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Ugly Week 1 Lifts McDermott Up the Odds to be First NFL Coach Fired

Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York
Fans may not have much to cheer for in Buffalo during the 2018 NFL season. Online sports betting sites see it getting so ugly that Sean McDermott may be the first coach fired this season. Photo by Idibiri (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • The Bills lost to the Ravens 47-3 in Week 1
  • Sean McDermott is only in his second season coaching the team
  • Will he be the first coach fired during the 2018 NFL season?

It has been a tough start to the 2018 NFL season for the Buffalo Bills. After giving football fans in Western New York renewed hope by ending a two-decade playoff drought last season, the Bills took a major step back in their season opener, dropping a 47-3 decision in Baltimore that marks the second-worst defeat in franchise history.

The loss has placed Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott squarely on the hot seat, joining the favorites on the odds to be the first NFL coach fired as a +400 bet at online sports betting site MyBookie.

Odds to be First NFL Coach Fired in 2018 NFL Season

COACH TEAM ODDS TO BE FIRST COACH FIRED AT MyBookie
Hue Jackson CLE +250
Sean McDermott BUF +400
Dirk Koetter TB +500
Adam Gase MIA +700
Jason Garrett DAL +800
Mike Vrabel TEN +800
Bill O’Brien HOU +1000
Jay Gruden WAS +1200
Marvin Lewis CIN +1200
No Coach Fired +750
Field (Any Other Coach) +500

The pessimism now swirling around the Bills comes in stark contrast to McDermott’s debut as bench boss last season.

In 2017, the Bills stormed out of the gate, opening on a 5-2 run while surrendering just 16.4 points per game. The squad finished the season with a 9-7 record before bowing out to the Jacksonville Jaguars with a heartbreaking 10-3 loss on Wild Card Weekend.

Bills Erase Gains with Questionable Offseason Moves

However, the Bills have regressed following offseason moves that saw the team part ways with key personnel on defense. The team also enters the season lacking an experienced quarterback to lead an offense that averaged a meager 18.9 points per game in 2017.

Gone are veteran linemen Richie Incognito and Eric Wood, along with Preston Brown, who led the team in tackles in 2017. In addition to dealing quarterback Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland , the team also shipped AJ McCarron to Oakland during the preseason.

That has left duties under center in the inexperienced hands of Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen.

A steady performer in two years as a starter with the Pittsburgh Panthers, Peterman has failed to make a successful transition to the NFL. The 24-year-old endured one of the worst pro debuts in memory last season, tossing five first-half interceptions in a stunning 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Peterman emerged as the Bills’ best passer during the preseason, and was rewarded with the start in Week 1; a decision that McDermott may now regret.

The second-year pivot completed just five of 18 pass attempts for 24 yards in last weekend’s loss to the Ravens. As a result, McDermott must now put his future in the hands of rookie Josh Allen when the Bills return home to face the Chargers on Sunday as 7.5-point underdogs.

History Not on McDermott’s Side

McDermott continues to trail Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who remains perched as a +250 favorite to be first NFL coach fired. However, recent team history does not favor the beleaguered Buffalo bench boss.

McDermott is the seventh man to hold the coaching reins in Buffalo since 2009. Rex Ryan failed to make it through his second year as coach, losing his job late in the 2016 season after leading the team to a mediocre 7-8 record, while Chan Gailey’s three-year tenure remains the longest of any Bills coach over the past decade.

Chan Gailey’s three-year tenure remains the longest of any Bills coach over the past decade

However, it has been over three decades since the Bills last fired a coach early in the season, with Kay Stephenson getting the ax in October 1985 after a dismal 0-4 start.

With the recent trend towards firing head coaches at season’s end, New York’s Ben McAdoo emerged as the only coach to be fired midseason in 2017, when he was shown the door in early December.

That has fueled strong -200 odds of the first firing of this season coming after October 30.

Odds on When First NFL Coach will be Fired

WHEN WILL THE FIRST NFL COACH BE FIRED? Odds at MyBookie
BEFORE OCT 30TH +160
AFTER OCT 30TH -200

Jackson, Koetter Buy Time with Solid Week 1 Performances

Pegged as early favorites to be the first coaching casualty of the campaign, both Jackson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter received boosts in job security following solid Week 1 performances by their respective teams.

Winners in just one of their past 32 games entering the new season, the Browns showed character last weekend in an impressive fourth-quarter comeback to earn a 21-21 tie with Pittsburgh as 3.5-point home underdogs.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers stunned the heavily favored New Orleans Saints with an impressive 48-40 victory at the Superdome.

Jason Garrett Standing Out

Conversely, Dallas head coach Jason Garrett makes his annual appearance on the odds to be first NFL head coach fired, pegged as a +800 bet following the Cowboys’ uninspired 16-8 loss to Carolina.

The Cowboys are coming off a 9-7 campaign in 2017, and remain second on the odds to win the NFC East at +400. However, Garrett will likely need a big effort from his ‘Boys in Sunday night’s date with the Giants to avoid joining McDermott as a favorite to lose his job.

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Based in Montreal, Daniel Coyle is a regular contributor to SportsBettingDime.com. His coverage of all major sports and sports betting has appeared in Featurd, the Montreal Gazette, Sportsnet.ca, NESN.com, OddsShark.com, Bleacher Report, and the Nation magazine.