NFL Coach of the Year Odds: Top Three Bets

Head Coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP
Head Coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP


Across multiple top sportsbooks, NFL Coach of the Year (COY) Odds are in full swing and several names practically leap off the page as attractive early bets to spot for NFL picks. In this column, we highlight those that we think are the best bets right now, some of which might come as a surprise as not all are amongst the bookies’ top faves at all.

Last season the NFL COY winner was Kevin Stefanski, who surpassed all expectations by genuinely emerging as the league’s best coach. He left no doubt about it his credentials when he steered the Cleveland Browns to an 11-5 SU record and a wildcard spot in the playoffs, thus ending the franchise’s decades long playoff drought. His Browns very nearly made it all the way to the AFC Championship game only to lose narrowly to the Kansas City Chiefs.

To look back at the NFL odds board for 2020, Stefanski was nowhere near the top of the list to win the coveted honour. That principality belonged jointly to new Dallas Cowboys’ new head coach Mike McCarthy and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when markets opened. Tale told, neither of those came even close to competing for the award. Instead, each saw his team implode for one reason or another in spectacular fashion and ultimately finish third in their respective divisions. The Cowboys finished with a 6-10 SU mark and the Patriots finished with a 7-9 SU mark.

It’s worth noting that McCarthy’s odds for 2021 have taken a significant step back as an opinion regarding his coaching merit has fallen considerably. McCarthy is the quintessential longshot bet as per DraftKings sportsbook tipped at +2500 (see odds below).

Here Are the Three Bets Worth Spotting in Early NFL Futures Markets:

Brandon Staley +1300

Going into the 2021 NFL season, oddsmakers have pegged Brandon Staley as the top bet at +1300 to win the NFL COY award. The thinking behind his favourable odds is quite reasonable and easy to get behind. The former Rams defensive coordinator is moving to city-rivals the Los Angeles Chargers, a team that has an excellent foundation and the framework to become a bona fide contender. His odds are further underscored by the fact that he inherits quarterback Justin Herbert, the offensive rookie of the year winner in 2020 and a breakout talent that many have high hopes for.

Ron Rivera +1400

Washington Football Team Ron Rivera made a strong case for the 2020 Coach of the Year award, especially given the trials and tribulations he faced along the way both on and off the field., Rivera with Washington, unlike Stefanski with Cleveland, inherited a team that was in total disarray, lacking a true identity – never mind a proper team name – and several quarterbacks that came with many question marks to boot. In his personal life, Rivera faced a battle against cancer which was discovered just as the season got underway. And yet, despite all of this the Washington Football Team defied the odds and clinched the NFC East title.

If there was one knockback it’s the fact that the NFC East was the indisputable worst division in the league that year. That fact took the shine off of what Rivera accomplished in 2020. However, should Rivera return this year and successfully navigate a course to a second straight NFC East title it would validate his first season in the nation’s capital. And that might be enough to earn him the COY nod.

Robert Salah +1800


Robert Salah is a defensive-minded guru that did wonders with the 49ers D-line over his stint in San Francisco, reaching a pinnacle in 2019 when they finished runners up to Kansas City Chiefs. Salah is set to begin his first season as the head coach of the New York Jets, with new quarterback in Zach Wilson and plenty of new additions to the roster that he and his staff have put together during the offseason. How all these changes will take hold only time will tell. However, working in his favour is the fact that his predecessor set such a low benchmark that it would be almost inconceivable for Salah to do any worse than Adam Gase did in his tenure.

As far as winning the COP award, Salah would have to perfect a breath-taking turnaround with the Jets. It’s not unheard of in the league, but it’s not a common occurrence and even less likely with a team that is rebuilding. This means Salah is a bit of a longshot punt for NFL picks but if there were a coach that could be so inspiring he ticks all the right boxes.

DraftKings NFL Coach Of the Year 2021-22 Odds

  • Brandon Staley +1300
  • Brian Flores +1400
  • Ron Rivera +1400
  • Kyle Shanahan +1400
  • Sean McVay +1500
  • Kevin Stefanski +1500
  • Frank Reich +1600
  • Arthur Smith +1600
  • Sean McDermott +1700
  • Bill Belichick +1800
  • Sean Payton +1800
  • Matt Rhule +1800
  • Robert Salah +1800
  • Joe Judge +2000
  • Andy Reid +2000
  • Bruce Arians +2200
  • Vic Fangio +2200
  • John Harbaugh +2200
  • Pete Caroll +2500
  • Mike McCarthy +2500

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