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It really isn’t the most exciting award in the world. No one really roots for the person on the sidelines. Sure, there are some legendary coaches that you’d want on your team, but ultimately, they prepare the players, take the blame if the team is terrible, and don’t get enough credit (typically) if the team is good. Still, the best odds I’ve seen for any favorite of an award come from Coach of the Year.
My personal favorite to win this award is Dan Campbell. If the Lions come out and play as hard as they did last season, they are likely to win a few more games. And, if the Lions are 6-11, or 7-10, I think Campbell has a strong chance to take this award home. Will voters think that a guy that wins 6 or 7 games deserves the award? Maybe not, but it is the Lions, so that’s a big jump for the franchise right now. Unless I missed something I only saw one past winner be below .500 for the season, back in 1990. A competitive team, with double the wins from last year and largely the same squad, I think it will deserve a look and at +1600 I’ll take a flyer on him.
Sean McDermott should be the leader of the best team in all of football, the Buffalo Bills. At +2000 I’m also playing McDermott to win the award. If the Bills, who were heartbroken in the playoffs last year come out and do what I expect, McDermott will not only hoist this award but will hold the Super Bowl trophy. That won’t matter to the award, but I think the Bills will have one of the best offenses in football, and one of the best defenses. They could legitimately win all but two or three games if healthy. I like this play almost as much as Campbell – and this is a more realistic path to winning.
Current favorite Brandon Staley makes a lot of sense as well. There is a lot of value on this play as well at +1400. Staley, the head coach of the Chargers, could lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in a few years. He could even win the division that should be one of the most competitive in the NFL. The Chargers would probably need to win 11 games and probably take the division in order to make this award go to Staley. I’ve already written that I think they take the division, so this is a natural additional play.
You could consider some other guys too, if you like. The values on these guys are high enough that you could legitimately play a few and have a shot to make money. You’ll obviously cut into your winnings, and could lose all of the plays, but there is still value on them. Nathaniel Hackett (Broncos, +1600) and Kevin O’Connell (Vikings, +1600) are not plays I’ll take as I don’t think either team improves enough to make a difference and win their divisions, which I think will be needed for either of them to win. No shot I would take the Giants coach, Brian Daboll.
The last one I might consider is Mike McDaniel. How does he win it? Well, the Dolphins would have to make the playoffs, for starters. If Tua takes a huge step, they may attribute that to McDaniel. Defensively, I think they probably will be improved, and that helps the cause. At +1600 he could be worth a sprinkle of some sort. Personally, I think it is a year too early though.
My plays are McDermott, Campbell, and Staley. I’ll probably lay off the rest for now, but look around and see you can make nice money from whoever wins this award.
For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024