- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is the +800 favorite to win 2020 NFL Coach of the Year
- Belichick leads the way despite seeing a number of key players leave town, including Tom Brady
- Get all the odds and insight on the best value bets in the Coach of the Year odds
Tom Brady’s departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has left many observers doubtful about the New England Patriots’ prospects for the 2020 NFL season. With the team not yet making a move to bring in a veteran passer, the Patriots have slipped from their familiar perch atop the NFL futures.
Despite the uncertainty, New England coach Bill Belichick is a heavy +800 favorite in the 2020 NFL Coach of the Year odds. No other coach is shorter than +1600.
Odds to Win 2020 NFL Coach of the Year
Odds taken April 6, 2020.
Belichick a Three-Time Winner
A three-time NFL Coach of the Year Award winner, Belichick was last bestowed with the honor in 2010 while leading the Patriots to an NFL-best 14-2 record. That marked a dramatic turnaround for the team, which had stumbled to a 10-6 record and an early playoff exit with Matt Cassel at the helm in 2009. They also opened the 2010 campaign with neither an offensive nor defensive coordinator.
The 2020 season could prove to be even more challenging for Belichick. In addition to losing Brady, the Patriot defense has taken a hit with the departure of linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, plus defensive tackle Danny Shelton. The team came to terms with veteran QB Brian Hoyer, but barring any additional moves, they are currently set to go with untested second-year pivot Jarrett Stidham.
The #Patriots are releasing QB Cody Kessler, source said, leaving just Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham in their QB room. A surprise, New England cut and then brought back Kessler during the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 1, 2020
Belichick faces a tough 2020 schedule, as well, one which will see the Patriots regularly tested. In addition to improved AFC East divisional opponents, New England can look forward to tough home dates against the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, as well as crucial road dates in Kansas City and Seattle.
Underestimating Belichick would be unwise. The six-time Super Bowl winner has demonstrated his coaching prowess without Brady before, most recently in 2016
Underestimating Belichick would be unwise. The six-time Super Bowl winner has demonstrated his coaching prowess without Brady before, most recently in 2016, when the team marched to a surprising 3-1 start while riding the platoon of Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett.
Dominant Team Performances a Prerequisite
With recent NFL Coach of the Year winners coming from teams that have dominated in the standings, will escaping with a playoff berth be enough to garner Belichick the award?
The short answer is, probably not.
Three of the past five winners have coached teams that have posted at least 13 regular-season wins, including the reigning NFL Coach of the Year, John Harbaugh. His Ravens led the NFL with a 14-2 record in 2019.
That leaves some intriguing betting options further down the board.
— NFL (@NFL) February 1, 2020
San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan sits second to Belichick, joining Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel at +1600, just ahead of seven coaches who sit knotted at +2000, most notably Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians, Buffalo’s Sean McDermott, and Indianapolis’ Frank Reich.
Shanahan and Vrabel both have tough acts to follow after stellar 2019 campaigns. Shanahan’s 49ers finished atop the NFC with a 13-3 record before claiming their first Super Bowl berth in seven years. Over in Tennessee, Vrabel’s Titans emerged as the Cinderella story of the playoffs while posting stunning upset victories over both New England and Baltimore.
Bill’s McDermott Poised to Smash Low Expectations
However, it is McDermott’s Bills that look poised to benefit the most from Brady’s departure from the AFC East. Winners of 10 games last year, the Bills were a pair of narrow losses to New England away from winning the division.
The #Bills picked up Norman, Klein, and Addison all as veteran starter/backup pieces in an already loaded defense. McDermott clearly has HIS own system that has a certain type of player.
Add in Stefon Diggs to the offense.
Buffalo is making calculated moves. Beautiful. pic.twitter.com/ZNctrkWJat
— Nick N. (@TheCanadianJack) March 17, 2020
With the Patriots at a crossroads, Buffalo has beefed up for a Super Bowl run by trading for receiver Stefon Diggs and adding to a stout defense with the additions of cornerback Josh Norman, defensive end Mario Addison, and defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson. But with the team yet to overcome two decades of futility, expectations remain low in Buffalo, which sits well behind the Patriots in the divisional odds.
That low bar could work to McDermott’s advantage if his Bills can build on the progress they made last season, positioning the 46-year-old as a strong +2000 value bet to become the first Bills coach since Marv Levy to take home NFL Coach of the Year honors.
Pick: Sean McDermott (+2000)
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