2016 NFL Odds on First Coach to be Fired

Posted by Jordan Walterss on Friday,August 12, 2016 10:00, EST in

A popular preseason prop in the NFL every year is which head coach will be fired first. And without fail, at least one will be canned during the regular season. And your favorite entering the 2016 campaign is San Diego’s Mike McCoy at +350 on NFL betting lines.

Here’s a Look at the 2016 NFL Odds on First Coach to be Fired

Who Went First In 2015?

You will have to take my word for it, but last year my bet on this prop was on Miami’s Joe Philbin. I wasn’t exactly going out on a limb as he was one of the favorites. But Philbin got canned following a Week 4 loss to the New York Jets in London. It was the second straight year a coach was fired after his team lost early in the season in London. Keep that in mind this year because if a front office/ownership makes a change, it makes sense to do so during the bye week, and teams are on their bye after visiting London (the Colts actually aren’t this year but that was their choice).

The Fins started 1-3 last year and Philbin was 24-28 in Miami since taking over in 2012. Philbin had met with Stephen Ross right after the loss in London and said afterward that he was confident in his job security. Ross, however, had other thoughts once the team returned to the United States. The Dolphins never made the playoffs under Philbin. No coach since Don Shula has completed more than 4 full seasons with the Dolphins, and Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt are the only ones to complete multiple winning seasons. The Fins hired Adam Gase, the former Bears offensive coordinator, as their new head coach this year.

McCoy On Hot Seat

A lot of people thought McCoy was going to be fired after the Chargers slid to a 4-12 mark in 2015. They were winless in the AFC West for the first time since 1984, the year Alex Spanos bought the team. The Chargers failed to beat a team with a winning record in posting their worst record since also going 4-12 in 2003. Overall, they’ve lost 18 of their last 26 games under McCoy.

McCoy’s record as the Chargers head coach is 22-26 overall. He is the ninth coach in franchise history to coach at least 48 games and is the fourth of that group to do so with a losing record (Mike Riley, Dan Henning, and Tommy Prothro are the other three). McCoy expects a quick turnaround in 2016 because the Chargers were competitive in most games in 2015. They lost nine games by eight or fewer points. However, the Chargers finished the year by losing 10 of their last 13 games. McCoy was given an extension through 2017 but that’s just so he’s not a lame duck in 2016.

The second-favorite is Detroit’s Jim Caldwell at +400 on NFL odds and he was nearly fired after last season. Much was expected in 2015, but the Lions struggled to a 1-7 start before the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach were fired. Caldwell promoted Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator. Matthew Stafford and the offense improved, the defense followed and the Lions finished this season on a 6-2 run.

That season-ending improvement no doubt saved Caldwell’s job. And the Lions did make the playoffs under him in 2014. Plus many Lions players had campaigned publicly for Caldwell’s return, with everyone from quarterback Matthew Stafford to receiver Calvin Johnson saying they wanted their coach back. Johnson retired this offseason.

The third-favorite is the Rams’ Jeff Fisher at +600. Despite never posting a winning record with the team, the Rams have talked about extending Fisher’s contract and that of GM Les Snead. In their four years running the team together, Fisher and Snead have gone 7-8- 1, 7-9, 6-10 and 7-9. But Rams owner Stan Kroenke seems to want stability in Los Angeles. The move to L.A. might actually have helped Fisher, whom you can see on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

My Betting Pick

I’m going with Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley at +1200 on NFL lines. The Jags are just 12-36 in his three seasons but expectations are finally high with a ton of good young players on the roster now. If the Jags are 0-4 after a loss to the Colts on Oct. 2 and heading into their bye, Bradley’s a goner then.