Longshots for NBA Coach of the Year
The NBA futures bets are starting to pop up at sportsbooks. Read on for a look at NBA Coach of the Year longshots.
NBA Coach of the Year at this point is as wide open as any awards market you can find.
It’s worth checking in on the market for the best coach, given the number of teams either already set as a title contender, or a few that could take the next step from the previous season.
NBA Coach of the Year Odds
- Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics +700
- Tyronn Lue, LA Clippers +1100
- Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies +1100
- Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat +1200
- Chris Finch, Minnesota Timberwolves +1200
- Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets +1200
- Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns +1400
- Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks +1400
- Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors +1600
- Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors +1600
- Willie Green, New Orleans Pelicans +1600
- Darvin Ham, LA Lakers +1800
- Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks +2000
- B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers +2000
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
The rules are the same, the coach must have odds of +3000 or longer, and we’ll try and find someone that has a shot at bringing home the award from that starting point.
Biggest Past Surprises
One thing we know in this market is that team success matters. You can get away with winning Rookie of the Year on a bad team, but it’s hard to justify someone being the best coach while having a losing record.
That being said, we’re looking for outliers, which have happened before.
Doc Rivers won after the 1999-2000 season with a .500 record, but if you go back and look at the roster, you’ll understand why that was a massive overachievement worthy of recognition.
Hubie Brown also won with a .500 record back in 1977-78, but that still won’t top Johnny Kerr and his 33-48 Chicago Bulls celebrating a Coach of the Year win in 1967.
Other than that, it’s winning teams or “next step” organizations that surprise the league that get the attention.
So who could fall into this category?
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Detroit Pistons coach Dwayne Casey is the only coach that comes in right at +3000 on Caesars, followed by new Utah Jazz head coach (good luck with that) Will Hardy at +4000. Washington Wizards’ coach Wes Unseld Jr. is +4000, with Gregg Popovich and Chauncey Billups +5000.
Woof, okay this won’t be easy.
The last two are intriguing not just because of the really big price, but their teams are expected to do very little. Can either get their roster to overachieve enough and at least get to .500? Both Orlando and OKC have win totals of just 26.5, so you could say a .500 record would be a serious jump for these rebuilding organizations.
Out of the two rosters, I love the young talent the Magic have, and with No. 1 overall pick and Rookie of the Year favorite Paolo Banchero now part of the mix, there’s a chance they could be this year’s Cavaliers, who jumped from 22 wins to 44 last year.
Casey and the Pistons have some young talent, but I’d lean towards what the Magic bring to the table over Detroit, while Hardy has a G-League roster (once Donovan Mitchell gets traded) as does Popovich.
The Wizards might be the 10th best team in the East, and continue to spin their tires in NBA purgatory, so they’re more likely to just find themselves in the same spot as last year than drastically shock the NBA, while Billups hasn’t really shown he can even be a solid head coach at the NBA level in Portland.
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Coaches to Avoid
The Indiana Pacers are rebuilding (Rick Carlisle +8000), Sacramento Kings (Mike Brown +8000) has a huge hill to climb to take the Kings from 12th in the west to “big jump”. Then we have poor Stephen Silas, who signed up to coach a playoff team with James Harden. Instead he has a roster full of 19 and 20-year-olds that are years away from doing anything.
Given that these coaches all would have to do something wildly unexpected to help us cash in a longshot ticket, my lean is towards Mosley in Orlando. Beyond Banchero, they’re loaded with long bigs and a backcourt of Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs. They need to find consistency sure, but that young core mixed with little pressure could be the formula to bring this crazy alternate reality together.
It’s a long shot sure, but that’s the point of all this isn’t it?
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