NFL betting: The Patriots aren't the best playoff team, but they have the best coach

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Bill Belichick
    Bill Belichick
    American football coach

Room for error in the NFL playoffs is about as small as Jared Goff's hands. Weaknesses will be exposed, strengths will be exploited, and it all begins with the head coach. Before you place your hard-earned cash on a Super Bowl futures bet, consider this list of playoff coaches, ranked by their postseason records: 

All lines from BetMGM.

1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Playoff record: 31-12 (.721)

Everything about Belichick screams GOAT, from his six championship rings to his gnarled hoodie sleeves. This is a coach whose mind is so cunning, the NFL has to spend part of the offseason banning whatever rule loopholes he took advantage of in the preceding playoffs. Belichick's 31 playoff victories are more than the rest of the AFC field combined. His postseason record without Tom Brady, though? Just 1-1.

First round matchup: (+4.5) at Buffalo Bills

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +2000

2. Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Playoff record: 5-2 (.714)

Arians is a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs with Brady, after going 1-2 as Arizona's head coach. His superteam from last year recently lost one of their star receivers to a season-ending injury, and then another to a season-ending mutiny

First round matchup: (-9) vs Philadelphia Eagles

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +850

3. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers

Playoff record: 2-1(.667)

The Niners coach has been part of the two biggest collapses in Super Bowl history. Shanahan served as offensive coordinator for Atlanta when the Falcons failed to score in the last 27 minutes of Super Bowl LI, blowing a 28-3 lead to the Patriots and losing in overtime. As a head coach, he took San Francisco to the big game in 2019, where the Niners held the ball and a 10-point lead against the Chiefs with less than 12 minutes to play. Shanahan abandoned the running game that had been gashing Kansas City and lost 31-20.

First round matchup: (+3) at Dallas Cowboys

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +2000

4. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys

Playoff record: 10-8 (.556)

Should McCarthy have won more than a single championship in his 13 years with the Packers, 11 of which featured one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time? Probably. Should he have at least made it past the NFC championship more than once? Absolutely.

First round matchup: (-3) vs San Francisco 49ers

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +1200

5. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Playoff record: 17-15 (.531)

Reid is 6-2 in the playoffs with Patrick Mahomes as a starter, including a championship in 2019 and an AFC title last year. He's favored to win his conference for a third consecutive season.

First round matchup: (-12.5) vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +500

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 31-12 in the playoffs, including six Super Bowl wins. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 31-12 in the playoffs, including six Super Bowl wins. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

6. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers 

Playoff record: 8-8 (.500)

Instead of wasting your money on a Steelers Super Bowl ticket, may I suggest donating to a local charity or perhaps even an international scam?

First round matchup: (+12.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +6600

7. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

Playoff record: 3-3 (.500)

McVay has now made the postseason in four of his five years as a head coach, advancing as far as the Super Bowl in 2018. His Rams stumbled to the finish line this season, going 5-4 in their last nine games.

First round matchup: (-4) vs Arizona Cardinals

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +1000

8. Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers

Playoff record: 2-2 (.500)

"LaFleur" is French for "the flower," and the Packers' skipper has wilted in his first two postseasons, bidding the playoffs adieu in the NFC championship each time. Can the man with the highest career winning percentage of any NFL coach with at least 45 games under his belt (.796) string together three wins to return the Lombardi trophy to Green Bay?

First round matchup: BYE

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +400

9. Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

Playoff record: 2-2 (.500)

The Belichick disciple is one of the favorites to win coach of the year and made a Cinderella run to the AFC championship in 2019 by knocking off the Patriots and Ravens on the road. Clinching the top seed allowed Derrick Henry an extra week of rest before his imminent return.

First round matchup: BYE

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +750

10. Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills

Playoff record: 2-3 (.400)

McDermott twice went one-and-done in the postseason before breaking through and making the AFC championship last year. Their defense allowed the fewest points in the league this season. If Josh Allen plays even close to the MVP level he was on a couple months ago, the Bills can run the table.

First round matchup: (-4.5) vs New England Patriots

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +700

COACHES WITH NO PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE

Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

After winning their first seven games, the Cardinals went 4-6 down the stretch. It's hard to trust a team that lost four of their last five games going into the playoffs.

First round matchup: (+4) at Los Angeles Rams

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +1800

Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals

Taylor was 6-25 and firmly on the hot seat entering this season. An improved offensive line and defense, coupled with a prolific offense, helped his Bengals win the AFC North.

First round matchup: (-6.5) vs Las Vegas Raiders

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +2000

Rich Bisaccia, Las Vegas Raiders

It's been an eventful year for the Raiders. Bisaccia went 7-5 in his 12 games as interim head coach following Jon Gruden's resignation. He capped things off with an overtime walk-off field goal as the clock struck zero in the last game of the NFL season to send Las Vegas to the playoffs. 

First round matchup: (+6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +5000

Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles

The last rookie head coach to win a Super Bowl was the San Francisco 49ers' George Seifert in 1989. Anything is possible when you can run the ball, and no team does it better than the Eagles. Is a 2021 Philly Super Bowl victory crazier than Nick Foles winning MVP?

First round matchup: (+9) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Odds to win the Super Bowl: +6600

Stats provided by Pro Football Reference, teamrankings.com and nfl.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting