For obvious reasons, NFL teams don’t fire their head coaches after successful seasons. That’s not to say it never happens, but why mess with success?
History has shown it’s not wise, when it comes to Super Bowl betting tips, to wager on a team’s futures with a first-year coach. Only five head coaches have reached the Super Bowl in their first year: the Colts’ Don McCafferty in Super Bowl V, Broncos’ Red Miller in XII, 49ers’ George Seifert in XXIV, Raiders’ Bill Callahan in XXXVII and Colts’ Jim Caldwell in XLIV. Seifert and McCafferty are the only two to win it. Will a third rookie coach win the Lombardi Trophy in the 2014 season? Let’s take a look at each new coach and his team’s Super Bowl betting odds.
It Could Happen
The Lions and Texans are two of four franchises to never reach a Super Bowl. They have new guys on the sideline and both are 33/1 on Super Bowl lines to win XLIX in Glendale, Arizona.
The Lions hired Caldwell, although he wasn’t the first choice. Caldwell was fired by the Colts after a 2-14 2011 season in which Peyton Manning was out injured. Caldwell spent last season as Baltimore’s offensive coordinator. He has two playoff wins as a head coach to his credit. The Lions have a single postseason victory since 1957.
Houston was a Super Bowl online betting favorite entering the 2013 season but imploded with 14 straight losses after a 2-0 start, costing Gary Kubiak his job. The team hired Penn State’s Bill O’Brien for his first NFL head coaching gig. He was New England’s offensive coordinator when the Patriots lost as favorites on the Super Bowl point spread to the Giants in XLVI. The Texans are only two years removed from a 12-4 record and a second straight division title, and they also get the top overall pick in May’s draft.
Lot of Work to Do
The Redskins were 10-6 in 2012 and won the NFC East title but slipped to 3-13 and last in the division a season ago. Mike Shanahan was fired and replaced with former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. He has what not many first-year coaches get: a franchise quarterback, in this case Robert Griffin III. Washington is 50/1 on Super Bowl odds.
Also at 50/1 is Tampa Bay and new coach Lovie Smith. He led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI, a loss to the Colts, but was out of the NFL last season. Tampa Bay hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.
Minnesota was a playoff team in 2012 but last in the NFC North in ’13.. Out is Leslie Frazier and in is former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. The Vikes are 66/1.
Tennessee was 7-9 a year ago and fired Mike Munchak. The Titans hired Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who was Arizona’s head coach when the Cardinals lost Super Bowl XLIII to Pittsburgh. Tennessee is 66/1 for those who bet on the Super Bowl.
Finally there’s Cleveland, which hired Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Browns have had one playoff appearance since returning to the NFL and are 66/1 to win their first Super Bowl.