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1st NFL Head Coach To Be Fired: Betting Odds & Our Favorites

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

1st NFL Head Coach To Be Fired: Betting Odds & Our Favorites

No NFL head coach wants to be the first to be relieved of his duties during the upcoming season. But one of them has to be. So why not bet on it?

Unibet has posted odds on which head coach is first to hand back his whistle:

First NFL Coach To Be Fired

Coach Odds
Matt Patricia, Lions+300
Doug Marrone, Jaguars+400
Adam Gase, Jets+800
Dan Quinn, Falcons+1000
Bill O’Brien, Texans+1100
Anthony Lynn, Chargers+2500
Matt Nagy, Bears+2500
Zak Taylor, Bengals+3000
Bruce Arians, Buccaneers+3300
Vic Fangio, Broncos+3300
Brian Flores, Dolphins +3300
Mike Zimmer, Vikings+3300

Odds current as of publication and subject to change.

Bookies.com breaks down the list and makes an NFL futures betting odds pick.

Top Guys Last Year Hit

It’s worth noting that last year, oddsmakers hit the nail on the head. Redskins coach Jay Gruden was the favorite in NFL betting to be the first head coach ousted at +300, and he didn’t make it out of October. Giants coach Pat Shurmur, the only other nearby contender at +500, lost his gig the Monday following the regular season finale.

There were four other coaches at +1500 going into last season. One of them was Jason Garrett of the Cowboys, who also won’t be back in 2020. The other three were Marrone, O’Brien and Quinn — three of the top contenders this year.

Favorites Are Favorites For A Reason

1st NFL Head Coach To Be Fired: Betting Odds & Our Favorites 1
Matt Patricia of the Lions saw his team plummet to 3-12-1 last season, including 0-9 after quarterback Matt Stafford was injured.

Two coaches are vying to not be the favorite for this dubious honor.

Patricia went 6-10 in his first year in Detroit, but last season the team torpedoed to a 3-12-1 record. There is one big asterisks on that: When Pro Bowl QB Matthew Stafford was lost for the season, Detroit went 0-9 the rest of the way.

Patricia has Stafford back and the opportunity to add an immediate contributor with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The leash is short but the team should be improved.

Meanwhile, this is probably the last chance for Marrone, who was stuck guiding a mess of a situation in Jacksonville after the ouster of executive vice president Tom Coughlin.

Marrone led the Jaguars to a surprising run to the AFC Championship game his first year in town (2017), but the team needs a turnaround after consecutive 6-10 seasons.

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Worthy Darkhorses To Be Fired

1st NFL Head Coach To Be Fired: Betting Odds & Our Favorites 2
The Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn pairing has not done much for the Falcons since reaching the Super Bowl after the 2016 season.

Gase went 7-9 in his first season in New York, enough to get a second chance and even a third one with a small bump in success.

O’Brien and Quinn, however, might need to do more.

O’Brien has had an offseason full of questionable choices, highlighted by the trade of star WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for oft-injured and overpaid RB David Johnson. O’Brien has guided the Texans to a winning record in five of his six seasons, including 11-5 in 2018 and 10-6 last year. I would think he’ll get a full 16 weeks to prove the team is still headed in the right direction. If he’s going to be let go, it’s likely the day after the regular season ends.

I’m not as sure about that for Quinn. Quinn guided the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016 with an 11-5 season, but they haven’t had the same success since and are coming off back-to-back 7-9 seasons. Atlanta went 6-2 the second half of last season, which allowed Quinn to return. But time is running out on the Matt Ryan-Julio Jones era in Atlanta. If the Falcons have another poor start to the season, Quinn may not be around to see the end of it.


The 2020 NFL schedule has not yet been released, so it’s tough to gauge which of these hot-seat coaches may have more trouble getting off to a strong start. But there are two coaches who stand out right now as most likely to be updating resumes mid-season.

Marrone was reportedly told prior to Jacksonville’s 2019 season finale that the game would be his last. He was surprisingly brought back. But he needs to get the Jaguars off to a strong start to remain the coach for all of 2020.

Here’s the problem with that: personnel-wise, the Jaguars might be the worst team in the NFL. If one team appears to be in tank mode in order to land Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s the Jags.

Quinn needs to prove he can get the Falcons back to playoff prominence. But that may not happen — Ryan has been on a downward trend the last two seasons and the cash-strapped team didn’t improve in the off-season. Now the Buccaneers have Tom Brady and the NFC South just got a lot tougher.

Take Marrone and Quinn and you finish in the black if either are first to go.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.