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First NFL Head Coach Fired Odds: Bowles, Stefanski & Rivera On Hottest Seats

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

First NFL Head Coach Fired Odds: Bowles, Stefanski & Rivera On Hottest Seats

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Sometimes it’s fair, sometimes perhaps not, but in the modern NFL world, head coaches often become a scapegoat for a team that doesn’t match expectations. 

There will be five first-timers when the 2023 NFL season kicks off. Eight others will be starting just their second season. Only nine of the 32 head coaches have been with their teams for more than four seasons. 

Some teams won’t wait until the end of the 2023 season to make a change. Last year, three coaches were let go mid-season. The Carolina Panthers fired Matt Rhule after just five games. 

Frank Reich was let go by the Colts after a 3-5-1 mark – ironically, he’s now the coach of the Panthers – and Nathaniel Hackett was gone from the Broncos after 15 games. 

Who will be the first to go in the 2023 season? Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has used his resources of NFL contacts developed over 20 years covering the league to create his NFL odds as to which head coach is first shown the door. 

First NFL Coach Fired Odds

CoachTeamOddsImplied Probability
Todd BowlesBuccaneers+35022.2%
Kevin StefanskiBrowns+45018.2%
Ron RiveraCommanders+50016.7%
Josh McDanielsRaiders+60014.3%
Brandon StaleyChargers+75011.8%
Mike McCarthyCowboys+85010.5%
Sean McVayRams+12007.7%
The FieldN/A+50016.7%

This hypothetical betting market is for entertainment purposes only and does not reflect any market that may be available on betting sites and betting apps. It has been created by Bookies.com.

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Todd Bowles was handed the keys to an offense led by Tom Brady in his first season as head coach of the Buccaneers. The Bucs won the NFC South but with a measly 8-9 record, Brady’s worst season ever. Was the issue with Bowles? Bucs brass could find out soon. The leash could be short with the NFC South up for grabs. 

Kevin Stefanski’s future may hinge on the development and play of QB Deshaun Watson. Stefanski won NFL Coach of the Year honors in 2020 when he led the Cleveland Browns to an 11-5 record and postseason berth. But the team has regressed the last two seasons, going 8-9 and 7-10. 

The Commanders have finished 7-9, 7-10 and 8-8-1 in the three seasons with Ron Rivera as head coach. The NFC East is going to be tough again this season. With new ownership now in Washington, Rivera may need to impress to get a fifth year – or even finish off a fourth. 

Fair or unfair, the pressure is on in Dallas, as Mike McCarthy begins his fourth season with the Cowboys. The Cowboys have gone 12-5 each of the past two seasons, losing in the NFC Wild Card round in 2021 and the divisional round in 2022. Another advancement is the goal for McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl in Green Bay. 

McCarthy is betting on himself, taking over play-calling duties in Dallas for the first time. His QB, Dak Prescott, led the NFL in interceptions last year despite playing in just 11 games. A steadier season from Dak could make all the difference - both for a Cowboys team with Super Bowl aspirations and for McCarthy.

Josh McDaniels was supposed to be the offensive guru who would lead the Las Vegas Raiders into a new era. Instead, he took over a team that had high hopes in 2022 and went 6-11 with it. There was scuttlebutt about Vegas making a proactive move, but management and ownership stayed in the corner of their new hire. That could change if things go south in a hurry. 

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Chargers head coach Brandon Staley went 9-8 in his rookie season in 2021, then 10-7 last year which included a rare Chargers playoff berth. L.A. infamously led the Jaguars 31-0 in the AFC Wild Card game before blowing it epically, raising eyebrows at the man with the headset. 

One would think Rams coach Sean McVay would be safe, just two years removed from a Super Bowl championship. Last year, however, the team won just five games, a minus-7 difference from the year prior. McVay nearly stepped away on his own in the offseason but elected to return. L.A. has fairly low expectations this time around. While McVay shouldn’t be a scapegoat, sometimes the coach gets the first axe in the NFL. 

The Field includes Matt Eberflus of the Bears, Robert Saleh of the Jets, Dennis Allen of the Saints, and Mike Vrabel of the Titans. 

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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.