The betting public has shown their love for the Cleveland Browns, so it’s no surprise that their coach Freddie Kitchens is getting equal admiration. The first-year coach is the overwhelming favorite at several sportsbooks.
The first is Bovada, which lists him at 13/2. The next closest is San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan at 11/1. Five follow him (Kansas City’s Andy Reid, New England’s Bill Belichick, Indy’s Frank Reich, LA Rams’ Sean McVay, and New Orleans’ Sean Payton) at 15/1.
Coach of the Year Odds
Coach Team Odds
Freddie Kitchens Cleveland 13/2
Kyle Shanahan San Francisco 11/1
Frank Reich Indianapolis 15/1
Bill Belichick New England 15/1
Sean McVay Los Angeles Rams 15/1
Andy Reid Kansas City 15/1
Sean Payton New Orleans 15/1
Doug Pederson Philadelphia 16/1
Matt Nagy Chicago 20/1
Vic Fangio Denver 20/1
Matt LaFleur Green Bay 20/1
Bruce Arians Tampa Bay 20/1
Dan Quinn Atlanta 20/1
Anthony Lynn Los Angeles Chargers 20/1
Odds courtesy of Bovada
The odds for Kitchens are better for gamblers at Draft Kings. There he is at 9/1. He is followed by Reich at 10/1 then Reid, Belichick, McVay, Payton, and Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson at 14/1.
In 2018 Chicago first year coach Matt Nagy took home the award. He led the team to a 12-4 record. The team was bounced in the first round of the playoffs.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay won the award the year before in his first year at the helm. The Rams finished 11-5 in 2017.
Kitchens may not have to worry about a rookie taking the award, but he will certainly have to win at least 10 games. The last coach who won with less than 10 victories was Dallas’ Jimmie Johnson in 1990, when his team went 7-9.
Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have the over/under on regular season wins for the Browns at nine. If Cleveland hit the over, it is possible Kitchens could take the award as well.
Kitchens is not above criticizing his own performance. After the team’s 13-12 loss to Tampa Bay, he took the blame for the loss.
“Those guys are coached to execute,” Kitchens said. “Those guys are coached to do their job and we didn’t do a very good job of preparing those guys to do a good job, and they didn’t do a good job of doing their job. We’ll look at the film and see what it was, but I know the execution wasn’t there and it had been before.”
Other Contenders Lurking
Shanahan will have an even harder task getting to 10 wins. The 49ers over/under for season victories is eight, and even that might be generous. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has looked inconsistent in preseason games and practice, and there are questions on whether he will be the same after tearing his ACL five games into last year.
A longshot to consider would be Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin. The Steelers’ head coach is at 28/1. The team’s over/under win total is nine, with the over the -145 favorite. The team rid itself of distractions Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, and replaced them quite sufficiently. If the team reaches 10 wins and does well in the playoffs, Tomlin could be a strong contender for the award.