Oddsmakers have a knack for using pretty much any aspect of college and professional sports to make a dollar. Whether betting on the length of a Super Bowl National Anthem or predicting how many times Peyton Manning would scream “Omaha,” bets are no longer about the wins and losses and stats on the field.
They can entail anything. Sometimes the bet is something that the person involved in may not actually want, and the annual odds for who will be fired first are one example.
The oddsmakers look at how the coach has done in the past season, whether or not there is known drama between him and the team, and how they are believed to fare heading into the season. Just like any bet, someone could theoretically make a lot of money by guessing a coach who has worse odds to get fired, while a coach who has been on the hot seat will give them a worse payday.
Whatever the circumstances, these five coaches appear to have the best odds of being fired (or leaving) first, according to the oddsmakers.
Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins (3/1)
After a disappointing ending to the 2018 season following the disturbing injury to Alex Smith, Jay Gruden is yet to have a truly exceptional season as the Redskins’ coach. His record of 35-44-1 and one playoff appearance is nothing to write home about. If the Redskins decide to pull the plug and start over, Gruden would likely be the first domino to fall.
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (7/1)
Like Gruden and the Redskins, the Giants are in something of an in-between era. While Eli Manning is available to play, many believe that his days as their starting quarterback could be numbered.
Many believe if they choose to go with Daniel Jones to replace him, a new coach could be soon to follow. With Odell Beckham Jr. gone, the ball may already be rolling on a rebuild. Not to mention, after a 5-11 output last year, Shurmur isn’t doing much to plant confidence in the Giants higher-ups.
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (10/1)
With quarterback Matthew Stafford entering his 30s and the team consistently failing to get wins, the Lions fanbase is desperate for something to be excited about. All this considered, the Lions coaching job is an unenviable one.
He may only be in his second year, but according to Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report, Patricia has a knack for alienating his veteran players and using tactics that leave players confused out on the field. Every head coach has room to grow, but Patricia will need to quickly turn things around if he wants to keep his job.
Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans (12/1)
At 42-38 and one playoff win during his first five years in Houston, Bill O’Brien has not been a failure. However, he has also not proven himself to be a consistent or elite coach. Because of this, if the Texans don’t start the season running out of the gate, the Texans could try to light a fire under them by bringing in a new coach midseason.
Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons (12/1)
Although they were a Super Bowl team in the not-so-distant past, Quinn may have outlived the honeymoon period that comes with that. The Falcons have been unable to replicate the success of that lone season. Some think with a defensive-minded coach like Quinn, the team could be looking to capitalize on their offensive weapons.
Adding to the cards that are stacked against him, his owner, Arthur Blank, recently had to give a vote of confidence to Coach Quinn, which can often seem the first step to inevitable firing.
Honorable Mention: No coach firings (12/1)
Although unlikely, there is always the chance that a season can go by without a midseason firing or departure by a coach. Of course, the oddsmakers have this in mind. As a result, they have a bet for those optimistic football fans who think everyone will keep their job, at least until Black Monday.