Handicapping Bovada's Prop Bet for First NFL Coach Fired
by Trevor Whenham - 8/25/2014
Whenever things start to go badly for any team in an NFL season, one of the first things that fans call for is for the coach to be fired. Teams often listen - about a fifth to a quarter of coaches are fired every year. Quite often, like last year, teams will get a jump on the race and fire a coach during the season - as the Houston Texans did last year with Gary Kubiak. If you had sat down before the season started and tried to pick which coach would be the first fired, Kubiak would have been far down the list. That means that the first coach fired prop offered by Bovada is a good spot to look for some interesting value.
Here's what stands out this year:
Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys (2/1): This one seems like an inevitability. It feels like the only reason that Garrett, who has been a disappointment in almost every sense of the word, hasn't been fired yet is because Jerry Jones has too much pride to admit that his hand-picked coach isn't up to the challenge. He'll have to face reality soon enough, though, because this defense is just not going to be good, and it is going to be yet another lost season in that temple of football outside of Dallas.
Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders (4/1): I actually think Allen did a decent job last year. His team was really, really lousy but perhaps not as lousy as they should have been given the talent they had. I don't think Allen has a really long future in Oakland because they need to do something to try to get back on track - even if it isn't Allen's fault. The only reason I don't think Allen will get booted first is because it's not like the team is only one coaching change away from being very good. They would be lousy with Vince Lombardi in charge, so they might as well dance with the one they brought for this year.
Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins (7/1): Philbin is doing a good job, his team has a chance to be decent, and I just don't see him going anywhere. Bad bet in my eyes.
Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills, (8/1): This could definitely happen. The defense should be quite good, but E.J. Manuel is a huge question mark - and it is getting harder to be optimistic. They spent a lot of money to upgrade the defense over the last couple of years, so it would be immensely frustrating if they saw a potentially strong season wasted by offensive ineptness - especially because there are skill position guys who are very good on this team. Marrone also barely seems to have control of his team judging by the number of fights players have had during camp. On top of all that, the drama of an impending ownership change could limit the patience around the team. He's not the most likely to go first, but at this price there is value.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets (10/1): Ryan should have been fired long ago, but he is still there. If he has lasted this long, I don't see him getting fired first this year.
Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (12/1): I like the job that Bradley is doing. The second half of last season was downright impressive, they are moving in the right direction, and they potentially have a solid starting QB for the future on the horizon. I don't see Bradley going anywhere in a long while.
Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons (12/1): Smith absolutely should have been fired after last season. His teams in Atlanta have all had something in common - a lousy, self-defeating attitude. If they aren't dramatically better out of the gate, and if they can't run the ball at least a little or protect their quarterback, then I would fire Smith in a heartbeat. If he has lasted this long, though, then he can't be viewed as being too fragile. No value here.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (20/1): Lewis is the worst coach at any level of football, but he seems to have a job for life. Eleven years. No playoff wins. Still employed. My great, great grandchildren will still be wondering what it will take to get him fired. He's not going anywhere.
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (25/1): Now this one is interesting at this price. Last year was ugly. The preseason for Eli Manning has been even uglier. Coughlin has been around for a very long time, he's not going to stay forever, and he may just step aside - by choice or under pressure - if things don't go well out of the gate. It's not likely, but he's a good gamble at the price.
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