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One Sportsbook Favors Jim Harbaugh to Be Next Head Coach of Carolina Panthers

Jim Harbaugh walking across the field at the Big House
Could Jim Harbaugh be heading to the NFL in 2020 to coach the Panthers? Photo By Maize & Blue Nation (Flickr) [CC License].
  • Jim Harbaugh is the favorite to be the next Panthers head coach (+300)
  • His odds opened at just +650 immediately after Ron Rivera’s firing
  • He is ahead of Jason Garrett (+500), Josh McDaniels (+550), Dan Quinn (+600), Urban Meyer (+600)

As the NFL regular season nears its end, the coaching carousel becomes the next step for many teams that didn’t get into the playoffs. For Carolina, one sportsbook says Jim Harbaugh is the favorite to be the next head coach in Charlotte.

Odds on the Next Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers

Coach Odds
Jim Harbaugh +300
Jason Garrett +500
Josh McDaniels +550
Dan Quinn +600
Urban Meyer +600
Greg Roman +1200
Mike LaFleur +1200
Jay Gruden +1400
Doug Marrone +1600
Pat Shurmur +1800
Doug Pederson +2000
Bill Cowher +10000

Odds taken Dec. 16

How the Odds Have Moved So Far

Initially, it was 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh that led these odds at +500. He led Jason Garrett (+550), Dan Quinn (+600), and Harbaugh(+650). 

However, the odds quickly shifted, and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who opened at +900 odds, jumped to the top at +300. That move wasn’t extremely shocking, given that Carolina had just moved off of a defensive head coach in Ron Rivera.  

Saleh is a hot name after his strong work with San Francisco’s defense, but many have surmised that the Panthers will go after a flashier offensive name in this coaching search. Roman’s work with Lamar Jackson this season has taken the league by storm, and that seemed the more likely choice for new Panthers owner David Tepper.

Of course, there is one name that is shinier and more exciting that Roman, and that is Harbaugh.

Should Harbaugh be the Favorite?

Harbaugh and Carolina feel like a perfect match.

At Michigan, Harbaugh has hit a wall. He’s had success in Ann Arbor, but that success has been outshined by his inability to beat Ohio State. The Wolverines are regularly in huge bowls and ranked around the top ten, but all the talk revolves around the Buckeyes. It’s highly plausible that Harbaugh decides enough is enough with the unrealistic expectations.

Carolina, meanwhile, is looking for a spark. Ron Rivera had his fair share of success in his time in Charlotte, but it had definitely trailed off in the last two seasons. Now, Tepper, who is establishing himself as one of the league’s more public, newsmaking owners, is looking to make a splash.

When it comes to newsmaking, Harbaugh is the guy. Only a Bill Belichik retirement, or a Lincoln Riley hiring by the Dallas Cowboys, could make bigger waves in the headlines.

What’s the Best Bet?

At a +300 favorite, Harbaugh doesn’t quite have the value he did when these odds opened. Roman, meanwhile, is now at longshot status with +1200 odds, tied at sixth with Mike LaFleur.

However, it is the man at third in these current odds that provides the best bet. Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator, currently has +550 odds to be the next Panthers head coach. He came extremely close to leaving for Indianapolis a couple seasons ago, but decided to stay with the Patriots at the last minute.

Now, in a season where New England’s offense is struggling mightily, perhaps this is the moment McDaniels is truly ready to go take a shot at head coaching again. Two seasons ago, the Patriots were still humming along with little issue. Now, in 2019, it appears the cracks may finally be showing.

For Tepper, this would be a name that has the flash he is looking for. Hiring the Patriots offensive coordinator, that worked hand in hand with Tom Brady for over a decade, and is still a young and energetic 43, would certainly win the press conference.

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