Following the recent release of the 2022 NFL schedule, sportsbooks posted new lines for Week 1. Those lines joined the many NFL Futures bets, including odds for the league’s many postseason award honors.
While most of the attention goes toward player awards, the NFL Coach of the Year award stands as one of the oldest honors the league bestows each year. The Associated Press has awarded this honor after each season since 1957, with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel taking home the trophy last season.
The coaches in the running for this award remain stewards for teams with some of the best Super Bowl odds heading into the season. Here’s a look at the early odds for the 2022 AP NFL Coach of the Year awards.
The AP NFL Coach of the Year award has been around for over 60 years, with legendary Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula taking home the honor most often (4). New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has won the award three times and stands as the last winner of the award to also win the Super Bowl that season (2003).
Coaches who’ve won the award led their teams to at least 10 wins in all but two seasons since 1990. And one of those, Bruce Arians, took over for the last 12 games and won nine of those for the Colts in 2012. Interestingly, three of the last five Coach of the Year award winners earned the honor in their first season with the club.
Of the five men leading in odds for this year’s NFL Coach of the Year honor, three of them will be in their first year as head coach for their teams. Each of those teams boasts solid NFL odds entering the new season.
Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers (+1300)
Entering his second season as head coach, Brandon Staley hopes to get his LA Chargers into the postseason after narrowly missing the tournament a year ago. Staley leads a talent-laden club that finished 9-8 in 2021, and could be poised for a big jump in 2022.
The Chargers boasted one of the league’s top offenses last season, and fortified their defense this year with the additions of Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson. If LA can wrest the AFC West away from Kansas City for the first time in six seasons, Staley could be in line for the AP NFL Coach of the Year award.
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (+1400)
Brian Daboll left his gig as the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator to become the new head man with the New York Giants. He brings a ton of experience with him to the Big Apple, including five Super Bowl victories as an assistant coach in New England.
Daboll inherits a Giants team coming off a 4-13 season and hopes to turn around the play of former first-round quarterback Daniel Jones. Reversing the fortunes of a downtrodden team is one of the most effective ways to ensure solid odds for Coach of the Year honors.
Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos (+1500)
Another first-year head coach, Nathaniel Hackett, takes over a Denver Broncos team also looking to return to the postseason. Hackett spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator in Green Bay, helping Aaron Rodgers and company post the league’s best record over that span.
Hackett inherits one of the NFL’s top defenses and landed a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Russell Wilson, in the trade market. Those factors alone will help Denver improve upon last year’s 7-10 record, and a dramatic turnaround could net Hackett the Coach of the Year award.
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (+1500)
Shanahan is the longest tenured head coach among those in the top-five of the early odds for this award. He’s been the head coach in San Francisco since 2017 and has made one Super Bowl and two NFC Championship game appearances. He won the AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year award back in 2016.
Shanahan returns to a talented Niners team that held a fourth quarter lead in last year’s NFC title game. Another Super Bowl run could very well help the 42-year-old coach land the league’s top coaching award.
Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins (+1600)
One of Shanahan’s protegees left the Bay Area to become the new head coach for the Miami Dolphins. Mike McDaniel is well known around the league as an offensive genius, designing innovative running and passing concepts to maximize the strengths of his players.
The Dolphins have spent a ton of money and draft capital on improving a stagnant offense, including trading for Tyreek Hill. If McDaniel can help unlock the potential of players like Tua Tagovailoa, Miami could win its first playoff game since 2000. And that would keep McDaniel in the running for Coach of the Year.
Other Names to Consider for NFL Coach of the Year
A whopping 10 teams changed coaches this offseason, so there’s a higher chance than normal that a first-year head coach will take home the league’s top honor.
Doug Peterson took over as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he sports one of the wider spreads in odds amongst sportsbooks. Peterson sees odds as short as +1400 at FanDuel, but as long as +2500 at Caesars. New Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell sees a similar spread. He’s getting +1600 at FanDuel, but is as long as +2500 at DraftKings.
A pair of veteran coaches also see a wide variance in their odds. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid lists as short as +1500 at Caesars, but as long as +3000 at FanDuel. Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott saw +1300 at Caesars at one point, but +3000 at BetMGM.
A potential longshot wager to consider would be with Mike Tomlin. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach is listed at +5000 at Caesars, but returns a playoff-caliber team. The drawback, obviously, comes at the quarterback position, where the Steelers are replacing the retired Ben Roethlisberger with either journeyman Mitchell Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett.