2023-24 NFL Coach of the Year Odds: Still Campbell’s Award to Lose?

The last weeks of the NFL season is when everything becomes magnified. Playoff seeding becomes a common topic of discussion, and the awards across the league lead to many debates and scrutinized arguments over certain players or, in today’s case, coaches. The NFL Coach of the Year race looked to be over early on this season, with Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell winning the hearts of football fans everywhere.

While Campbell is still the favorite to win the award across most US states where mobile sports betting is legal, his odds are starting to shrink due to his team’s recent play. This begs the question of whether or not he is still a lock to win the award or if it’s time to start trying to find value elsewhere on the odds board.

2023-24 NFL Coach of the Year Betting Odds

Coach DraftKings BetMGM FanDuel Caesars
Dan Campbell +250 +250 +350 +300
Mike McDaniel +250 +300 +300 +300
DeMeco Ryans +350 +300 +300 +350
Shane Steichen +1000 +800 +700 +750
Kyle Shanahan +1400 +1400 +1400 +1500
Sean Payton +1500 +1600 +1400 +1200
Matt Lafleur +2200 +1800 +1400 +1000
Kevin Stefanski +2000 +2200 +1100 +1000
John Harbaugh +2000 +2200 +2000 +2000
Mike McCarthy +2200 +2800 +2500 +2500

*odds as of December 11, 2023

Three Horse Race?

 As you can see by the odds board, three coaches are in a different tier than the rest. Like with any award, there are arguments to be made for and against each of them, so I’ll break down both sides of the coin for each of these guys.

Dan Campbell: One of the biggest things with Coach of the Year seems to be the ability to turn around a franchise, and if Campbell’s team can hold on down the stretch, he would lead them to their first playoff game since 2016 and first divisional title since 1993. However, Detroit has lost two of their last three games, and their defense has allowed an average of 29.8 points per game over the last five weeks, so if they can’t fix things fast, Campbell could lose out on this award.

Mike McDaniel: The young head coach of the Miami Dolphins has put together one of the most explosive offenses we have seen in years. His fast-paced style of play has already produced a 70-point game this season, and his team looks to be on their way to their first AFC East title since 2008. The one thing that could hurt McDaniel and this award is that Miami has not beaten a team that is above .500 up to this point, but they will have three chances to do so in the season’s final three weeks.

DeMeco Ryans: If you want to talk about turning a franchise around, Ryans has the Houston Texans sitting at 7-6 after not winning more than four games in each of the last three seasons. The first-year head coach’s biggest chance of winning this award would be leading his team to a division title, and while they are sitting in second place, the injuries are starting to stack up against him and his team.

The Darkhorse Category

Shane Steichen: The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts has the fourth-best odds to win the award on most betting apps in Indiana, but even being that high on the odds board, he is still +1000 on DraftKings, which is why he is in this section. First-year head coaches typically get a lot of love with this award, and Steichen has his team in Wild Card position despite losing his starting quarterback early in the season.

Sean Payton: Back in 2006, Sean Payton won this award as head coach of the Saints. Now, he is leading the Broncos back to relevancy after their terrible 2022-23 season. While this year got off to a brutal start, his team has battled their way back into the playoff picture. Between the story of his career and the revitalization he’s managed in Denver, Payton could fly up this board in the coming weeks if they keep winning.

Mike McCarthy: The last time a Cowboys head coach won this award was in 2016. McCarthy has his team playing at a similar level this season, as they are currently 10-3 and, for the time being, have dethroned the Eagles at the top of the NFC East. With his quarterback playing at an MVP level, McCarthy could make a late push for this award if Dallas can win out.

What Does History Tell Us?

Using a bit of historical context may help bettors further narrow down who they want to place a wager on as we head down the stretch. Recently, first-year head coaches have made a lot of noise with this award, with four of the last eight winners being rookie coaches. Just last season, Brian Daboll won the award in his first season with the Giants, so it’s not much of a surprise to see Demeco Ryans and Shane Steichen near the top of the odds board at this point.

Another big thing to remember is that while wins are important, this award doesn’t often end up in the hands of the coach with the best regular season record. Since 2015, only two winners of this award have finished the season with the best overall record, which partially is why only Kyle Shanahan is the only coach of a ten-win team that is within the top five on the odds board.

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