NFL betting: Two first-year coaches not named Urban Meyer are popular picks for Coach of the Year

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Will a first-year head coach win Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season?

Bettors at BetMGM are inclined to think so. The two most popular bets for Coach of the Year are coaches entering their first season running an NFL team. The Los Angeles Chargers’ Brandon Staley is the most-bet coach with 18.1% of wagers while the Atlanta Falcons' Arthur Smith is second with 16.7% of wagers. No other coach has been chosen by more than 7% of bettors.

It’s easy to see why bettors are attracted to Staley and Smith. Both are entering jobs where the QB position seems settled. The Chargers have a promising QB in Justin Herbert coming off a strong rookie season and the Falcons continue to roll with the dependable Matt Ryan as their starter.

The coach that’s drawing the most money is an established one, however. The Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay has drawn just 4.2% of wagers. But those bets combine to make up over 20% of the handle. No other coach comes close to that total. Washington Football Team’s Ron Rivera has drawn 11.1% of the handle while Smith is at 10.6%.

Rivera is tied as the third-most popular wager alongside the Miami Dolphins’ Brian Flores. 2020 Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski is the betting favorite at +1200 but he’s drawn fewer than 3% of wagers.

Here’s a look at the top favorites for the award. Bill Belichick, Bruce Arians and Jim Harbaugh are all at +2000 along with new Jaguars coach Urban Meyer.

Kevin Stefanski, +1200

Sean McVay, +1400

Kyle Shanahan, +1600

Andy Reid, +1600

Brandon Staley, +1600

Brian Flores, +1600

Frank Reich, +1800

Sean McDermott, +1800

Robert Saleh, +1800

Arthur Smith, +1800

Ron Rivera, +1900

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