NFL Coach Of The Year: Why Historical Trends Might Finally Favor Bill Belichick

Posted By Juan Carlos Blanco on June 11, 2020
NFL coach of the year odds Bill Belichick

With sports betting options still more trickle than steady flow, NFL futures wagers remain a popular option for the time being. Sportsbooks have had an extensive selection of team and player-based wagers available for some time.

And as usual, you can also get some action in on the guys who ultimately call the on-field shots.

DraftKings Sportsbook now has its Coach of the Year market up and running. Unlike those lauding player’s individual accomplishments – NFL MVP, Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year among them – the honor of the league’s top coach has sometimes been more of a moving target in terms of what produces a winner.

In turn, that occasionally makes it a more challenging futures bet.

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NFL Coach of the Year Award odds

Odds to win

Game
01/03/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Bill Belichick
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+1000
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+1000
Bruce Arians
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+1400
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+1400
Mike McCarthy
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+1400
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+1400
Kyle Shanahan
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+1600
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+1600
Kliff Kingsbury
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+2000
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+2000
Sean McDermott
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+2000
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+2000
Frank Reich
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+2000
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+2000
Andy Reid
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+2000
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+2000
Mike Vrabel
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+2000
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+2000
Kevin Stefanski
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+2000
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+2000
Brian Flores
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+2200
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+2000
John Harbaugh
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+2200
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+2000
Sean Payton
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+2200
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+2200
Sean McVay
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+2500
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+2200
Vic Fangio
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+2500
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+2500
Zac Taylor
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+2500
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+2500
Mike Tomlin
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+2500
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+2500
Pete Carroll
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+2800
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+2500
Anthony Lynn
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+2800
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+2800
Doug Pederson
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+2800
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+2800
Ron Rivera
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+2800
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+2800
Matt Lafleur
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+3000
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+3000
Dan Quinn
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+3000
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+3000
Mike Zimmer
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+3000
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+3000
Jon Gruden
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+4000
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+4000
Joe Judge
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+4000
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+4000
Matt Nagy
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+4000
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+4000
Matt Rhule
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+4000
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+4000
Adam Gase
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+5000
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+4000
Doug Marrone
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+5000
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+5000
Bill O'Brien
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+5000
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+5000
Matt Patricia
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+5000
Bet now
+5000

A Brady-less Belichick opens as odds-on favorite

Patriots coach Bill Belichick, a three-time COY winner, currently heads the NFL Coach of the Year market on DK Sportsbook with +1000 odds. The man who now has Belichick’s former legendary signal-caller at his disposal, the Buccaneers’ Bruce Arians, is unsurprisingly a close second at +1400. Interestingly, coming off a one-year sabbatical but inheriting a talent-rich squad, the Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy shares second place with Arians.

Of the three, Belichick’s 2020 situation profiles as one with conditions that most closely mirror the spirit of the award. If the legendary coach posts a 10-6 or 11-5 mark while helping second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham turn in a convincing impression of 2008 Matt Cassel, that feat, combined with Belichick’s unmatched name value, could make him a shoo-in.

Notably, that 2008 campaign – one in which Tom Brady was lost for the season with a torn ACL in the first half of Week 1 — serves as a testament to the occasionally fickle nature of how the honor gets disseminated.

2008 season embodies unpredictable nature of award

The Coach of the Year award has been described as one bestowed upon “the National Football League head coach who has done the most outstanding job of working with the talent at his disposal.”

The wording invokes images of never-say-die leaders whose guile overcomes multiple key injuries and propels their teams to overachieving 9-7 or 10-6 records, for example. However, that covers just one of several scenarios that has proven worthy of garnering a majority vote from Associated Press writers.

Tellingly, Belichick didn’t capture one of his three Coach of the Year trophies for that aforementioned 2008 season. This, despite the fact New England finished 11-5 with a previously unproven Cassell at the helm. They just missed out on a playoff spot when the Dolphins and Ravens both joined the Pats in winning their Week 17 games.

The coach that beat out Belichick overcame formidable challenges in his own right. Operating with then-rookie quarterback Matt Ryan under center from Day 1 after inheriting a 4-12 team, Mike Smith led Atlanta to an 11-5 mark and wild card berth.

But Smith famously won the award by just a single vote. The late Tony Sparano – who guided the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and the AFC East title a year after they’d gone a league-worst 1-15 under Cam Cameron – fell just short, despite Miami boasting the biggest season-over-season improvement in the league.

Multiple paths to same destination

A quick glance at the last three Coach of the Year Award winners:

2019: John Harbaugh, BAL:

Regular-season record: 14-2

Analysis: Squad ultimately underachieved with divisional round loss, but net gain of four wins over prior season and NFL-record 3,296 team rushing yards integral to Harbaugh’s win.

2018: Matt Nagy, CHI:

Regular-season record: 12-4

Analysis: Much like Sean McVay a year earlier, Nagy wowed by leading his team to a sizable increase of seven victories over the prior season, while also helping the Bears to their first winning record since 2012. Season ultimately ended on a Cody Parkey missed field goal in the wild card round against the Eagles, but Chicago’s significant improvement was enough to garner Nagy the award.

2017: Sean McVay, LAR:

Regular-season record: 11-5

Analysis: McVay’s offensive ingenuity played a key role in his first year as head coach, which led to a dramatic reversal of fortune for a Rams team that had gone 4-12 just a year prior under Jeff Fisher and John Fassel. Los Angeles achieved its first winning record since 2003 and first playoff appearance since 2004 under McVay before losing to the Falcons in an NFC Wild Card game.

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Written by
Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has served as a freelance writer for a wide variety of online publications and websites, with an intensive focus on fantasy sports. Juan has provided analysis and comprehensive coverage of the MLB, NBA, NFL, CFL, AAF and AFL while also reporting on news and developments in the daily fantasy sports and online gaming industries.

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