NFL Props Odds and Predictions: Head Coaching Specials
by Alan Matthews - 12/10/2014
If you read my stuff here regularly at Doc's, you know I love head coaching props from Bovada. Alas, I haven't hit on them much this season. However, with the NFL season in the homestretch, the site has released a handful on the futures of some embattled coaches. Each prop asks if he will be the head coach of his current team for Week 1 next season. I'll examine one by one. Bit surprised that the Jets' Rex Ryan isn't on that list, but I suppose it's because it's such a sure thing he's not back.
Tom Coughlin, Giants: "Yes" +150, "No" -200
Obviously Coughlin has a lot of good faith built up in the organization with those two Super Bowl rings, but this will be the third straight season and fifth in the past six that the G-Men miss the playoffs. Coughlin is the oldest coach in the NFL and longest-tenured in the NFC. I see no possible way that he returns. The team is going backward, especially Eli Manning. Look for New York to hire an offensive guy to fix Manning and with future star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. already on board. Short answer: No.
Jay Gruden, Redskins: Yes -330, No +200
This is the most interesting one on this list. Would Dan Snyder fire a guy he just gave a five-year guaranteed contract to? Clearly yes, because Snyder dumped the successful Marty Schottenheimer after one season. Gruden looks a little above his head here in dealing with Robert Griffin III. I believe Snyder chooses RGIII, whom he reportedly is infatuated with, over a coach who doesn't want Griffin. It's easier to find a coach than a possible franchise QB. Short answer: No.
Marc Trestman, Bears: Yes +150, No -200
The Bears aren't the type of franchise to fire coaches quickly. I mean, Dick Jauron got five years, and he had only one winning season, finishing 35-45 overall. This is Year 2 for Trestman, and there's no question the team has regressed as a whole. The offense, Trestman's baby, was one of the best in the NFL last year and has been well below average -- as has QB Jay Cutler. The defense is terrible again. So Trestman will get one more season, but he will have to clean house. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is a goner for sure. You already hear talk of Wade Phillips replacing him. Short answer: Yes.
Ron Rivera, Panthers: Yes -600, No +350
Rivera was the 2013 NFL Coach of the Year, so the team rewarded him with an extension through 2017. I expected Carolina to take a huge step back this season, and the Panthers have, although they can still win the sad NFC South. I don't blame Rivera, I blame GM Dave Getteleman, who did very little to improve the team in free agency. If Cam Newton can't play the rest of the season after suffering two transverse process fractures in his lower back in a car accident on Tuesday, that might actually help Rivera if the team finishes with only four wins. He could argue it might have won the division with Newton. Short answer: Yes.
Gus Bradley, Jaguars: Yes -120, No -120
Bradley is in Year 2, and the Jaguars are just 6-23 under the former Seahawks defensive coordinator. But he walked into a mess with no talent and Jacksonville has continued to play hard each week under Bradley. Now at least there are some building blocks like QB Blake Bortles. The Jags will give Bradley at least one more year because they are going to lose again in 2015. No point in hiring a new guy to go through that. Short answer: Yes.
Ken Whisenhunt, Titans: Yes -140, No Even
Tennessee won a tug-of-war with Detroit over Whisenhunt this past offseason, so I see no way that he's gone. Whisenhunt has proven he can win when he has a good quarterback. He just doesn't on the current roster with Jake Locker, Zach Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst. Whisenhunt can only play the cards he was dealt. He is considered a good coach with QBs, and the Titans are taking one high in the 2015 draft. Short answer: Yes.
Doug Marrone, Bills: Yes -160, No +120
Marrone was a pretty surprising hire last season, but he has the Bills playing pretty well this year at 7-6. I think the Bills finish 8-8 for their non-losing season since 2004. How can you fire Marrone after that? The only reason he's on here is because the Bills were recently sold and new owners like to hire new general managers, who like to hire new coaches. Short answer: Yes.
Joe Philbin, Dolphins: Yes +200, No -300
I believe Philbin lost his job in last Sunday's 28-13 home defeat to Baltimore. That likely killed Miami's playoff hopes as I expect the Fins to lose in New England on Sunday to fall to 7-7. Miami might win its final two games, but 9-7 probably won't cut it in the AFC. Anything short of the playoffs will get Philbin canned. Owner Stephen Ross wants to make a splash to get some buzz around his team as the Fins don't have much in south Florida these days. Ross is a Michigan alum who would be very interested in trading for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Ross will get a big name even if it's not Harbaugh. Short answer: No.
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