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Money to be made on NFL Coach of Year

By Jason Weingarten  () 

NFL MVP Odds

Circa

Patrick Mahomes -350

Aaron Rodgers + 425

Russell Wilson + 905

Ben Roethlisberger + 3,000

Derrick Henry + 4,000

DraftKings

Patrick Mahomes -400

Aaron Rodgers + 550

Russell Wilson + 650

Ben Roethlisberger + 2,000

Derrick Henry + 3,300

FanDuel

Patrick Mahomes -400

Aaron Rodgers + 650

Russell Wilson + 650

Ben Roethlisberger + 2,000

Derrick Henry + 2,500

Patrick Mahomes is leading the NFL with 3,497 passing yards and has thrown 30 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. The Chiefs are 10-1, and I'd be surprised if they lost more than one game the rest of the season. I don't see how anyone catches Mahomes without the Chiefs losing multiple games. 

The MVP race has turned out to be fairly boring. Just enjoy watching Mahomes rewrite the NFL record books. 

Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Circa

Justin Herbert -525

Justin Jefferson + 750

Antonio Gibson + 1,600

James Robinson + 1,600

Chase Claypool + 4,000

Tua Tagovailoa + 8,500

FanDuel

Justin Herbert -900

Justin Jefferson + 850

Chase Claypool + 1,100

Antonio Gibson + 1,500

Tua Tagovailoa + 2,200

James Robinson + 2,600

The first guy I want to highlight this week is Washington running back Antonio Gibson. Gibson is third in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 11 behind Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook despite about 100 fewer carries than either. Gibson had three touchdowns and 128 rushing yards in a breakout performance against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He’s having an impressive season and he might end up on a division-winning team. But his 4.6 yards-per-carry average is 15th in the NFL, and his Thanksgiving breakout was only his second 100-yard rushing game. In another year without a dominant quarterback like Chargers rookie Justin Herbert, I'd be more inclined to make a case for Gibson, but I'd be surprised if he overtook Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson let alone Herbert. In any case, the time to bet Gibson was a week or two ago when he drifted out to 100-1. I missed the boat and won't be hedging Herbert with Gibson this week. 

Pittsburgh receiver Chase Claypool gets an incomplete grade for the week because the Ravens-Steelers game still hasn't been played. Claypool has 10 touchdowns in 10 games so far, but he also has a game with one reception and -2 receiving yards. One bad game doesn't disqualify any player, but his contributions still trail Herbert.

Jefferson had another great game with seven receptions for 70 on 13 targets. He also scored two touchdowns, giving him six for the season. Jefferson is eighth in the NFL in receiving yards, and he leads the league in 20-plus-yard receiving plays with 17. Jefferson is having an elite rookie season for a receiver and he has played his way into being the only other player currently under 10-1. I'm thinking about betting a little bit on Jefferson just in case, but I'm going to wait another week.

This brings us to Herbert with 3,015 passing yards, ninth most in the NFL, and 23 touchdowns, tied for seventh. The Chargers lost to the Bills on Sunday, while Herbert threw for more than 300 yards in a game for the sixth time, tying Andrew Luck for the rookie record. Herbert's only two NFL wins have come against the Jaguars and Jets, and the lack of wins is the only thing that has kept Herbert from wrapping up this award. A big test awaits Herbert this weekend in the still-formidable Patriots defense. After that, it’s the Falcons, at Raiders, Broncos and at Chiefs. Two more wins would seal it for Herbert. It’s still his award to lose.

NFL Coach of the Year Odds

Circa

Mike Tomlin -270

Brian Flores + 625

Andy Reid + 2,000

Sean Payton + 2,500

Mike Vrabel + 2,500

Kevin Stefanski + 4,500

Ron Rivera + 5,000

Matt LaFleur + 7,500

Frank Reich + 20,000

Tomlin yes -270/Field + 210

FanDuel

Mike Tomlin + 115

Brian Flores + 350

Kevin Stefanski + 500

Sean Payton + 950

Mike Vrabel + 1300

Frank Reich + 1400

Andy Reid + 1700

Matt LaFleur + 2200

  

Coach of the Year is not a market I pay a ton of attention to, but I noticed it's up this week at both Circa and FanDuel. More importantly, Circa and FanDuel have entirely different numbers on Mike Tomlin, the current market favorite. This week I'm betting $500 on Tomlin to win Coach of the Year at FanDuel at + 115 and I'm betting $500 on the field at Circa at + 210. I feel like if I can get +  money on both sides, I might as well take it. 

Besides betting Tomlin, I'm interested in one other coach, Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns. While I think the Steelers are impressive and Tomlin is a great coach, I don't think they’ll finish undefeated. If having the most wins is the criteria for the Coach of the Year, I'd rather bet Andy Reid at + 2,000. Stefanski has led the Browns to a 8-3 record and a likely playoff spot. It's pretty impressive when you consider the Browns finished 0-16 just three seasons ago.

Circa seems to view Tomlin as a huge favorite over the rest of the market. I generally tend to agree with Circa's odds compared with FanDuel or DraftKings or anyone else, but I'm going to take a shot on Stefanski at a big price here. I'm betting $100 on Stefanski to win Coach of the Year at + 4,500. 

Circa has the best prices available on a bunch of other coaches if you don't think Tomlin is going to win. Aside from offering the field, Circa has the Colts’ Frank Reich at 200-1 vs. 14-1 at FanDuel, and 75/1 on the Packers’ Matt LaFleur at 75-1 compared with 22-1 at FanDuel. Circa also has the Saints’ Sean Payton at 25-1 vs. + 950 at FanDuel. 

AP Comeback Player of the Year Odds

FanDuel

Alex Smith -650

Ben Roethlisberger + 400

Cam Newton + 2,300

Rob Gronkowski + 2,300

Aldon Smith + 3,000

J.J. Watt + 3,000

This is a FanDuel-specific prop that is available again this week. After declaring Fernando Tatis Jr. the NL MVP on Sept. 1, I promised I'd refrain from calling any awards early, so I won't call this yet. I will just say for the second week in a row that Alex Smith's number is missing at least one zero and more likely two or three. 

This award was virtually decided when Smith entered Washington’s Week 5 game against the Rams and completed nine of 17 passes. Just taking the field was enough to make Smith a serious front-runner, but leading his team to back-to-back wins the last two weeks against the Bengals and Cowboys has made him a prohibitive favorite. 

I would bet just about any amount of money FanDuel will take on Smith -650. If they will let me bet it to win $1,000 I will take it, but I'd bet $65,000 to win $10,000 or even $650,000 to win $100,000. If they'd take more than that on Smith, I'd bet more than that. Let's revisit this next week because I will be asking FanDuel how much I can bet on this. 

Recap

$500 to win $575 on Mike Tomlin for Coach of the Year (FanDuel)

$500 to win $1,050 on the Field vs. Mike Tomlin for Coach of the Year (Circa)

$100 to win $4,500 on Kevin Stefanski for Coach of the Year (Circa)

I have bet a total of $7,475 in NFL futures. 

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