The NFL coaching carousel has never been more loaded with high profile candidates than it is this offseason. Multiple big-name coaches like Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh, and Mike Vrabel are all expected to land with a new team in the upcoming days and weeks. This article analyzes the betting odds for which coaches will fill the current (and potential) coaching vacancies and recommends the best bets to make on head coaching moves right now.
Bill Belichick Head Coaching Odds
By far the biggest and most interesting name on the coaching market right now is Bill Belichick, the most accomplished head coach in NFL history. Belichick’s nine Super Bowl appearances and six rings as a head coach are both NFL records, and with 333 career wins, he is within striking distance of Don Shula’s record of 347. He is likely to break that record with whatever team hires him this offseason.
According to DraftKings’ official Twitter, betting on Belichick’s next team currently is only available in certain states. The sportsbook’s current odds have the most likely outcome as Belichick coaching “Any other NFL team,” which means a team without a current coaching vacancy, as those teams all have their own odds. Of the teams with a current vacancy, the Falcons have the best odds to land the future Hall of Famer.
Belichick to coach “Any Other NFL Team” is now the favorite for his next landing spot 👀 pic.twitter.com/XSkdCmuAdy
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 15, 2024
There are also head coach betting odds currently available at some offshore sportsbooks, which are illegal in the U.S., but we have provided their current odds throughout this article for context.
- Dallas Cowboys (if Mike McCarthy gets fired, -175)
- Atlanta Falcons (+100)
- Philadelphia Eagles (if Nick Sirianni gets fired, +400)
- Carolina Panthers (+700)
- Washington Commanders (+750)
- Tennessee Titans (+800)
- Los Angeles Chargers (+1000)
- Seattle Seahawks (+2800)
Belichick is expected to go to a team where he can realistically compete for the playoffs and contend for a Super Bowl immediately, or at least as soon as possible. Another important factor is what level of control he would have over personnel decisions, for which he had ultimate decision-making authority in New England.
While the Cowboys and Eagles are the most Super Bowl-ready rosters, they both have established and successful general managers (Jerry Jones’ son Stephen* and Howie Roseman), which could complicate a potential union with Belichick. Either Belichick or the incumbent GMs likely would have to cede at least some control of personnel decisions. Besides the Patriots, the teams with current GM vacancies are the Panthers, Raiders, and Chargers.
Of the teams with current coaching vacancies, the Falcons look like the best fit, and they reportedly have already interviewed Belichick. Their roster is loaded with talent everywhere but the quarterback position, and they could become a playoff team and potentially a Super Bowl contender by adding a QB (maybe Justin Fields?) this offseason. Coaching in the NFC South, which the Buccaneers won at 9-8 this season, would also offer the easiest path to consistent playoff contention, especially compared to a team like the Chargers whose division includes Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
At this point the Falcons appear to be heavy favorites to land Belichick, but the best value is on the “Any Other Team” odds given the possibility of either the Cowboys or the Eagles parting ways with their coaches this week.
*Team owner Jerry Jones is technically the Cowboys’ de facto GM but Stephen Jones oversees player personnel decisions including the NFL draft.
NFL Coaching Odds for Current Vacancies
The NFL coaching carousel appears to be in a holding pattern waiting for the two biggest names – Belichick and Harbaugh – to make their decisions. Continue below for the odds and top candidates for some of the other current (and expected) vacancies.
Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Odds
If the Falcons don’t land Belichick, then the next most likely candidates according to the odds are Harbaugh (+100), Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy (+400), Titans former HC Mike Vrabel (+1000), and Lions OC Ben Johnson (+1200). The Falcons have reportedly interviewed Belichick, Harbaugh, Ravens DC Mike Macdonald (+2000), Ravens associate HC and DL coach Anthony Weaver (+2500), 49ers DC Steve Wilks (+3300), Bengals OC Brian Callahan (+3300), and Panthers DC Ejiro Evero (+4000).
There are also two potential candidates not on that list: Rams DC Raheem Morris (+1800) and Lions DC Aaron Glenn (+3300). Morris was the Falcons’ interim HC for 11 games in 2020 while Glenn has a relationship with Falcons GM Terry Fontenot from their time together in New Orleans. Both are hot names during this coaching cycle that seem like good fits in Atlanta and represent good value in the betting markets.
Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Odds
The presence of a bona fide franchise QB in Justin Herbert makes the Chargers one of the most attractive openings for head coaching candidates. However, team owner Dean Spanos has a reputation for not providing sufficient financial support (read: he’s too cheap) for the Chargers to be successful, which could complicate their ability to hire a top candidate like Harbaugh.
Harbaugh has openly discussed his admiration for Herbert, which is likely a big reason why the Chargers were the first team with whom he interviewed. He is the overwhelming favorite to get this job.
*Harbaugh next team odds are ONLY available in WV, NH, CO, MI, IL, OR, WY, AZ, LA, ON, MD*
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 16, 2024
At an offshore sportsbook, Harbaugh’s odds are -500, followed by Cowboys DC Dan Quinn (+500), Lions OC Ben Johnson (+700), and Belichick (+1000). The Chargers also have reportedly interviewed their interim HC Giff Smith, their OC Kellen Moore, Wilks, Callahan, Macdonald, Ravens OC Todd Monken, Bills DC Leslie Frazier, and Raiders DC Patrick Graham.
Spanos will likely need to pay handsomely to land a coach like Harbaugh, and he should. While there is valid pessimism about whether he will, there is too much smoke linking Harbaugh to the Chargers to expect (and bet on) any other outcome.
Head Coach Odds for Other Vacancies
Here are the other current coaching vacancies and the most likely candidates right now, based on offshore odds and reported interviews:
- Carolina Panthers – Moore, Monken, Callahan, Johnson, Morris, Quinn, Buccaneers OC Dave Canales, Texans OC Bobby Slowik, Dolphins OC Frank Smith; the Panthers are expected to hire an offensive-minded coach who can help develop Bryce Young
- Las Vegas Raiders – interim coach Antonio Pierce is the heavy favorite; Frazier is also reportedly a candidate
- Seattle Seahawks – Evero, Graham, Morris, Quinn, Smith; Quinn is the heavy favorite here
- Tennessee Titans – Callahan, Macdonald, Pierce, Glenn, Johnson, Quinn, Slowik, Giants OC Mike Kafka, Eagles OC Brian Johnson
- Washington Commanders – Bieniemy, Glenn, Ben Johnson, Macdonald, Morris, Quinn, Weaver, Slowik