When the 2018 NFL regular season begins, there will be watchful eyes around the league to see which head coaches are in danger of getting the early axe. There are several coaches, such as Doug Pederson, Mike Zimmer, Sean Payton, and Bill Belichick who are clearly not going to be going anywhere any time soon unless they step down themselves.
Earlier this week, Betway released opening odds on which coach will be the first one sacked this season, and believe it or not, the Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll has made the list.
Opening odds to be the first NFL head coach fired (@betway):— OddsShark (@OddsShark) June 19, 2018
Hue Jackson +350
Adam Gase +750
Marvin Lewis +1000
Vance Joseph +1000
Dirk Koetter +1200
Jay Gruden +1200
Todd Bowles +1600
Bill O'Brien +2000
Jason Garrett +2500
John Harbaugh +2800
Jon Gruden +2800
Pete Carroll +2800
+2800 also means 28-to-1. The implied odds are roughly 3.45%. In other words, it’s a really really long shot that he’s going to be the first coach fired. If the Seahawks really do the unthinkable and can Carroll before any other coach gets ousted, you can win $2,800 on a $100 wager. Expectations are not high for Seattle to win the Super Bowl this season, and perhaps last year’s failure to make the playoffs is a major reason why Carroll is even in consideration. For what it’s worth, Carroll’s contract runs through the 2019 season.
I have no idea why Jon Gruden, who just signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to return to the Oakland Raiders is even on here, but he’s also listed at +2800. Even by Raiders standards, canning a guy in year one of a 10-year deal is a bit much.
The leader in the clubhouse is unsurprisingly Hue Jackson, who’s guided the Cleveland Browns to a 1-31 record across two seasons, including last season’s 0-16 mark. In theory, the Browns have enough talent to field a team that should win multiple games for the first time since 2015, but if not... goodbye, Hue.
Marvin Lewis is +1000 and higher up the list, but I’m convinced he’s literally impossible to fire even though it’d really hard to justify retaining a coach who has been in charge for 15 seasons and never won a playoff game with the Cincinnati Bengals.
I would keep an eye on John Harbaugh, who won his Super Bowl the year before Pete did, but is also +2800. Rather quietly, after a strong start and a consistent streak of making the playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens have only qualified once in the past five seasons, with a thoroughly mediocre 40-40 record. Last year, they gave away a chance to get into the postseason with a last-minute home loss to Marv’s Bengals. Perhaps Lamar Jackson, should he usurp Joe Flacco for the starting job, can provide Harbaugh a lifeline for what has been a largely lifeless looking offense.