Being a Head Coach in the NFL is one the hardest gigs around. Let’s rank the 15 NFL Head Coaches and also look at some current situational Trends as well as provide some NFL Picks.
Veteran NFL Head Coaches Bill Belichick (New England Patriots, 17th year), Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks, 7th year), Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers, 6th year), Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers, 11th year), Bruce Arians (Arizona Cardinals, 4th year) and Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals, 14th year) have all shown the ability to not only get their teams into the NFL Playoffs, but to also hold a firm stranglehold on their individual jobs by simply consistently winning, and, in the process, making backers of those teams a little money along the way over the years. And with the break-even point in sports gambling at 52.4%, you can see why it’s so hard to hard for sports bettors to consistently beat the NFL in sportsbooks and why new casinos have been built here in Las Vegas for the last four decades. Overcoming the Math (and that 10% juice from NFL odds) is always a very difficult thing. But we try.
Here is a list of the current NFL Head Coaches who have coached at least 3 seasons in their current posts in the NFL and put in order by ATS (Against The Spread) Win Percentage. And as you can see, guys like the Indianapolis Colts Chuck Pagano (33-24-1 ATS, 57.9%), the Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid (28-23-0 ATS, 54.9%) and the Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh (74-63-6 ATS, 54.0%) are all above that aforementioned magical 52.4% break-even point for their careers heading into this 2016/17 NFL Regular Season. The cream always rises to the top and there’s a reason some coaches keep their jobs in this league and are revered and why other teams seem to have a constant (Head) Coaching Carousel in their cities. Sh-boogie bop.
Ranking the NFL Head Coaches by Their Current ATS Win Percentages
1—Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals (30-20-1, 60.0%) over L3 seasons (4th year)
2—Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks (62-43-3, 59.0%) over L6 seasons (7th year)
3—Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers (100-71-4, 58.5%) over L10 seasons (11th year)
4—Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts (33-24-1, 57.9%) over L3 seasons (4th year)
5—Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers (49-36-1, 57.6%) over L5 seasons (6th year)
6—Bill Belichick, New England Patriots (159-121-7, 56.8%) over L16 seasons (17th year)
7—Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs (28-23-0, 54.9%) over L3 seasons (4th year)
8—John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens (74-63-6, 54.0%) over L8 season (9th year)
9—Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers (26-23-1, 53.1%) over L3 season (4th year)
10—Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints (80-71-3, 53.0%) over L9 seasons (10th year)
11—Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (107-98-10, 52.2%) over L13 seasons (14th year)
12—Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles Rams (32-31-1, 50.8%) over L4 seasons (5th year)
13—Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers (76-74-5, 50.7%) over L9 seasons (10th year)
14—Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys (40-48-2, 45.5%) over L5 season (6th year)
15—Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (18-28-2, 39.1%) over L3 seasons (4th year)
Sample Sizes Too Small—Second- and Third-Year Head Coaches (11)
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings (24-9-0 ATS) (3rd year, +15 ATS)
Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos (10-7-2 ATS) (2nd year, +3 ATS; 6-0 ATS Underdog)
Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans (18-14-1 ATS) (3rd year, +2 ATS)
Todd Bowles, New York Jets (8-6-2 ATS) (2nd year, +2 ATS)
Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills (8-7-1 ATS) (2nd year, Even ATS)
John Fox, Chicago Bears (8-8 ATS) (2nd year, Even ATS)
Jack Del Rio, Oakland Raiders (8-8 ATS) (2nd year, Even ATS; 0-4 ATS Favorite)
Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions (15-18 ATS) (3rd year, -3 ATS)
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons (6-10 ATS) (2nd year, -4 ATS; 1-8 ATS Favorite)
Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans (2-7 ATS) (2nd year*, -5 ATS) *Coached 9 games in 2015
Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins (14-19 ATS) (3rd year, -5 ATS; 1-7 ATS Favorite)
First-Year Head Coaches in NFL in 2016 (6)
Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns
Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins
McAdoo, New York Giants
Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles
Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current Situational Head Coaching ATS Trends
Best Home: Carroll, Seahawks (35-17, 67.30%), Belichick, Patriots (87-60, 59.2%)
Worst Home: Garrett, Cowboys (15-29, 34.1%)
Best Road: Belichick, Patriots (77-58, 57.0%)
Worst Road: Tomlin, Steelers (33-39, 45.8%
Best Division: McCarthy, Packers (41-21, 66.1%)
Worst Division: Bradley, Jaguars (9-20, 31.0%)
Best Non-Division: Zimmer, Vikings (17-4, 81.0%), Belichick, Patriots (101-78, 56.4%)
Worst Non-Division: Bradley, Jaguars (9-20, 31.0%), Gruden, Redskins (7-14, 33.3%)
Best Favorite: McCarthy, Packers (71-46, 60.7%)
Worst Favorite: Garrett, Cowboys (16-31 ATS, 34.0%)
Best Underdog: Belichick, Patriots (45-23, 66.2%)
Worst Underdog: Bradley, Jacksonville (15-25, 37.5%)
Best With Revenge Role: Belichick, Patriots (53-30, 63.9%)
Worst With Revenge Role: Bradley, Jaguars (13-23, 36.1%)
Best Versus Revenge Role: Pagano, Colts (24-10, 70.6%)
Worst Versus Revenge Role: Garrett, Cowboys (21-28 ATS, 42.9%)
Keep Fading the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Titans? And Four Bad HC's in Chalk Role?
As you can see, Trends always evolve but so many NFL Head Coaches simply lose their jobs after a couple of poor seasons in franchises that seems destined to always lose, due to market size, Rosters and the cultures of those cities even wanting or expecting an NFL championship—why it’s hard for so many of these teams to have and keep long-term (4 seasons and up) Head Coaches. That, and there’s only so many good guys around. And it’s pretty hard to focus on trying to get your hands on the Lombardi Trophy when your franchise (Chargers, Raiders) is thinking about leaving town in the near future. And that’s why we see 13 guys out of the 15 on the Head Coaches ATS list above with actual ATS winning percentages above 50%—because it’s just so hard to deal with the Media pressure, criticism from local fans and play the more established teams in the league’s eight divisions who will always seem to have a small edge because they simply seem to care more about pro football in those cities. You know who.
So do we continue to fade the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Titans again this year? I don’t see why not. All three teams have Head Coaches in Garrett (40-48-2 ATS, 45.5%), Bradley (18-28-2 ATS, 39.1%) and Mularkey (2-7 ATS,22.2%) who may be gone two years from now anyway, right? And all three play in markets (Dallas-Ft. Worth, Jacksonville, Nashville) where Despair has become commonplace the last couple of seasons, despite all of the Hype, high NFL Draft picks for the AFC South’s Titans (8-23-1 ATS L32) and Jaguars (L 5-6 ATS) and the high payroll for the Jerry Jones-owned Cowboys (4-11-1 ATS in 2015) who have seemingly had to constantly deal with Injuries to starting QB Tony Romo.
And there were four new NFL Head Coaches last season (2015)—the Oakland Raiders Jack Del Rio (0-4 ATS as Favorite), the Washington Redskins Jay Gruden (1-7 ATS as Favorite), the Atlanta Falcons Dan Quinn (1-8 ATS as Favorite) and the Chicago Bears John Fox (0-2 ATS as Favorite)—who went went a combined 2-21 ATS (8.7%) in the role of Favorites in the Regular Season. So keep your eye on that quartet and those teams, as although this isn’t a statistically significant sample size just quite yet, 2-21 ATS is still 2-21 ATS and finding teams or situations to fade is always the hallmark of a deep sports gambler.
Learning who is really Bad is just as important as learning who is really Good as a meek 8.7% winning percentage would have translated to a 91.3% Winning percentage for those fading the Raiders, Redskins, Falcons and Bears in that Favorite role last season. The big question is, do these Head Coaches really struggle in this role with their new teams or is this just some kind of statistical anomaly due for some major reversion to the mean? At 2-21 ATS, these guys will no doubt win more games ATS as Favorites NFL Pick this season, but whether or not they win enough to keep their jobs and keep gamblers from fading them at the betting windows till remains to be seen.
FREE NFL GAMES OF THE YEAR HEAD COACH-ATS FUTURES PICKS: Bears +6 over Cowboys, Week 3; Packers -6 over Cowboys, Week 6; Seahawks -8½ over Bills, Week 9; Vikings -1 over Lions, Week 12; Patriots -1½ over Jets, Week 12; Panthers -2½ over Redskins, Week 15