Wednesday, February 28, 2024

NFL Coach of the Year Odds: Predictions for 2023 Winner Include Dan Campbell, Sean Payton, and Mike Tomlin

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NFL Coach of the Year is an annual award honoring the best coaching performance in the league. The criteria by which it is awarded is somewhat inconsistent. You could make the case that Bill Belichick could have won it for a decade straight, or that Andy Reid should be a front-runner every year.

Winning the most games is an important piece of the puzzle, but the coach who won the most games has only won the award 30% of the time in the 21st century. Of those, 71% (five of seven) went to Belichick and Bruce Arians. Below, we look at the names and betting odds of those most likely to be in the running for the award, keeping this in mind.

2023 NFL Coach of the Year Odds and Predictions

*Odds provided by FanDuel

Dan Campbell (+1100)

Dan Campbell is the name I think of who can most likely make winning the NFL Coach of the Year award a reality. Detroit is not likely to be the NFC’s top seed this year. That said, they are undoubtedly a team on the rise with a history of being a league-leading punchline. Campbell has come in and changed the latter while assuring the former.

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That is the exact criteria that seems to get the attention of the award voters. A team that overachieves and overcomes some level of notoriety. Finishing last year with a winning record and fighting for a spot in the playoffs during the final week of the season, Campbell finally has the wins to match the bluster.

If he gets into the postseason this year, I’d say it’s almost automatic that he’s the front-runner.

Sean Payton (+1200)

This is an interesting name to see at the top of the NFL Coach of the Year odds list. Yes, Sean Payton won a Super Bowl…nearly a decade and a half ago. Also, yes, he has already won this award in the first year of taking over a team…over a decade and a half ago.

The situation Payton is walking into is much more fraught than what he has spent his time coaching over the last 15 years. The Denver Broncos are a complete mess right now. The offensive line is in shambles. The defense is a giant question mark, and the locker room is tenuous, at best.

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Already, Payton is having tension with quarterback Russell Wilson regarding whether or not Wilson will continue with the lavish perks he has reportedly enjoyed while being in Denver thus far, amid a disastrous season. Payton criticized Wilson’s play from the podium at the NFL Combine.

He has a lot of questions to answer in the locker room before he even gets to the field. I doubt he answers them all well enough to win the award. That said, if he does, Payton will be more than worthy of it.

Frank Reich (+1600)

This, to me, is another surprising name to see at the top of the list. It’s further proof of the reputation Frank Reich has created for himself despite the lack of meaningful results of any kind. Indianapolis as an organization, up until this year, had people believing they were just outside the tier of premium organizations.

Then the dysfunction and continued underachieving reared its ugly face, and that tale unraveled quite quickly. Indy, rightfully, was seen as quite the dysfunctional organization, and Reich was very much a part of that, despite the great masking of it through sustained mediocrity.

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Reich now takes over a Carolina Panthers team that Steve Wilks had on the cusp of a division title following a disastrous start to last year by ousted coach Matt Rhule. The players openly campaigned for Wilks to keep the job. With Wilks not getting it, gone is the momentum acquired as the season ended. Now, the players must adjust to a brand new environment with several holes on the roster.

I don’t see how Reich does enough to win the NFL Coach of the Year award without the pedigree of showing he was worthy of it in the past in a better situation.

Who Will Win NFL Coach of the Year Odds?

To me, the current favorite for the NFL Coach of the Year is who I believe will win the award as it currently stands. Campbell is more than just a soundbite, and the culture shift he has achieved in Detroit is beginning to translate to wins.

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If that trend continues, he’s the safest bet to win it when it’s all said and done.

NFL Coach of the Year Odds Long Shots

Mike Tomlin currently has +3000 odds to win the NFL Coach of the Year award. Tomlin has been the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 16 years, among the longest-tenured of current NFL coaches, with a Super Bowl victory on his résumé.

In those 16 years, Tomlin has not once posted a losing record as a head coach. That includes his first year without likely Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Starting a rookie QB in 2022, Tomlin still led the team to a winning record. Yet, not once in those 16 seasons has Tomlin ever won the award.

If the Steelers reach the playoffs next year and post yet another winning record with double-digit wins, or even wins the division, which is not out of the question, it would not surprise me for a second to see Tomlin finally win the award.

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