As the season winds down, it's time to award some end of season awards. Yesterday, we took a look at the odds for offensive rookie of the year and offensive player of the year. Today, we're looking at the wide open race for coach of the year. Also we'll see if the defensive player of the year is locked up.
Would you rather bet T.J. Watt or the field for defensive player of the year?
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt is a -400 favorite to win defensive player of the year. Other contenders include Micah Parsons at +350 and Aaron Donald at +800. Would you rather back Watt at his current price or take a chance on one of the other contenders?
Update: Once Micah Parsons entered COVID-protocol, T.J. Watt became a prohibitive -1400 favorite to win the award.
Frank: It's hard to find value in Watt, but after his four-sack game on Monday night I assume he's going to win. Parsons made a nice run at it, Aaron Donald is a living legend, but Watt has a real shot at Michael Strahan's season sack record and 17 games or not, that'll likely win him the award.
Greg: I’m shocked that T.J. Watt is still on the board. He’s 1.5 sacks away from setting the single-season record and you can still bet him at the same price you’d get for taking the moneyline on a nine-point NFL favorite. This is one of the biggest locks you’ll ever find at -400 or any other price. I’m hammering Watt.
Pete: At his current -400 price, Watt still has borderline value. Parsons will win defensive rookie of the year, but I'm not sure he deserves defensive player of the year as well. Others like Donald and Myles Garrett remain awesome, but they didn't shine to the extent that Watt has. Watt is +180 to break Strahan's record Sunday.
Would you rather bet LaFleur, Taylor or the field to win the coach of the year?
Matt LaFleur and Zac Taylor are co-favorites to win coach of the year with +160 odds. Mike Vrabel is next atop the leaderboard with +350 odds. Which coach would you rather put your money on?
Frank: I'm buying the argument for Mike Vrabel. If he guides a flawed Tennessee Titans team to the No. 1 seed after losing Derrick Henry and playing without A.J. Brown and Julio Jones for long stretches, it's impressive. I don't know why Taylor should win over Vrabel if Tennessee clinches the top seed. I'd vote for LaFleur, because the job he has done in three years deserves some recognition, but I think Vrabel's odds look pretty good. When the Titans get the No. 1 seed, voters will take stock of their season and the job he has done.
Greg: This is a fascinating race. I’m going to go ahead and disqualify Mike Vrabel. Yes, the Titans are going to be the top seed in the AFC, but they’ve also enjoyed one of the easiest schedules this year and lost to the Jets and Texans. Thanks to a moment of weakness before training camp started, I have a big ticket on Zac Taylor at +5000. If he won the AFC North while all the other teams in the division were healthy, I think this award would easily be his after that signature win against the Chiefs. Matt LaFleur is intriguing because he locked up the top seed with two of his best defenders missing for the majority of the season. The question is, if you give Aaron Rodgers the MVP (currently -400), does that mean that he carried the team and LaFleur is less deserving of coach of the year? I give a slight edge to LaFleur.
Pete: A lot of the time, this award is simply a reflection of which team overachieved most during the season. While LaFleur and Vrabel have done terrific jobs, most of the football world expected their teams to be good prior to the season. They've both done a great job likely winning their respective conferences while navigating injuries to key players. However, Zac Taylor and the Bengals were supposed to finish last in the AFC North. They were 25-to-1 to win the division before the season. The oddsmakers had their over/under win total at 6.5 wins. Nobody has surpassed expectations to the extent that Taylor has. While his team might not be as dominant as Lafleur and Vrabel, he has overachieved more than those two. The crazy part is I'm not even convinced that Taylor is much more than an average coach, but his team's performance makes him a good bet for me.