The Must-Fire List. Early Odds on Which NFL Head Coach Goes Next

Bill O'Brien was let go by the Texans after an 0-4 start. Glenn makes predictions for which NFL head coach will be shown the door next.

Who will be the next NFL coach fired?

Perhaps it is COVID-19, a pandemic aura, or some other unnatural force, but for whatever reason there seems extra pressure from many NFL home-locked fans to terminate their hometown team head football coach.  That is, if they only had the power. And unfortunately, that artificial fan noise piped in the stadiums is doing them no justice.

Notice I did not title the article "Which NFL Head Coach Goes FIRST".  In case you blinked, the Houston Texans parted ways with their relatively successful head coach Bill O’Brien on Wednesday.  

The former Patriots offensive coordinator first arrived in Houston in 2014, and since led the team to a 52-48 regular season record as well as a 2-4 record in the playoffs. They have also won four AFC South titles while he added a general manager title in January. However, O’Brien’s teams have consistently not lived up to the potential of their excellent personnel while making some truly controversial decisions both on and off the field.

NFL head coaches to be firedIt was rumored that a well-publicized on the field spat with long-time defensive star and team leader J.J. Watt led to the final fateful decision, but the true measure was 0-4.  That is the Texans win/loss record this season. Repeat or sing along with me "What Have You Done for Me Lately".

It may have been a telling maneuver for the Texans to cave in during the early part of the season. Possibly saving another disappointing early playoff exit. Very capable defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Romeo Crennell will steer the ship the rest of the way in 2020 and perhaps beyond.

The 2018 Execution Line

I am most proud of recalling my mythical wagering line tapped for the 2018 "Next NFL head coach to be fired".  The only sobering note is I compiled it in December 2018 after the 12th Week of the NFL season. It seemed there were just as many candidates as this year, but they were given a bit more rope before walking the plank. Here it is or was back then:

Coach Team Odds
Todd Bowles  New York Jets 6-5
Doug Marrone Jacksonville Jaguars 5-2
Dirk Koetter  Tampa Bay Bucs 4-1
Dan Quinn Atlanta Falcons 5-1
Pat Shurmur New York Giants 10-1
*Marvin Lewis  Cincinnati Bengals DNQ 

Upon further review, I believe four out of the six listed head coaches indeed did meet an eventual exit. Within my handicapping explanations, I refused to set odds on Marvin Lewis from the Bengals because it was beyond obvious, he was going to be terminated. Kind of like not offering show betting in a four-horse thoroughbred race. We mythically did not want to create a "negative pool" and lose money.

A Surprising Slight Favorite

Therefore, you might think Mr. Dan Quinn of the Falcons would be the overwhelming favorite this year to be fired next.  At 5-1 that year, many should have been taking serious mythical money but somehow beyond any explanation he survived to coach again into this season. I am still not certain how Doug Marrone has remained. Perhaps no other candidates simply want to coach in Jacksonville?

Switching tactics this season, I checked the REALITY ODDS from very authentic preferred sportsbook Bovada on who would be the Second NFL Head Coach to Permanently Leave his Post in 2020.

Here are the odds:

Coach Team Odds
Adam Gase  New York Jets +165
Dan Quinn Atlanta Falcons +185
Matt Patricia Detroit Lions +375
Doug Marrone Jacksonville Jaguars +2000
Vic Fangio Denver Broncos +2000
Anthony Lynn LA Chargers +2000
Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings +3500
Matt Nagy Chicago Bears +3500
Kevin Stefanski Cleveland Browns +6600
Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers +6600
Zac Taylor Cincinnati Bengals +6600

Not that Quinn was ignored but depending on your perspective could be excellent value in this Bovada proposition wager.  Again, the key question is second or next. This season with ineptitude and disappointment being extremely competitive among NFL head coaches, he seems to have some serious competition.

Adam Gase NY Jets firedAdam Gase landing as the +165 favorite is quite an accomplishment for the only second-year head coach of the Jets. He has barely unpacked his suitcase yet and already the masses in New York are calling for his head. That is what an uncompetitive 0-4 start will do for you. And let's also remember that 2018 exit favorite, Todd Bowles, wasn't exactly the most popular guy on Broadway. Good luck Adam and I would not go house hunting out in the Hamptons just yet.

That gets us back to Quinn. I imagine it must be quite secure working at Home Depot. Arthur Blank, the Falcons owner and Home Depot CEO has a soft spot for him. Quinn has already help them accomplish two memorable blown games this young season for Atlanta as part of their 0-4 run. And let us not forget Tom Brady's big comeback to beat them 34-28 in Super Bowl LI.

What is making it worse for Quinn is he really has no true injury excuse. QB Matt Ryan continues piling up statistics worthy of a Hall of Fame ballot someday. It has been all downhill for Quinn, who would make an excellent NFL defensive coordinator, since that Super Bowl disaster. A better job than working aisle 14 at Home Depot soon.

A case for a reasonable bet at +375 could be made for the Lions first-year head coach Matt Patricia. He has been an awful 9-23-1 straight-up since taking over for Jim Caldwell in Detroit in 2018. Yes, it is the Lions, but they do not have a viable excuse either. Solid QB Matt Stafford is totally healthy and they have some good personnel. Patricia is severely disliked by the media in Detroit and is known for having a more delusional attitude than our current President. If you believe in "the line is telling you something", then this could be your choice for next pink slip.

Again, the best longshot on this list who is hardly a longshot is the Jaguars' Doug Marrone at +2000. At a 38-48 NFL head coaching record, he is gone. The question is when? The team dumped Nick Foles for fan favorite Gardner Minshew, who has provided highlights thus far, but 1-3 results. A very potential continued losing streak in October and 20-1 proposition odds seem more than attractive.

Overall, along with continued Coronavirus-list talk, expect chatter to increase on which NFL head coach will get the bad news next. You can benefit by using your wisdom and opinion to compare odds within this category among the list of top online sportsbooks.

The bright spot is I forecast is about 27 to 28 NFL head coaching spots could remain safe at the conclusion of this 2020 season. That could set an NFL record. 

Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.

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