Which NFL Head Coach Is Next To Go?

by James Murphy in NFL  / December 29, 2019

The Monday following the end of the NFL regular season is known as ‘Black Monday’. This is the day that underachieving NFL head coaches learn their fate and assess their future employment prospects. With at least one extremely qualified coach in Ron Rivera looking for a job this season could see more activity than usual.

BetOnline.ag posted this prop about ‘Black Monday’ before Sunday’s Week 17 NFL games kicked off:

COACHES TO BE FIRED BETWEEN GAME 17 AND WILD CARD

OVER 3 -150
UNDER 3 +110

BetOnline.ag had released this prop earlier with the Over/Under set at 3.5. It was revised after the Jacksonville Jaguars’ plans to fire head coach Doug Marrone became public.

Let’s look at what has happened so far and consider what might happen next:

COACHES FIRED SO FAR

First of all, let’s run down the firing that won’t count toward the outcome of the prop bet outlined above. Marrone obviously, but the prop also made clear that interim coaches aren’t counted either. Carolina’s Perry Fewell and Washington’s Bill Calahan are both gone. The Washington REdskins also sent team president Bruce Allen packing which could set the stage for the announcement of their next head coach. More about that in a moment.

Based on the criteria set forth in the BetOnline prop the head count stands at two at the time of this writing. The first announcement was the Cleveland Browns’ firing of ‘one and done’ head coach Freddie Kitchens. Kitchens was hired as head coach based on his work as offensive coordinator with the team in the previous year. He becomes the latest in a long line of talented coordinators who couldn’t make the jump to the top job.

On Monday morning, the New York Giants announced the firing of head coach Pat Shurmur making him the second ‘Black Monday’ casualty. The team announced that they will keep GM Dave Gettleman. This wasn’t much of a surprise as Shurmur was right at the top of the ‘Next Coach to Be Fired’ prop markets for much of the NFL season.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT

Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones insists that he hasn’t decided the fate of embattled head coach Jason Garrett. Every indication is that Garrett won’t be back next year but Jones has an ‘out’ to get rid of him without actually firing him. Garrett’s contract is up at the end of the calendar year meaning that all Jones has to do is to let the current deal lapse and not offer him a new one. This could result in some semantics issues for ‘Coach Firing’ props but my guess is that most sportsbooks would count Garrett for the purpose of this type of wager.

The outcome of this proposition could hinge on the fate of Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers were expected to contend in the AFC but were a profound disappointment at 5-11. Lynn had to work with a number of ‘extenuating circumstances’, not the least of which being the holdout of running back Melvin Gordon. On the other hand, Lynn and the Chargers are one year removed from a 12-4 season. It’s usually not a good move to fire an otherwise decent head coach based on one substandard season.

James Murphy

James Murphy is a preeminent authority on the international gambling industry and has made frequent appearances in the mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNBC and NPR. He has previously worked as a radio and podcasting host where he broadcast to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy also serves as an odds making consultant for sports and ‘non-sport novelty bets’ covering the entertainment industry, politics, technology, financial markets and just about everything else.

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