The point spread for an NFL game is a fascinating development, whether you’re monitoring a line during the week leading up to the action, or even look-ahead numbers in the summer. But if you have more patience than most, future bets are the way to go, considering how long you’re in contention for a potential payout.
Futures options include MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year, among others, not to mention the opportunity to wager on who will emerge as the best in specific statistical categories.
For the purposes of this piece, we’re going to look at who offers the best odds to take home the NFL’s Coach of the Year honors for the upcoming 2022 campaign. Don Shula is the only coach to take home the hardware four separate times and Bill Belichick is the only coach that could potentially tie him this season. Chuck Knox also has three trophies to his credit.
The most recent winner was Titans’ head coach, Mike Vrabel, who led Tennessee to a 12-5 record and the top seed in the AFC in the first 17-game season in NFL history. He has been installed at +2500 to repeat, though we haven’t had a back-to-back winner since Joe Gibbs in 1992-93.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at who could hear their name called the night before the Super Bowl next February during the annual NFL Honors ceremony.
Frank Reich (+2000)
There is a group of nine coaches bunched together with odds of +1400 or +1600 to win the award, so Reich stands out as the first option at 20-1 or longer with a legit chance to take it. Reich will be entering his fifth season on the sidelines in Indianapolis and will do so with his fifth different starting quarterback.
Andrew Luck retired prior to the 2019 season, Jacoby Brissett was never the long-term solution, Philip Rivers retired after one year in Indy and the Carson Wentz experiment ended just as quickly. Matt Ryan enters the carousel for 2022 and should be a stabilizer in an offense that will rely on Jonathan Taylor to carry much of the load.
A return to the playoffs for the Colts in a very winnable division should highlight Reich’s abilities, making this a very attractive proposition.
Zac Taylor (+2500)
This may be a nod to his performance a year ago, but Taylor has certainly proved that he’s got the tools to coach in this league. Vrabel led the Titans to the top seed, but Taylor got his Bengals all the way to the Super Bowl in just his second season in Cincinnati.
The big-game hangover is real, so if Taylor can motivate his young nucleus back to the postseason, he’ll have accomplished more than most in what could be the infant stages of a dynasty. Strange to say about this franchise.
Mike Tomlin / Todd Bowles (+3000)
Yes, both of these coaches are well-established. Bowles more so as a defensive coordinator, but now he’s getting a well-deserved second chance in the lead chair. Bowles is replacing a Super Bowl-winning head coach in Bruce Arians who also won this award twice. Tomlin is tasked with replacing Ben Roethlisberger, a Hall-of-Fame quarterback who just retired.
Bowles will admittedly have to do a lot more than Tomlin to win the hardware as he steps into a must-win situation, but both have an opportunity to impress despite their already impressive resumes.
If we had to pick from the aforementioned nine above (Brandon Staley, Doug Pederson, Brian Daboll, Mike McDaniel, Kevin O’Connell, Nick Sirianni, Josh McDaniels, Nathaniel Hackett, Kyle Shanahan), we’d highlight Hackett.
The Broncos upped the ante and acquired Russell Wilson, but they’re still in the toughest division in football and if a first-year coach qualifies for the postseason after that daunting schedule, voters will notice.