Betting the NFL coaching carousel
There is a shift change among NFL coaches this season. With many of the old generals moving on from the game, the door has been opened for a new crop of playcallers.
There are nine teams with new head coaches this season – 11 if you count San Francisco’s Mike Singletary and Oakland’s Tom Cable, who shed their interim status this offseason.
Football bettors looking to wager on these teams should know just what they’re getting from the guys calling the shots.
Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos (+3000 to win AFC)
Following Mike Shanahan in Denver is like taking the stage after Rush’s second encore. McDaniels didn’t get off on the right foot either – he’s being held responsible for the exile of Jay Cutler and the possible desertion of Brandon Marshall. It will be hard for McDaniels to work his offensive magic with the franchise’s top two weapons playing elsewhere.
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts (+700 to win AFC)
Caldwell is one of many staff changes in Indy this season. The longtime assistant to Tony Dungy is smart enough to stay out of Peyton Manning’s hair, but perhaps not savvy enough to survive in one of football’s toughest divisions. He hasn’t held a head coaching gig since college and now inherits a consistent Super Bowl contender.
Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2000 to win NFC)
As Jon Gruden’s reign of terror is over in the Sunshine State, Morris’ reign of uncertainty begins. The wet-behind-the-ears coach is young and has an even younger team on his hands. The Bucs do have some offensive pop, but Tampa Bay will need both sides of the ball to play above and beyond to compete in the challenging NFC South.
Eric Mangini, Cleveland Browns (+3000 to win AFC)
In true Parcellian fashion, Mangini pillaged his former team, bringing a roster full of former Jets familiar with the coach’s systems. Cleveland is building from the ground up and will take awhile to develop its talent under Mangini and his staff. There is a lot less pressure on the coach now that he’s out of the Big Apple spotlight – until the Browns visit New York in the season finale Jan. 3.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions (+10,000 to win NFC)
Winning one game would make Schwartz a hero in the Motor City. The franchise is finally looking at the big picture. Schwartz has experienced staff surrounding him and is a proven defensive specialist. He carries an aura of confidence and is just what Detroit needs to rid the stench of failure that has clung to this team for too long.
Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams (+4500 to win NFC)
Spagnuolo was a wanted man this offseason. After being the mind behind the Giants’ Super Bowl defense, Spagnuolo takes over a team desperately clinging to the success of the past – yet he is all about starting fresh with his team-first approach. As a first-time head coach, Spagnuolo will lean on his veterans. The big question is if those vets will support him.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets (+1225 to win AFC)
Teams were afraid of the Baltimore Ravens when Ryan was calling the shots on defense. He’s trying to instill that same fear into the Jets’ opponents this season. Ryan’s brash attitude is an early Christmas present for the New York media, but behind his cocky persona lies a crafty strategist who believes the best offense is a bone-crunching hit over the middle.
Jim Mora, Seattle Seahawks (+1900 to win NFC)
Seattle expects promoted assistant Jim Mora to breath life back into the former NFC champs like he did with Atlanta earlier in the decade. Mora and his staff are tinkering with the blocking schemes and pass coverage heading into this season. That should help the Seahawks’ ho-hum running attack and soft linebacker corps.
Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs (+4000 to win AFC)
The Herm Edwards experiment went terribly wrong in Kansas City, leaving the team to flush out its head office and coaching staff. Haley is a no-nonsense personality and has already butted heads with players and been criticized for his staff selections. Luckily for the Chiefs, the AFC West is so bad they might actually compete if Haley’s offensive chops can spark Larry Johnson and Matt Cassel.