight of the last nine winners are still active head coaches. Jason Garrett is the only one that is not
– This award is given out by the Associated Press. It helps to be good with the press. Any abrasive, standoffish head coaches are going to have a tough chance winning unless their teams have incredible seasons
– The last five winners have all been first-timers; Bruce Arians and Ron Rivera alternated years from 2012-15
With all of that in mind, and the odds right in front of us, let’s look at a couple of best bets:
NFL Coach Of The Year Predictions & Best Bets
Ron Rivera (+1600)
Two-time winner and master motivator Ron Rivera has a really good team this season. The Washington Football Team has upgraded at the quarterback position with Harvard Man Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Football Team has tons of talent at the skill positions and looks much improved at the line of scrimmage. A lot of people are talking about Washington as the team to win the NFC East.
A dominant pass rush and a talented back seven should wreak havoc in what remains the weakest division in the NFL. Also, not to make light of the situation or of what Rivera went through, but keep in mind that this is an award voted on by the press. Rivera’s backstory, as both a two-time winner and a cancer survivor, is the type of story that writes itself.
If Washington can make that leap and get to double-digit victories, it would be extremely hard not to consider Rivera for the award. This projects to be one of the most improved teams in the NFL and year-over-year improvement is a major prerequisite for consideration.
Sean McDermott (+1700)
There are a lot of people that feel like Sean McDermott should have beaten out Kevin Stefanski for the Coach of the Year award in 2020. What McDermott and the Bills have done is very impressive, as Josh Allen has become a top-five quarterback in the NFL and Buffalo has vaulted to the top of the AFC East to take full advantage of what has happened with the New England Patriots.
There are no indications that Buffalo will be any worse in 2021. The team addressed the running back position in the offseason and Allen continues to have a lot of weapons at his disposal. The defense also looks stout once again. Some voters that were on the fence with Stefanski and the job that he did with the Browns could make the shift to McDermott for this year.
It would help if the Bills faced a little bit more resistance in the division. That could very well be the case. Miami looks solid with Brian Flores, who has a +1400 price tag, at the helm. We know the Patriots will be better, whether they go with Cam Newton or Mac Jones. Even the Jets should be improved with Zach Wilson and a good hire in Robert Saleh.
Buffalo still has a ton of upside and is clearly the team to beat in an improved AFC East. That should get McDermott lots of votes if the Bills reach their expectations.