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Robert Saleh Becomes Heavy Favorite in Odds to Be Lions’ Next Head Coach, Marvin Lewis Listed at +1200

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in NFL Football

Jan 4, 2021 · 12:33 PM PST

Robert Saleh
San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh against the Arizona Cardinals during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
  • San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is the heavy +170 favorite to be the next Head Coach of the Detroit Lions
  • Other intriguing names floating around for the job include Jim Harbaugh, Marvin Lewis and Eric Bieniemy
  • Is there any value in wagering on Saleh to lead the Lions sidelines in 2021?

The Detroit Lions never-ending quest to find a solid, competent NFL Head Coach will continue in the offseason following the firing of Matt Patricia in the middle of a third miserable season.

The former Patriots defensive coordinator joined a long list of other Head Coaches that came to Ford Field and were unable to bring Detroit to the promised land along with Jim Schwartz, Rod Marinelli, Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg, who all had losing records.

Enter the possibility of Detroit native and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to take over the job, as he’s the heavy favorite to be named Head Coach of the Lions over other potential suitors like Colts D-Coordinator Matt Eberflus, Chiefs O-coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Michigan Wolverines Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Do the Lions try to maximize quarterback Matthew Stafford’s talents by bringing in an offensive minded coach or do they stick to defense which has been their modus operandi in three of their last four Head Coaching hires? Read on to find out what other possibilities are out there for Detroit.

Odds to be Next Head Coach of Detroit Lions

Coach Odds
Robert Saleh +170
Matt Eberflus +400
Eric Bieniemy +650
Jim Harbaugh +700
Arthur Smith +1200
Marvin Lewis +1200
Brian Daboll +1500
Darrell Bevell +1500
Byron Leftwich +1700
Lincoln Riley +1800
Dan Mullen +1900
Joe Brady +1900
Kellen Moore +1900
Kevin O’Connell +2000
Leslie Frazier +2000
Todd Bowles +2200
Matt Campbell +2200
Josh McDaniels +5000
Dabbo Swinney +6600
Nick Saban +6600

Odds as of Jan 4th

Saleh Rapidly Becoming Top Candidate

When Matt Patricia was fired back in November, Robert Saleh was the favorite to land the gig with odds of +575 and those have shrunk all the way down to the current price of +170. Those odds have improved significantly because of the more than admirable job Saleh did with a beaten up 49ers defense, which earned him high praise from cornerback Richard Sherman.

San Francisco, which was without the services of star players like Sherman, Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Dee Ford and DeForest Buckner (traded in the off-season) still performed to a level that placed them in the top half of the league. The 49ers were fourth in coverage and ninth in overall defense despite the rash of injuries according to Pro Football Focus, and that’s down to Saleh.

The Lions don’t have a ton of talent left over for the next Head Coach in charge, with last year’s third overall pick Jeff Okudah on defense, D’Andre Swift and TJ Hockenson on offense as attractive pieces, along with the seventh pick in the upcoming 2021 draft.

Arthur Smith an Intriguing Option

Most often the case for a team that fires its Head Coach, they tend to do a 180 and switch course to the other side of the football. With Matt Patricia being a defensive guy, it would then stand to reason they could hire an offensive guru, like Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy or a coach that has been on our radar since back in November in Titans O-coordinator Arthur Smith.

Smith’s opening odds have dropped slightly from +1400 to the current price of +1200 and he offers interesting value because he’s resurrected the career of Ryan Tannehill and has led Tennessee to the best rushing team and second best overall offense according to PFF. He’s expected to interview with Detroit next week with the Titans playing in the wild card round this Sunday against Baltimore.

With Detroit sporting some pieces on offense to work with in the future, an offensive minded coach might be their best bet to maximize their strengths. Though Saleh is a hot commodity, he will be hotly sought after by many teams which might leave the Lions in the dust given their weak roster and poor history.

At +170, the value in wagering on Saleh is virtually gone, but a wager on +1200 for Arthur Smith is definitely much more palpable.

Pick: Arthur Smith (+1200)

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