The final week of the NFL regular season generally means two things: playoff berths and the end of the road for a number of coaches. In fact, "Black Monday" already has begun. Here are my recommendations for some Bovada Week 17 NFL special props.
Where Will Chip Kelly Be Coaching Week 1 Of 2016 Regular Season?
The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the NFL world on Tuesday when they announced that Kelly wouldn't return next season. Seems an awfully quick hook. After all, Kelly did lead the team to 10-6 records each of his first two seasons. Philly definitely has disappointed this year at 6-9, however. Kelly the general manager certainly made some mistakes this past offseason. DeMarco Murray was a bad fit, and Kelly never got a deep threat to replace Jeremy Maclin. The Sam Bradford-Nick Foles trade was OK. Reports are the Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said Kelly could return as coach but not with personnel power. Kelly said no. Yet Kelly also told Fox Sports that he wants to stay in the NFL and only wants to coach, no personnel decisions.
Any NCAA team is the even-money favorite on NFL odds for Kelly next season. The Tennessee Titans are the +200 favorites among NFL clubs, followed by the Cleveland Browns (+500), Indianapolis Colts (+700) and not a head coach anywhere (+700). All the major college jobs have closed, but there's always the chance an NFL team plucks away someone like UCLA's Jim Mora Jr. or Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, to name two. Those would be two choice jobs for Chip Kelly. There's usually one surprise big-time opening after bowl season. But I believe Kelly's ego is too big for him to go scampering back to college. The Titans are the obvious team as Kelly could be reunited with his QB from Oregon, Marcus Mariota. Not to mention with potentially the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft. And that job will be open. Cleveland wanted Kelly a couple of years ago before he chose Philly. The Browns are so sorry they might give Kelly some personnel say. Kelly also heavily recruited Johnny Manziel to Oregon. Indianapolis also will be open and offers a franchise QB in Andrew Luck.
NFL Pick: The Titans make too much sense. That franchise needs some buzz and Kelly would bring it.
How Many Head Coaches Will Be Fired Between Dec. 31 To Super Bowl Kickoff?
The 'over/under' is five, with 'under' a -140 favorite. Now, I'm not sure how the site defines fired. But these jobs are going to be open almost without question: Indianapolis, Miami, NY Giants, Detroit, Tennessee. The Giants might not "fire" Tom Coughlin, but they will come to a mutual decision for Coughlin to walk away and get paid. Other jobs that could open are San Diego, New Orleans, San Francisco and Cleveland. Jacksonville has said it's keeping Gus Bradley and St. Louis reportedly is going to give Jeff Fisher one more year. So far the Browns have leaned toward keeping Mike Pettine, but Kelly being available could change that. The Saints won't fire Sean Payton but could trade him. So that probably wouldn't count for our NFL picks on this prop.
NFL Pick: 'Over.'
Who Will Win Offensive Rookie Of The Year?
These odds have been all over the place this season, and Rams running back Todd Gurley has retaken the favored role at -300. When I last looked at these a couple of weeks ago, Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston was the betting favorite at sportsbooks. Now he's +300. Gurley has rushed for 1,108 yard and 10 TDs in only 13 games. He brings a streak of three straight games with a score into Sunday's finale at San Francisco. He torched the Niners for 133 yards and a TD earlier this season. Winston has completed 58 percent for 3,717 yards, 22 TDs and 13 picks. He faces a good Carolina defense on Sunday with the Panthers still having to care because they haven't clinched the NFC's top seed yet. Winston threw for 287 yards and two scores in a 37-23 home loss to the Panthers in early October but was picked off a season-high four times. If Winston could somehow lead an upset with a big game he could steal this. Tough seeing that happen.
NFL Pick: Gurley clinches with a 100-yard game vs. the sorry Niners.