Ever since Ron Rivera was fired there has been plenty of speculation about who will be the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers. This has become even more interesting in the past 48 hours as most of the media analysis is suggesting one outcome while the betting odds market is pointing to something else.
Most media sources including the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport are suggesting that current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has emerged as the top candidate for the head coaching vacancies of both the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns. McDaniels has reportedly interviewed with both the Panthers and Browns as well as the New York Giants. He’s also right at the top of the list of candidates to replace Jason Garrett in Dallas.
The betting odds indicate that McDaniels is much more likely to go to Cleveland than Carolina. At BetOnline.ag, McDaniels is only the #3 choice to replace Ron Rivera in Carolina at +400 behind former Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy (+300) and the new favorite, current Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Bieniemy’s move to the top of the Panthers’ head coaching odds board is interesting as there hasn’t been much buzz in the sports media about him.
There’s been much more coverage over the candidate that is currently the #4 choice to replace Rivera. Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule is reportedly meeting with both the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants. Rhule has been pretty quiet about his interest in a NFL job and at times his comments have strongly suggested that he’s leaning toward staying where he is. Even if that’s just lip service and/or a negotiating posture it appears that he’s unlikely to end up on Carolina’s sideline. He’s +900 to become the next Panthers coach while he’s a +200 favorite to take over the vacant position with the New York Giants.
As someone who has always touted the superior predictive nature of odds markets I’d strongly advise keeping an eye on Bieniemy over the next week. While it could be a case that Carolina’s other top candidates are more likely to take jobs elsewhere I’m thinking that there’s some ‘inside information’ that has motivated bettors to ‘put their money where their mouth is’ with regard to Bieniemy’s chance to become the Panthers’ head coach.