The narratives behind the NFL Coach of the Year betting odds are always intriguing, and 2023 is no different. The key, more so than many other awards, is about who leads their team to outperform expectations the most. Whether that be the 15-win team who was only projected for 11.5 wins or the nine-win team projected to win just a handful, the narrative is always the key.
In this article, we examine the odds for the 2023 NFL Coach of the Year, as well as provide predictions and potential longshots to consider from our team of analysts.
The analysts providing the picks are PFN Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo, Chief Content Officer David Bearman, Betting Director Brian Blewis, as well as Betting and Fantasy Analysts Jason Katz and Kyle Soppe. Additionally, we also have a Coach of the Year prediction from FOX Sports’ Chris “The Bear” Fallica.
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NFL Coach of the Year Predictions
Wingo: Usually, the Coach of the Year award goes to the team with the best record in the regular season or someone who turns the whole thing around. Sean Payton (+1400 at FanDuel) has a real chance to be a difference-maker again. He made the Saints what they became, and now they’re back to being a laughing stock at the end of last season without him.
Fallica: The Saints have a lot going for them in terms of a bounce-back season — bad division, new QB, and a defense that played really well as the season went on last year. Four of the Saints’ losses in 2022 were by four points or fewer, including the incomprehensible loss at Tampa on Monday night.
So there was certainly a chance at a much better record. The early part of the schedule is very manageable, so if the Saints are sitting 4-2 or 5-1 after six games, everyone will notice. And +2200 on Dennis Allen will be long gone.
Bearman: Last year, the Jaguars plotted along to a 4-8 start before winning the final five games and stealing the AFC South title, AND knocking off the Chargers in the Wild Card round.
It was much too late for Doug Pederson (+2200 at DraftKings) to win COY by the time the turnaround happened, but the Jags should roll to the AFC South title this year. With an easy division and easy overall schedule, it’s not out of the question for the Jags to rack up 11-12 wins, which would put Pederson right in the conversation.
Katz: The Coach of the Year award doesn’t really go to the best coach. Rather, it goes to the coach who got his team to perform the most above expectation. That’s why Andy Reid, arguably the best coach in the NFL, has the longest odds.
With that in mind, give me Robert Saleh (+1500 at DraftKings). The Jets have the longest playoff drought in the league and just went 7-10 last season.
If Aaron Rodgers turns New York into a 10-win team and they make the playoffs, Saleh may very well get this award over coaches on teams that were expected to be good, like the aforementioned Reid or one of Zac Taylor or Sean McDermott.
Blewis: I’m pretty high on the Denver Broncos having a bounce-back season this year after a disastrous 2022, and much of that is due to the coaching upgrade in Sean Payton (+1400 at DraftKings).
After going 5-12 last season and being the laughing stock of football, if Payton can help lead this team to the postseason for the first time since they won the Super Bowl in 2016, he should easily be in the mix.
Soppe: I picked the Saints to represent the NFC in my longshot Super Bowl prediction, and if that is even remotely close to accurate, Dennis Allen (+2200 at DraftKings) is going to be deserving of this award.
Allen was the head of this defense during their run of four straight seasons of 11+ wins, but he struggled in his first year as their head coach. So what?
That happens, but with another season under his belt and arguably the worst division in football, why can’t the Saints overachieve? Sportsbooks have New Orleans pegged for 9-10 wins. What if they eclipse that by two games and flirt with the No. 2 seed in the NFC?
The schedule is not something that scares me in the least, and the few games they do play against playoff hopefuls come at home. A 4-5 win improvement from last season is certainly possible, and if Allen pulls that off, he’ll be among the favorites to take home this honor.
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NFL Coach of the Year Sleepers and Longshots
Wingo: Here’s a thought — we’re in the longest stretch in Super Bowl history without a team repeating. What if Kansas City pulls it off again? It might be a regular-season award, but if KC ends up at the top of the AFC with the one seed again with so much change, how do you not give it to Andy Reid (+5000 at DraftKings)?
Bearman: With Lamar Jackson signed and back in the fold, the Ravens should be right there at the top of the AFC North again, competing with the Bengals and Browns.
With healthy running backs, the offense should be back to explosive. If the Ravens do top the Bengals for the North title, they will be a top-three seed in the AFC, giving John Harbaugh (+3000 at DraftKings) a legit shot at Coach of the Year.
Katz: Given the choices, how do we not go with Andy Reid at +5000? This award rarely goes to coaches who are already established as great, but the path to Reid winning it isn’t all that unrealistic. The Chiefs, who possess the best quarterback to ever play (yeah, I said it), win 14+ games, while no other team wins more than 12.
In the absence of a clear Brian Daboll situation where a coach had his team severely outperform expectations, the voters throw it to Reid — who somehow hasn’t won this thing since 2002 — despite a full 10 years in Kansas City with a winning record, including three Super Bowl appearances, two wins, and five consecutive AFC Championship games at home.
Blewis: I’m still bitter that he didn’t get enough consideration in 2022, but if the Eagles have another stellar season and are the top seed in the NFC again, maybe Nick Sirianni (+3500 at DraftKings) will get more recognition this time around?
People were hesitant to give him too much credit for last season due to the immensely talented roster he was coaching, but maybe this time will be different coming off a Super Bowl loss and replacing six starters from last season.
Recent Risers and Fallers
There hasn’t been much movement in NFL Coach of the Year odds except for a couple of minor exceptions.
With a lot of hype around the Jacksonville Jaguars this season in a very weak division, Doug Pederson’s odds shifted from +2200 to +2000 at DraftKings during the preseason. Todd Bowles was tied with Andy Reid for the longest odds (+5000) to win the award, but he is now in sole position at +6000.
Who Is the Favorite To Win Coach of the Year?
Dan Campbell (+850) has been the favorite since the odds were first released at DraftKings. After going 8-2 in the second half of last season, the Lions are expected to take a leap in 2023 and potentially win the NFC North.
Narrowly behind Campbell is Sean Payton (+900), who will be looking to turn both the Broncos’ fortunes and Russell Wilson’s seemingly fading career around. Matt Eberflus (+1100), Arthur Smith (+1400), Robert Saleh (+1600), and Matt LaFleur (+1600) are the other top favorites.
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