Coaching is a big part of the equation in successful handicapping. Look no further than Sunday night’s game between the Packers and Bears. Despite having a double-digit lead multiple times, the Bears and coach Matt Nagy came up short for bettors, losing 45-30 as 12-point dogs. The postgame reaction on social media was clear: Bettors felt Nagy cost his team.
The tenures of Nagy and Packers coach Matt LaFleur are headed in much different directions, and it’s possible that their head-to-head matchup was the difference in the game. You’ll see below that LaFleur boasts some phenomenal performance records in his short career.
Being a head coach for a long time in the NFL generally means you have done your job well. In fact, Patriots legend Bill Belichick has a career that dates back farther than my own database, 1991 to be specific. Because of that, I was only able to capture his career numbers dating to 1992. For the record, Belichick went 6-10 with the Browns in his one season not accounted for below.
In this report, you’ll see the specific scenarios when head coaches have performed at their best — and worst. The key for handicappers is finding the spots where there is a foundation for continued success or struggles. It doesn’t hurt if the opposing coach has an opposite performance level.
Hopefully, this study can help cash some tickets over the final few weeks of the NFL season. Here are some of the top winning trends to take note of:
• Matt LaFleur’s 10-0 SU and ATS record with his team coming off a loss
• Bill Belichick’s 14-3 ATS record as an underdog of at least 7 points
• Brian Flores’ 7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS record in December
• Pete Carroll’s 10-2 SU and 8-2-2 ATS record on Thursdays
• Mike Zimmer and Mike Tomlin are both 11-4 ATS as a home underdog
Here are some of the top losing trends:
• Matt Nagy’s 0-7 SU and ATS record as an underdog of at least 7 points
• Matt Rhule’s 1-6 SU and ATS record as a home favorite
• Kevin Stefanski’s 2-9-1 ATS record with his team coming off a win
• Kyle Shanahan’s 11-11 SU and 7-15 ATS record as a home favorite
• Kliff Kingsbury’s 7-8 SU and 5-10 ATS record as a home favorite of 7 or fewer points (see the Cardinals’ loss to the Rams on Monday night)
As you analyze these records, pay special attention to the average scores, as these figures give an idea of the strength of a trend.
Bruce Arians, Bucs
All games as head coach: 91-52 SU & 75-64 ATS (54 percent), Avg FL: -1.4 Avg Score: 25.7-22.4
All games HC with current team: 32-17 SU & 24-22 ATS (52 percent), Avg FL: -3.3 Avg Score: 30.3-24.1
At Home: 48-19 SU & 37-27 ATS (58 percent), Avg FL: -2.7 Avg Score: 26.1-20.4
On Road: 43-31 SU & 38-35 ATS (52 percent), Avg FL: -0.2 Avg Score: 25.6-23.8
As Favorite: 63-19 SU & 43-37 ATS (54 percent), Avg FL: -5.7 Avg Score: 28.5-19.9
As Underdog: 28-33 SU but 32-27 ATS (54 percent), Avg FL: + 4.5 Avg Score: 21.9-25.7
As Favorite <=7 points: 48-16 SU & 34-28 ATS (55 percent), Avg FL: -4.3 Avg Score: 27.9-20.2
As Favorite >7 points: 15-3 SU & 9-9 ATS (50 percent), Avg FL: -10.6 Avg Score: 30.7-18.8
As Underdog <=7 points: 24-25 SU but 27-20 ATS (57 percent), Avg FL: + 3.5 Avg Score: 22-24.4
As Underdog >7 points: 4-8 SU & 5-7 ATS (42 percent), Avg FL: + 8.7 Avg Score: 21.5-31.3
As Home Favorite: 35-11 SU & 23-22 ATS (51 percent), Avg FL: -5.8 Avg Score: 27.9-20.1
As Home Underdog: 13-8 SU & 14-5 ATS (74 percent), Avg FL: + 4 Avg Score: 22-21.2
As Road Favorite: 28-8 SU & 20-15 ATS (57 percent), Avg FL: -5.6 Avg Score: 29.2-19.7
As Road Underdog: 15-23 SU & 18-20 ATS (47 percent), Avg FL: + 4.9 Avg Score: 22.3-27.7
Vs. Divisional Opponents: 28-21 SU & 26-23 ATS (53 percent), Avg FL: -0.4 Avg Score: 23.6-22