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The NFL Coach of the Year Award is usually given to the head coach that got the most out of their roster and surprised the league.
Kevin Stefanski won the award in 2023 for the second time after leading the Browns to the playoffs with four different starting quarterbacks during the season.
The 2024 season will begin with Jim Harbaugh and Matt LaFleur as the leading favorites for Coach of the Year honors.
The 2023 NFL season is in the books and everything resets for 2024. That includes the candidates for Coach of the Year. Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski won the award in 2023, but Coach of the Year isn’t the type of award with a lot of repeat winners. There will likely be a new group of coaches in contention for the award in 2024.
Jim Harbaugh has emerged as the early favorite at +500 according to DraftKings. There are also a few interesting names right behind him. Obviously, things will change as the season gets closer and gets underway. However, here are the offseason odds for NFL Coach of the Year in 2024.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. Click on the odds below to head over to DraftKings and place your Coach of the Year bets. If you sign up with DraftKings for the first time you’ll get a $1,000 no-sweat bonus.
|Los Angeles Chargers
|Green Bay Packers
|New York Jets
|Los Angeles Rams
Coach of the Year in the NFL is one of the more unusual awards in the league. It’s rarely given to the best coach, as evidenced by Bill Belichick only winning it three times in his distinguished career and Mike Tomlin never winning the award despite his sustained success in Pittsburgh, including an NFL record 17 straight non-losing seasons.
Rather than giving the coach of the best team the award, Coach of the Year typically goes to the coach of the team that exceeded expectations the most. That can make it a difficult award to handicap, especially early in the season. That’s why we plan on keeping up with all of the changes with regard to the Coach of the Year race. Make sure you check back regularly as we update the odds of each contender and give our pick for who will win the award.
In his highly-anticipated return to the NFL, Harbaugh is the early favorite to be Coach of the Year. After winning a national championship at Michigan, a lot is expected of Harbaugh with the Chargers. After all, he had a 44-19-1 record during his four seasons as head coach of the 49ers, not to mention a 5-3 record in the playoffs. Harbaugh also has an edge in Coach of the Year because the Chargers have underperformed in recent years. Yet, with Justin Herbert at quarterback, the team’s upside is high. If Harbaugh can get the best out of the Chargers and at least get them to the playoffs, he’ll be a serious candidate for Coach of the Year.
It was a little disappointing that LaFleur didn’t receive more Coach of the Year consideration in 2023. Green Bay had such low expectations before the season, yet LaFleur got them to the playoffs and won a road playoff game. Surely, that has put LaFleur on the radar for Coach of the Year in 2024. However, matching last year’s 9-8 record won’t be enough. The Packers will have to return to the top of the NFC North and become an NFC heavyweight for LaFleur to be Coach of the Year, which doesn’t leave him with much margin for error.
Morris is back in the saddle as an NFL head coach. Of course, it’s fair to be skeptical of him with a career record of 21-38, including a stint as Atlanta’s interim coach in 2020. The good news is that he has a roster that can win in 2024. The only thing that’s missing is a reliable quarterback. If the Falcons can find a quarterback, they’ll have a chance to win the NFC South, which would likely make Morris a leading contender for Coach of the Year honors.
After making a strong case for Coach of the Year in 2023, Steichen will be someone to watch again in 2024. If the Colts could have won in Week 18 and made the playoffs, he would have had an excellent argument, even if Stefanski would have been tough to beat. Steichen is on the radar heading into 2024 because he has a largely unproven quarterback in Anthony Richardson. Yet, the Colts are surely contenders in the wide-open AFC South. If Steichen can win 10 games and capture the AFC South crown with Richardson, he should be a leading Coach of the Year contender.
Saleh is an interesting option for Coach of the Year in 2024. On the one hand, everyone will be impressed if the Jets can suddenly win the AFC East after eight straight losing seasons and a playoff drought that dates back to 2010. On the other hand, he should have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, so it wouldn’t be that surprising. Assuming Rodgers stays healthy in 2024, the Jets would need to win the AFC East and at least 12 games for Saleh to be considered a serious Coach of the Year candidate. Of course, that’s not too far-fetched, which is why he’s on the preseason radar.
As a rookie head coach, Macdonald isn’t a bad Coach of the Year candidate. Expectations are reasonably low, so he’ll have a chance to surpass them and impress voters. The problem is that Macdonald finds himself following the footsteps of a legend like Pete Carroll. He’s also in the same division as the 49ers and Rams. Also, Geno Smith is still Seattle’s quarterback. But if he can put together a defense like the one he coached in Baltimore last season and get Seattle to the playoffs, Macdonald could become an important part of the Coach of the Year conversation.
Unfortunately, the window may have closed on Ryans being a serious Coach of the Year contender. He came close to winning the award in 2023 after winning a playoff game in Houston with a rookie quarterback. Of course, now everybody knows how good C.J. Stroud is, which has recalibrated expectations for the Texans. Ryans also has to rebuild a Houston defense that’s losing a lot of players to free agency. Unless the Texans run away with the AFC South and become a clear Super Bowl threat in the AFC, Ryans will have a hard time winning Coach of the Year in 2024.
Frankly, it’s tough to pick out an obvious Coach of the Year winner at this point in the offseason. But Morris is our best option right now because of Atlanta’s clear upside. The Falcons have excellent playmakers and will return all five starters from an excellent offensive line. They also have a solid defense in place that Morris should be able to improve. The Falcons just need the right quarterback. If Atlanta can find a quarterback this offseason, the Falcons would immediately become favorites in the NFC South, putting Morris in a great position to be Coach of the Year in 2024.
In 2023, Kevin Stefanski won Coach of the Year. It was his second time winning Coach of the Year honors in his four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Stefanski led the Browns to an 11-6 record and a spot in the playoffs despite losing star running back Nick Chubb to injury early in the season and later losing starting quarterback Deshaun Watson to an injury as well. Ultimately, Cleveland used four different starting quarterbacks with Stefanski taking the Browns to the playoffs after signing aging quarterback Joe Flacco off the street. That level of difficulty is what impressed voters enough to select Stefanski over several other worthy candidates.
The AP NFL Coach of the Year award has been given out every season since 1957. George Wilson of the Detroit Lions was the inaugural winner that season. To date, 15 coaches who have won the award were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
|Past Coach of the Year Winner
Unless there is a heavy favorite, each candidate for Coach of the Year will have plus (+) odds. This means that your profit will be more than you bet. For instance, if you bet $100 on a coach with +300 odds, the profit will be $300. In rare cases, a heavy favorite will have negative (-) odds. For example, if one candidate has -150 odds, you will have to bet $150 in order to make a profit of $100.
Often overlooked when it comes to betting on NFL Coach of the Year is choosing the best sportsbook available. Sportsbooks often have different odds, different promos, and different features. It’s usually best to shop around at different sportsbooks before making your choice.
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Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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