With "Black Monday" for MLB managers concluded, wanna bet which NFL head coach gets axed first?
We can assume most select Major League Baseball managers have officially been given their pink slip the very first moment after recording the final third out in their 162nd game. Now we can set our attention to speculating which NFL head coaches should and will be given the boot. The key question is who goes first and when?
In terms of job security, being an NFL head coach may be one of the worst jobs in the country. Perhaps right next to being part of the Trump cabinet. The turnover rate since the start of this decade is about 20% with an average of about six coaches being fired each season. The last time fewer than six coaches were let go was 2010, when, remarkably, only three head coaches were replaced.
Baseball is somewhat different, with a much shorter fuse. It's not that unusual for a few managers to be canned before July 1st, or the halfway part of the season. Comparatively, it would be unthinkable to destroy the chemistry and confidence of a football team facing only a sixteen-week schedule to fire a coach with almost a half season left. Or would it? Traditionally, the custom has been to wait until "Black Monday", the day after the regular NFL season has ended. With new rules and controversial replays part of the game, don't be surprised if that fateful Monday comes a lot sooner this season for a few head coaches.
Prop to you Drop
Speaking of new traditions, sportsbooks used to wait until the Superbowl to unveil a giant list of proposition wagers on the big betting board. That is quickly changing with the growing popularity of in-game wagering, future betting and quarter-by-quarter wagers. Add on the competitive market of many new U.S. sportsbooks into the landscape, it seems everyone is inventing new prop bets.
I perused through the list of top sportsbooks and couldn't locate a proposition for which NFL coach will be fired first. Seems a natural, since so many sports fans discuss this fervent topic weekly after facing frustrating losses and needing a scapegoat for their anger.
Perhaps it's in bad taste, but I believe it's more fundamental for business reasons. Proposition wagers have much lower limits for bettors and are subject to potential greater risk for sportsbooks. Most prop wagers often focus on one side or one specific wagering interest, making them sometimes difficult bets to negotiate (and unprofitable) for both the bettor and the house.
The Super Bowl is quite different. There are hundreds of options to choose from, spreading the funds around the menu. It's not very often that one specific prop bet hurts any sportsbook due to the much lower wagering limits and variety of choices.
In this current 'mythical' scenario, let's set our own betting line for which NFL coach gets the bad news his services are no longer required.
Jay Gruden / Washington Redskins -3000
Jon's brother has already been hanging out on the plank with the pirates screaming before this NFL season started. The Redskins sad 0-4 start and awful showing against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football likely sealed his fate. He has no choice but to start rookie Dwight Haskins at quarterback ASAP. It likely will be too late, looking at a probable 2-9 or worse showing by Thanksgiving. The only variable is the unpredictable mind of owner Dan Snyder. But no doubt Jay is the clear choice to NOT survive the entire NFL season.
Dan Quinn / Atlanta Falcons -1500
Quinn might be and should be the favorite due to the Falcon's roster of talent compared to the Redskins. They also have a bona fide Hall of Fame QB candidate in Matt Ryan. Why the Falcons have been so lackluster so far is a mystery. Quinn has been treading shaky ground since blowing the Super Bowl against the Patriots a few years ago. Perhaps in a larger media market, he'd already be gone. Another prospect to not finish the season IF the Falcons don't start winning quickly and turning things around.
In Shark-Infested Waters
Mike Vrabel / Tennessee Titans +200
The 2019 season is likely the last for Vrabel (if he lasts), in what's been the most unpredictable in Titans football, starting with the drafting of Marcus Mariota in 2015. The Mariota era in Tennessee is likely coming to an end if he's unable to stay fully healthy and hold onto his starting job for a full 16-game season. If the Titans start over at quarterback, and Tennessee underwhelms once again under Vrabel, it's easy to forecast their owners wanting to start fresh with an offensive-minded coach grooming the next QB of the future. Look for the interim coach scenario as a possibility.
Bill O'Brien / Houston Texans +300
This coach has survived almost longer than Marvin Lewis did in Cincinnati! O'Brien’s fate was extended due to the Texans winning streak after a poor start last season. It concluded with their usual collapse in the playoffs. If quarterback Deshaun Watson keeps taking a beating week after week, his luck might finally run out. Likely lasts the entire season but that's about it unless the Texans win a few playoff games this season with a healthy Watson and many other solid players.
Doug Marrone / Jacksonville Jaguars +500
Wow did this guy get lucky. After losing Nick Foles in Week One and superstar defensive back Jalen Ramsey loudly announcing he wanted out, it seemed the Jaguars were headed to a probable 4-12 season. There's still hope the defense could get back to its 2017 form, which would certainly help. But it's unlikely new rescue hero Gardner Minshew at QB can save the ship until Foles comes back in late November. If that's the case, both Marrone and general manager Tom Coughlin could both disappear. But thanks to sixth round draft pick Minshew, more of a potential Black Monday bet.
Overall, this can't be an official proposition wager because too much money would be obviously tilted toward either Jay Gruden or Dan Quinn. But hey, how about a straight-on prop bet competition between them both? Head-to-head wagering on Gruden vs Quinn. Or . . . will either (or both) of them last until Thanksgiving? Should I see those lines listed, I will let you know with my choice and where to find the best value.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.