Sean Pendergast

Bill O'Brien at Rock Bottom of Odds Board for 2020 NFL Coach of the Year

Oddsmakers are not high on Bill O'Brien's chances of overachieving this season.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
Oddsmakers are not high on Bill O'Brien's chances of overachieving this season.
It's been a rough offseason for Bill O'Brien's approval rating among Texan fans, and that is largely because of the moves he's made as the team's general manager. When you trade DeAndre Hopkins for a second round pick, when you take on David Johnson's guaranteed contract in full, when every one of your moves feels like an overpay, this is what will happen. People get angry.

Now, the thing to remember about O'Brien is that, while he is likely an abysmal general manager, he is still an average to slightly above average head coach. I realize those are not adjectives that have everybody running out to buy Super Bowl tickets, but, empirically, he is at least a decent head coach. Well, apparently, to many, that doesn't matter. It's still the same human being that's making all these weird roster moves, so O'Brien the COACH is getting painted with the same brush as O'Brien the GENERAL MANAGER.

One EXTREME example of this is the odds board for 2020 AP Coach of the Year in the NFL, courtesy of BetOnline, where O'Brien is literally at the very, very bottom of the board. Check it out:

AP Coach of the Year 2020
Bill Belichick 12/1
Bruce Arians 12/1
Mike McCarthy 14/1
Frank Reich 16/1
Andy Reid 18/1
Kevin Stefanski 18/1
Kliff Kingsbury 18/1
Sean McDermott 18/1
Kyle Shanahan 20/1
Mike Vrabel 22/1
Brian Flores 25/1
Doug Pederson 25/1
John Harbaugh 25/1
Vic Fangio 25/1
Mike Tomlin 28/1
Mike Zimmer 28/1
Pete Carroll 28/1
Anthony Lynn 30/1
Dan Quinn 30/1
Matt LaFleur 30/1
Matt Nagy 30/1
Sean McVay 30/1
Sean Payton 30/1
Matt Patricia 33/1
Matt Rhule 33/1
Zak Taylor 33/1
Joe Judge 40/1
Jon Gruden 40/1
Ron Rivera 40/1
Adam Gase 50/1
Bill O'Brien 50/1
Doug Marrone 50/1 
A few thoughts on these odds:

Man, O'Brien is brushing up against some scary names, if he is wanting to keep his job
I don't have the patience to run through my Google machine to see if this is a statistical fact, but I have a hard time believing there's been another head coach in NFL and gambling history that has come off back to back double digit win seasons, and is at the rock bottom of the odds board for NFL Coach of the Year. Consider the other two names tied with O'Brien at 50/1 — Doug Marrone is the head coach of the wretched Jacksonville Jaguars, and likely will be fired after the season, and Adam Tase is the head coach of the perpetually awful New York Jets, and he is on thin ice, too.

The top of the board has interesting ties to Tom Brady
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, the two head coaches that have the shortest odds to take home the award are Bruce Arians of Tampa Bay and Bill Belichick of New England. The ironic thing here is that if Arians wins it, he will likely be wining it because of the acquisition of Tom Brady. If Belichick wins the award, it will be because his team was able to achieve success WITHOUT Tom Brady. My ideal scenario here is that these two both tie for the award, and after the season, every sports TV debate show host's head explodes.

Look what the DeAndre Hopkins trade is doing for Kliff Kingsbury!
Remember how Kyler Murray was launched into the 2020 MVP conversation (tied with Tom Brady at 16/1) after the Cardinals picked up DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans? Murray sailed right past Deshaun Watson (28/1) up the odds board, despite the fact that he's played one season of last place football in the AFC West. Don't look now, but his head coach is getting similar love. Kliff Kingsbury is tied with a handful of coaches, including defending Super Bowl champ Andy Reid, at 18/1. So there are only four head coaches with shorter odds than Kingsbury. The Hopkins Effect is real!

Mike McCarthy's stock is as high as it's been since the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010
One of those four head coaches ahead of Kingsbury is the Cowboys' Mike McCarthy, who's gone from being the "thing holding Aaron Rodgers back" (looking more and mroe false every week, by the way) in Green Bay to the Flavor of the Month in Dallas. McCarthy is not a great value at 14/1, but I do think the Cowboys are going to be very good this season, and McCarthy having all those weapons (including first round pick WR Ceedee Lamb) should make for a fun offense to watch.

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