The NFL season is just past its midway point and so far one NFL coach has already lost his head coaching job. The Cleveland Browns fired Hue Jackson after eight games, deeming his performance not good enough. Opposite of Jackson, however, oddsmakers have identified two offensive gurus who have separated themselves among the crop of head football coaches this season.
The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs are headed towards a shootout on Monday Night Football in Mexico City on November 19 and there could be more than just a win at stake between the two teams.
According to Bovada, Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay (+125) is the favorite to win the NFL’s Coach of the Year Award. Just behind McVay is Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid (+150). The coaches currently commandeer the NFL’s two best teams, both leading their respective conferences with 8-1 records.
After McVay and Reid, there’s a sharp dropoff to New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton (+600), but that Payton might present the best value. After a Week 1 loss, Payton currently has the Saints riding a seven-game win streak. As it stands, the Saints are not only tied with the Rams in the loss column, they also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker – Payton’s Saints beat McVay’s Rams 45-35 on Sunday. Additionally, Payton is the maestro of the league’s second highest scoring offense. The Saints average 34.9 points per game, ahead of the Rams (33.2 ppg), and behind Kansas City (36.3).
Defense Wins Championships, Offense Wins Awards
Bovada’s odds are a sign of the times. The league is in a Golden Era of offensive production and the architects of the three most explosive offensive teams are leading candidates for the award.
Payton has called plays for a Saints offense that has scored at least 40 points an astonishing four times in eight games this season. Reid has done so three times so far in Kansas City’s eight games. The NFL’s 30 other teams have combined to score 40 or more points 15 times this season.
Surprisingly, the Rams are not among those teams. Despite boasting the third highest scoring offense in football, Los Angeles has yet to reach 40 points this season.
Following the three leaders, New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera are both tied with the fourth best odds at +700. Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase and Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien are each next at +1400 and Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden is listed at +2500.
Rising Up The List
Entering the 2018 NFL season, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson and Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy were each given +1000 odds to win NFL Coach of the Year, tied for the best among the league’s 32 coaches.
McVay has rightfully garnered high praise for the job he’s done with the Rams this season. His odds have shot up from +1200 before the season started to the +125 clip that currently has him the favorite to win the award.
Third-year quarterback Jared Goff is second in the league in passing yards (2,816) and third in touchdown passes (20). Goff is playing like a seasoned veteran in McVay’s offense, while running back Todd Gurley is currently third on Bovada’s MVP list (+450).
Reid jettisoned veteran quarterback Alex Smith in the offseason to make room for second year sensation Patrick Mahomes. It’s been a wise coaching decision, and one of the main reasons the Chiefs are the AFC’s best team and why Reid’s chances to win Coach of the Year have gone from +1600 before the season to +150 now.
In Reid’s offense, Mahomes is playing like the game’s best quarterback. He currently leads the NFL is passing yards (2,901) and touchdown passes (29) and is doing so at just 23 years old. The gaudy, video-game like numbers Mahomes has put up this season make him Bovada’s odds on favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Bettors who want to jump on Mahomes to win MVP have to pay the price of -140.
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