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Kevin Stefanski’s NFL Coach of the Year Odds Improve to +375 After Browns Move to 9-3, Still Trails Tomlin and Flores

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in NFL Football

Updated Dec 8, 2020 · 2:36 PM PST

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski walking the sideline
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has seen his Coach of the Year odds improve after his team improved to 9-3 in Week 13. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)
  • Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin is still favored to win 2020 NFL Coach of the Year, despite his Steelers suffering their first loss in Week 13
  • The Steelers remaining schedule features three opponents with eight wins or more
  • The Cleveland Browns have a chance to win 11 games for the first time since 1994

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been the favorite for in the NFL Head Coach of the Year odds throughout the season. But after losing on Monday, the door has been opened for other contenders to walk through.

Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski has seen his odds shorten after another big win, which moved the Browns to 9-3. Is he worth a bet for this particular prop?

NFL Coach of the Year Odds

Coach (Team) Odds
Mike Tomlin (Steelers) +190
Brian Flores (Dolphins) +280
Kevin Stefanski (Browns) +375
Ron Rivera (Football Team) +550
Joe Judge (Giants) +900

Odds as of December 8.

Steelers Lose, Browns Win

The Steelers had been the NFL’s lone undefeated team up until Monday’s action. They lost at home to the Washington Football Team to fall to 11-1. Meanwhile, the Browns picked up a huge 41-35 win in Tennessee and have improved to 9-3. The final records will be quite important when it comes to deciding the winner of this award.

What’s interesting is that the Steelers have a very tricky schedule coming up. They’re at Buffalo this week and the Bills are a nine-win team, and then they’ll also have to face the Indianapolis Colts (8-4) and the Browns. Things had been going swimmingly for the Steelers but it is conceivable that they lose a couple of these games.

Also, taking a look back, it does appear now that the Steelers have had a very easy schedule. They beat the New York Giants early, have collected wins over Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Houston, Philadelphia, Dallas and Baltimore twice. Their credible wins were against Cleveland and Tennessee, but the Browns were missing Chubb and the win over the Titans was by just three points.

If the Steelers do end up losing a couple of games down the stretch – including Week 17 at Cleveland – there would be an opportunity for Stefanski to win this award over Tomlin.

Browns Have Opportunity To Win-Out

While the Steelers have a schedule full of tests, the Browns remaining to-do list seems far more manageable. They’re hosting the Baltimore Ravens this Monday and the Ravens will be on a short week. After that, there are two matchups with the New York teams – the Giants and Jets – and then they’ll host the Steelers in Week 17.

While the schedule is definitely not a breeze, it is quite possible that the Browns are favored in each of those contests. If they can win-out and pull within one game of the Steelers, Stefanski will have a chance to upend Tomlin for this award.

Stefanski Has Done More With Less

The main difference between Tomlin and Stefanski – in a head-to-head evaluation – is that Stefanski has done more with less. The Steelers had a good defense and simply got bodies back on offense. That’s a big reason why they are where they are. As for Stefanski, he inherited a talented team that was underachieving, and he turned them around.

To start, quarterback Baker Mayfield is on fire right now. Very quietly, he’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over the last month. He’s on pace to set new career-highs in passing touchdowns and QBR. He’s doing all of this without one of his top targets as Odell Beckham Jr. has been lost for the season.

On defense, the Browns are giving up 26.8 points per game on the season but they’ve been much better in that regard of late, allowing just 20.0 over their last five. Over the course of a season, that would rank them fourth-best.

When you add that into the fact that the Browns franchise hasn’t had a winning season since 2007 and hasn’t won more than 10 games since 1994, what Stefanski is doing here is historic – at least by Browns’ standards.

What’s The Best Bet?

Tomlin is favored for this prop and Brian Flores is in second place, but there is value with Stefanski. The Steelers could sputter down the stretch as they have some tough games coming up. They could very well end up losing two of those games – especially since they’ve lost key linebackers Bud Dupree and Devin Bush for the season.

Stefanski and the Browns could get to at least 11 wins. Miami and Flores will get some love but given the historic context of what 11 wins means for the Browns along with the other accomplishments, that should be enough to earn him the award. There’s good value with him here.

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