As we delve into the final third of the season, Bill Belichick from the New England Patriots emerged as the betting favorite to win the 2021 NFL Coach of the Year at +300 odds, with Kliff Kingsbury from the Arizona Cardinals not far behind at +400.
DraftKings updated its Coach of the Year odds and Belichick and Kingsbury are at the top of their board. Matt Lafleur from the Green Bay Packers is their closest competitor at +600 odds.
Brandon Staley, in his rookie season as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, was the popular pick in the preseason at +1000 odds. After a 6-5 start with the Chargers, Staley’s odds slipped to +1800.
|2021 NFL Coach of the Year Odds
- Bill Belichick +300
- Kliff Kingsbury +400
- Matt Lafleur +600
- Zac Taylor +800
- Mike Vrabel +800
- Mike McCarthy +1600
- Brandon Staley +1800
- Sean McDermott +2000
- Sean McVay +2000
- Frank Reich +2500
- Kyle Shanahan +3500
- John Harbaugh +4000
- Ron Rivera +4000
- Sean Payton +4000
- Bruce Arians +4000
Kevin Stefanaski from the Cleveland Browns won the Coach of the Year in 2020 after he led the Browns to an 11-5 record. He’s a moon shot to win NFL COY in back-to-back seasons at +5000 odds after a tough 6-6 season. In the last 50 years, only one coach won COY in back-to-back seasons when Joe Gibbs from the Washington Football Team pulled off the rare feat in 1982 and 1983.
Fourth for Darth Vader
Belichick hasn’t won a Coach of the Year since 2010 when he won the award for a third time with the New England Patriots. He first won it in 2003 with a 14-2 team, then won it a second time in 2007 when the Patriots steamrolled everyone during an undefeated 16-0 season.
Considering the Patriots don’t have Tom Brady anymore, Belichick’s job this year has been impressive restoring the evil empire as a legit Super Bowl contender in the AFC. Even the biggest haters out there have to tip their cap to Belichick this season.
With six weeks remaining, Belichick and the Patriots have won six games in a row, and quarterback Mac Jones no longer looks like a rookie. He’s not exactly lighting it up in the boxscore, but he’s done a stellar job at avoiding costly turnovers and managing Belichick’s week-to-week, chameleon-like game plan.
Brady often joked that in Belichick’s world, the season really started on the first Sunday in November. Belichick typically dismissed games in September because he was trying to figure out what kind of team he had that season while compiling data on future opponents.
The Pats went 1-3 in September and hit rock bottom with an overtime loss against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6. After a 2-4 start, the Patriots won six in a row as the hottest team in the NFL. Credit Belichick for not panicking in September, and understanding it’s a long slog with an additional game during an 18-week season.
Belichick had +1200 preseason odds to win Coach of the Year, but he’s only +300 right now.
On the flip side, Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) looked fantastic in the first half of the season with a 7-0 record as the last standing undefeated team in the NFL. Since then, quarterback Kyler Murray suffered an ankle injury and DeAndre Hopkins tweaked his hamstring. Even without his top two offensive weapons, the Cardinals still went 2-1.
The Cardinals have three tough games in December against the LA Rams, Indianapolis Colts, and at the Dallas Cowboys. If they run the table and win all six games, Kingsbury and the Cards will finish the season 15-2, which will make Kingsbury tough to ignore when it’s time to vote for Coach of the Year.
Kingsbury started the season at +1800 odds to win Coach of the Year, but his odds dramatically improved throughout the Cardinals’ early winning streak.