2021 NFL Coach of the Year Odds and Best Bets


In the NFL, coaching is one of the most important factors when separating the bad teams from the good teams and, especially, the good teams from the great teams. Certain coaches have influence on every snap and one specific sideline boss with the Los Angeles Chargers will try to turn the franchise around and is favored for 2021 NFL Coach of the Year odds.

Sportsbooks, like BetMGM, have elevated new Chargers head coach Brandon Staley to the betting favorite for odds to win NFL Coach of the year and break the stigma of the Chargers ineptness. Los Angeles was 12-20 over the last two seasons under Anthony Lynn and was desperate for a new voice in the locker room after inexplicably blowing late-game leads repeatedly under previous leadership.

Staley comes from the ever-extending coaching tree of Sean McVay and it wouldn’t be the NFL Coach of the Year futures market if the Los Angeles Rams head coach wasn’t somewhere near the top of the odds board. McCay is fifth behind Staley on the odds board at +1600 and last won the NFL COY award in 2017.

New faces tend to suck up the spotlight for NFL Coach of the Year odds and there are seven new head coaches in 2021, including Staley. One that has come from a winning program in San Francisco is Robert Saleh with the New York Jets. Salah is somewhat viewed as a savior for J-E-T-S and is +2000 to win this award in his first year as a head coach.

Let’s break down why Staley should be the favorite, what needs to happen for him to win the award and a long-shot candidate worth sprinkling on for odds to win NFL Coach of the Year.

Who will win 2021 NFL Coach of the Year?

Odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook

NFL Coach Odds (BetMGM)
Brandon Staley +1200
Kyle Shanahan +1400
Bill Belichick +1400
Kevin Stefanski +1600
Sean McVay +1600
Brian Flores +1600
Arthur Smith +1600
Urban Meyer +1600
Sean McDermott +1800
Andy Reid +2000
Robert Saleh +2000
Matt LaFleur +2000
Ron Rivera +2000
Mike McCarthy +2000
Matt Rhule +2000
Joe Judge +2200
Frank Reich +2500
Bruce Arians +2500
Sean Payton +2500
Vic Fangio +2500
Matt Nagy +2500
Mike Vrabel +2500
Kliff Kingsbury +2500
Jon Harbaugh +3000
Mike Zimmer +3000
Pete Carroll +4000
Mike Tomlin +4000
Jon Gruden +4000
Zac Taylor +4000
Dan Campbell +5000
Nick Sirianni +5000
David Culley +6500

Why is Brandon Staley the favorite for NFL Coach of the Year odds? 

Coming into a situation where you have a young quarterback still under his rookie contract, explosive offensive weapons and blue-chip defensive players, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley couldn’t have picked a better spot for his first tenure as a head coach. These reasons alone make him a legitimate candidate and betting favorite at +1200 for NFL Coach of the Year odds. 

Staley just got done leading the LA Rams as one of the best defenses in football last season as they led the league in points allowed per game (18.5) while ranking third in rushing yards allowed (91.3) and first in passing yards allowed (190.7). Did it help that he had two generational All-Pro defensive players in DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey? Likely, but you still need to put those players in the best position to succeed and Staley passed the test with flying colors in 2020.

Now, he joins a team hungry to contend with dogs on defense like DE Joey Bosa and former All-Pro safety Derwin James. While they’re not on the level of Donald/Ramsey, they can still implement the schemes from Staley to disrupt opposing offenses and allow their offense to cook.

Speaking of the offense, I wrote about how I think the Chargers are worthy Super Bowl 56 contenders and having an elite quarterback like Justin Herbert is going to pay dividends throughout the season for the defense. Herbert broke the record for passing yards and touchdowns by a rookie with 31 TDs and 4,336 yards, and the Chargers wisely decided to protect their investment by drafting a new left tackle in Rashawn Slater and signing center Corey Linsley to stabilize the offensive line.

After finishing 7-9 last year, the competency bar is pretty low to pass in Los Angeles after Anthony Lynn botched so many late-game scenarios over the last two seasons. If Staley can get this team to the playoffs and perhaps even steal a game from a division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, this award could be locked up by December for Staley.

Dark-horse pick for odds to win NFL Coach of the Year 

Sean Payton Coach of the Year Odds

Is there another team in the NFL that has been written off as much as the New Orleans Saints have been this offseason? After winning double-digit games for the last four seasons, most analysts have the Saints missing the playoffs in 2021 with projected win totals hovering around 9 or 9.5 depending on the sportsbook.

Well, the Saints have the talent and coaching ingenuity to surpass all expectations, which makes head coach Sean Payton a prime candidate to show his coaching chops and win NFL Coach of the Year. He’s already got the deck stacked against him with future Hall-of-Famer QB Drew Brees retiring after 15 years with the franchise and now, All-Pro WR Michael Thomas is expected to miss 4-6 games to start the season. 

That being said, this is nothing new for Payton (+2500), and we saw these two variables play out in 2020 and the Saints didn’t miss a beat. Thomas missed nine games last year while Brees was lost for four games and here’s the incredible part: The Saints were 3-1 in games that Brees missed and 6-3 in the games Thomas sat out. This team keeps chugging along, and it’s because of Payton’s ability to squeeze out points from limited offenses. It remains to be seen what kind of schemes the Saints head coach draws up with the likes of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill at QB, but Payton has shown that he can win without his offensive studs in the lineup.

If the Saints’ offense is still respectable and moving the chains, that is music to Payton’s ears because the New Orleans defense is formidable. They have a playmaker at every level of their defense with Cameron Jordan (22.5 sacks over the last two seasons), Demario Davis (110 or more solo tackles last three seasons) and then Marshon Lattimore, who can still play on an island and lock up a team’s top receiving option. 

It won’t be an easy win for Payton in the NFL Coach of the Year futures market. The AP members voting for this award may still hold a grudge for his role in “Bountygate” and his team’s recent shortcomings in the playoffs may be too much of a negative narrative for him to overcome. However, if he can somehow lead this team to 11 or more wins with Winston as his quarterback, you could argue the award should be renamed after him for that accomplishment alone.

Understanding NFL Coach of the Year odds 

When it comes to betting on NFL Coach of the Year odds, if you see value in a coaching candidate, get your futures bets in now. This award typically has the highest value before the season starts and can be like a runaway freight train when trying to bet against the favorite after a certain point of the season. 

In order to bet on odds to win NFL Coach of the Year, you’ll need to set up a sports betting account with a sportsbook and deposit some money. Once you complete that step, you’re ready to be on who will win the top NFL coaching award.

When you go to look for NFL Coach of the Year odds, it should look something like this:

  • Brandon Staley +1200
  • Sean McVay +1600
  • Kyle Shanahan +1600
  • Andy Reid +1600
  • Bill Belichick +2000

The numbers beside each coach represent the betting odds for if they were to win the Coach of the Year and are referred to as American odds. This equates to how much profit you’d receive for your winning pick if you’d bet $100 on it. The coach with the lowest number is considered the betting favorite and in this case, it’s Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Let’s say you’ve crunched the numbers, looked at your options and decided Staley is the coach you want to bet on. If you bet $100 on him and he wins the award, your sportsbook would pay you $1,300 — your $100 is returned and you win $1,200 in profit.

Try our FTNBets Parlay Calculator to help you determine what potential payouts would be and the amount you need to risk for certain profits.

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