Continuing our series of NFL Futures, we’re moving to head coaches. This week, we’ll check out our writers’ favorite bets to win 2019 Coach of the Year.
First, let’s check out the odds courtesy of DraftKings:
|NFL Coach of the Year Odds|
|Bill Belichick||+1400||Sean McVay||+1400|
|Sean Payton||+1400||Doug Pederson||+1400|
|Adam Gase||+2800||Pat Shurmur||+5000|
What is your favorite bet to win 2019 Coach of the Year?
Frank Reich (IND): +1000
The Colts finished second in the division last year with a 10-6 record but destroyed the division champion Texans 21-7 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Plus, they may have done more than any other team in the league at improving themselves in the offseason with a solid draft and the additions of Devin Funchess and Justin Houston. These awards don’t go simply to the best coach or the coach with the best record every year. Otherwise, Bill Belichick would have won 15 of these by now. Instead, based on the recent wins of Matt Nagy, Sean McVay, Jason Garrett and Ron Rivera, it seems the trend is to give it to a coach who is relatively new with their team and does enough to get over the hump and carry their team to a division title. The last time I checked, the Colts were the odds-on favorite to win a competitive AFC South and had the third-best odds to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Sounds like Vegas is counting on a big year from the Colts, which makes Coach Frank Reich a great value to take home the NFL Coach of the Year award.
– Mike Spector (@MikeSpector01)
It’s an undeniable fact that Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league. However, the coach of the year award rarely goes to the best coach. It goes to the coach of the team that surpassed public expectations the most. Last season, the Colts started out 1-5 as Andrew Luck started slow after his season off recovering from shoulder surgery. Starting in Week 7, though, he found his groove. The team finished 9-1 and were a legitimate threat to the Chiefs in their playoff matchup. While their season didn’t end the way they wanted, they proved that they have the pieces to make a Super Bowl run. The Colts finished eighth in points per game last season, but they’re going to move into the top five this year. They have an elite QB/WR pairing in Luck/Hilton, a fantastic set of RBs in Mack and Hines, playmakers in Ebron and Campbell, plus the fifth-best projected offensive line. Luck has way too many playmakers to disappoint this season, so when you pair that with a top-10 defense, this is easily a team that could finish with 13 wins. If that happens, Frank Reich wins coach of the year.
– Nick Zylak (@nickzylakFFA)
Last year Frank Reich helped the Colts do one of the most impressive 180 mid-season turnarounds. After starting with a 1-5 record, Indianapolis’ chances of qualifying for the playoffs seemed almost impossible. The offense had little to no life to it, and the defense seemed completely uninspired. Then suddenly it was as if a switch got flipped on, and the Colts started to win games. Before they knew it, Indianapolis was right in the thick of the playoff race during the final stretch of the season. The Colts ended up winning nine out of their last 10 to qualify for a playoff berth in 2018. If that wasn’t enough, Indianapolis went on to defeat their AFC South rivals the Houston Texans in the first round of the postseason. While Matt Nagy ended up winning the 2018 Coach of the Year Award, Reich could have easily made sense as well. The Colts looked like a walking corpse during the first six games of the season before their quick turnaround. Reich played a huge role in helping the Colts become a competitive team for the first time since 2014. Nevertheless, he will have to have similar success again in 2019 to prove that last season was not some kind of a fluke.
– Matthew Catalano (@MatthewCatala16)
Bill Belichick (NE): +1400
Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. You know it, I know it, all the other coaches in the NFL know it. The Patriots play in an easy division and have an infrastructure in place that makes it easier for them to win 10+ games every season than any other team. The Browns might win nine games, the Rams might win 13 games again, but all the voters for this award know that BB is the best. He is not even the odds-on favorite to win the award which seems silly to me.
– Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek)
Sean Payton (NO): +1400
There are two types of Coach of the Year candidates: those that overachieve expectations and those that deliver on the lofty preseason projections. My best bet for 2019 is Sean Payton, a prime example of the latter. The Saints should have been in last year’s Super Bowl, if not for a blown pass interference call late in the fourth quarter. New Orleans is one of only four teams with a preseason win total at 10.5 or higher. Over the last two years, the Saints have an 81% winning percentage at home while averaging 32.1 points per game. New Orleans will combine that dominant home-field production with a strong defense that ranked fifth in total sacks last season and produced a fantastic regular season. This will give Sean Payton his second career NFL Coach of the Year Award.
– Mike Randle (@RandleRant)
Doug Pederson (PHI): +1400
These odds are all high because Coach of the Year is usually a toss-up. Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league, yet he hasn’t won the award since 2010. It’ll likely go to someone new again and Pederson could get extra votes after not winning two years ago. The Eagles battled injuries last season and if they can stay healthy, 13 wins wouldn’t be surprising. For Belichick or Sean Payton to win this award, they would probably need 14 wins, and I’m betting that doesn’t happen. Otherwise, if a team like the Colts reach 12 wins, that’s Frank Reich’s award to lose.
– Adam Zdroik (@RotoZdroik)
Freddie Kitchens (CLE): +900
I get the enthusiasm my fellow experts have for Frank Reich and the Colts. I share in the love and belief that they will do really well this season. Maybe they win it all, but they went 10-6 last season and went to the playoffs. It seems that the Associated Press (AP) chooses the Coach of the Year based on more of an extreme swing of circumstances in regard to the hand they have been dealt than what we may want. The AP counts the ballots cast by 50 of the best in the business from around the country who cover the NFL regularly (writers, broadcasters), and who are not directly employed by the NFL Network, like Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth, Tony Dungy, and Herm Edwards. To guess who they may choose, it may be best to look at what team was bad until this coach arrived. They want to vote in a Cinderella story. Sean McVay is great, but he already won for turning the losing Jeff Fisher boat around with the Rams, and they lost in the Super Bowl last season. It would take a lot for him or Sean Payton to win this year. The only reason Bill Belichick has a good chance is if he leads the Patriots to more victories than last season, minus Gronk, which there’s a good likelihood he could do. In that case, Bill would just flat out deserve it. It would be tough for those 50 voters to deny him. It seems to me that the Browns have the highest chance to be one of the best teams in the NFL this season. Going from 7-8-1 to a winning team from the getgo will be an extreme change since Freddie Kitchens arrived at Cleveland. So, both + 900 for Freddie Kitchens or + 1400 for Bill Belichick are good bets. If Matt Nagy won in 2018 because he turned around a hopeless 5-11 Bears squad to a 12-4 division title team, then Freddie Kitchens is the most likely candidate to accomplish something similar.
– Tal Malachovsky (@fantasyscouter)
Here are each of our 2019 NFL futures bets:
- Top Bets to Lead League in Passing TDs
- Favorite Bets to Lead League in Passing Yards
- Best Bets for Defensive Rookie of the Year
- Top Bets for Last Remaining Undefeated Team
- Favorite Bets for 2019 NFL MVP
- Best Bet for 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
- Best Bets for Defensive Player of the Year
- Favorite Bets to Lead the League in Rushing Yards
- Best Bets to Lead the League in Rushing TDs
- Top Bets to Lead the League in Receiving Yards