NFL Betting: Who Will Win the NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2022?
The NFL season will be here before any of us realize it, and the time is now if you want to start placing some wagers on the new campaign.
Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +1400
The Los Angeles Chargers are one of the hottest teams in terms of preseason hype and are expected to not only make the playoffs for the first time since 2018 but also go deep into the postseason. So it makes that their young head coach, Brandon Staley, should be among the favorites to take home this award.
Staley is heading into his second season with the Chargers, and after investing heavily in beefing up his defense this offseason, he has a team with genuine talent on both sides of the ball.
Staley would be the second Chargers head coach to win the Coach of the Year award after Marty Schottenheimer took the prize following a 12-4 year in 2004.
Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +2000
The Detroit Lions are not exactly expected to take the league by storm in 2022. But there are signs that this is a team on the turn, and a strong showing in Dan Campbell's second season could help his chances of claiming the honor.
The aforementioned Schottenheimer saw his Chargers side finish 4-12 a year before he won his award. The Lions finished with a 3-13-1 record in 2021. The Lions are, for the first time in several years, interesting, and if they can build on the form that saw them win three of their last six games last season (after starting the year with 10 losses in their first 11), Campbell stands a chance of being the first Lions head man to take home this prize since Wayne Fontes back in 1991.
Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +2500
Mike Vrabel is the defending Coach of the Year, winning the award in 2021 on the back of the Tennessee Titans' 12-5 record, which landed them the No.1 seed in the AFC. The Titans face a much tougher road this season, with the 12th-hardest schedule in the league, according to Sharp Football Analysis, ahead of them along with the loss of stud wide receiver A.J. Brown.
If they can repeat last season's form with these obstacles, Vrabel would be worthy of becoming the first back-to-back winner of this award since Joe Gibbs of Washington back in 1982-1983.
Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +3000
The Chicago Bears have a difficult season ahead of them, and rookie head coach Matt Eberflus will have his work cut out for him making the Bears competitive in 2022. That's a big reason why his odds are so long for this award.
The Bears do have a somewhat friendly schedule, however, and if Justin Fields can take a massive leap and show himself to be the franchise savior, it's possible Eberflus has a shot. His predecessor as Bears coach, Matt Nagy, won this award back in 2018, and that was in his first year in charge. There is a precedent here, but it would be a surprise.
Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +4000
One of the longest shots to take home the award this year is Arthur Smith of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have one of the lowest projected win totals in the entire league (4.5) and face their first season without Matt Ryan at quarterback since 2007. Their schedule is the 10th-hardest, according to Sharp Football, and they have one of the thinnest groups of offensive weapons in the NFL.
If they can somehow post a winning record, Smith will richly deserve consideration for an award a Falcons coach last won in 2008, with Mike Smith taking the prize after an 11-5 campaign with a rookie Matt Ryan under center.
My Pick -- John Harbaugh (+2500)
The men mentioned above are all intriguing options, but if I had to invest my coin in this market I would look to the guy who won it in 2019. That man is John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens endured something close to the season from hell in 2021, with injuries robbing them of Lamar Jackson and most of their defensive backfield for large chunks of the year.
Now that everyone projects to be healthy again, the Ravens look set to return to the trusty method of running the ball at will and imposing their defensive force upon opponents. This makes his price of +2500 an attractive one.
Armed with the 11th-friendliest schedule and with question marks surrounding fellow AFC North teams the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens could be looking at a return to the postseason -- something that could see Harbaugh become only the third active head coach with two or more wins of this award. The other two are Bill Belichick and Ron Rivera, with Bruce Arians no longer "active" as a head coach.