- Adam Gase has +5000 odds (per DraftKings Sportsbook) to win the Coach of the Year Award. He represents the biggest long shot in the category.
- The New York Jets come into the 2020 campaign with relatively low expectations after finishing 7-9 last season. This bodes well for Gase if the team surprises, especially after ending 2020 with a 6-2 record in the second half of the campaign.
- Sam Darnold taking the next step in his second season with Gase is critical for this wager to come to fruition.
As time has passed, it has become very easy for NFL fans to make fun of Adam Gase. His first press conference as the New York Jets head coach was great social media fodder, as Twitter swelled with gifs and memes mocking his seemingly crazy eyes. Along with his less-than-stellar people skills and his firing from the Miami Dolphins, it’s clear why he hasn’t generated the respect that some of his peers have among football observers. However, Gase’s coaching reputation provides an interesting opportunity for sports bettors.
Gase’s Coaching History
Gase has the worst odds of any NFL head coach to win Coach of the Year. The oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook have set the price on Gase winning Coach of the Year at +5000. There are 32 head coaches in the National Football League, and the implied probability of a +5000 is about 2.0 percent. This is a disrespectful number, because Gase isn’t as bad of a coach as people think he is.
If you talk to credible football minds like Nick Saban and Peyton Manning, two greats that the Jets coach has had the chance to work with previously, Gase knows his football. Overall, his record as a head coach is 30-34. That’s not a terrible number when you consider the state of both franchises (New York Jets and Miami Dolphins) in the past decade or so.
He was the first Dolphins coach since 2008 to lead the team to a 10-win season, back when Miami went to the playoffs in 2016. In a more recent 2018 campaign, the Dolphins were 7-6 through 13 games before struggling down the stretch (which led to Gase’s ultimate dismissal). Gase has always fielded a competitive team, even when leading franchises that have had poor upper management.
General Expectations Are Low
If you ask people what New York’s record was in 2019, they might guess that they went 4-12, because that would be a mark commensurate with the type of attention they received. In reality, they went a respectable 7-9 and garnered some attention from sharp bettors at various points of the season.
New York started 1-7 with a couple of embarrassing Monday Night Football performances. There was the 23-3 home loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 and a 33-0 home loss that had Sam Darnold “seeing ghosts.” Between their 1-7 start, the disappointment with their star signing of Le’Veon Bell, the particularly high-profile primetime blowouts, the loss of two of their best defensive players going into 2020 (C.J. Mosley and Jalen Adams), and the negative coverage the Jets franchise always receives, expectations are quite low this upcoming season.
Low pre-season expectations are a sign that a head coach could be receiving hardware if their team turns out to be a pleasant surprise.
Optimism Around Darnold
When looking back at New York’s 2019 season, 3-of-7 of their losses through Week 8 came when the Jets were playing Luke Falk and Trevor Siemien at quarterback. The Jets went 7-6 with Darnold as their starter. In fact, New York went 6-2 over their last eight games.
The Jets offense showed an ability to put up points over a three-game span where they scored 34 points in three-consecutive games. With another year of growth and development for Darnold, it’s entirely possible that Gase’s offense takes another step forward. This will be paired with an attacking defense that ranked fifth in yards allowed per play, including second in yards allowed per carry.
When we combine the under-appreciated coaching history of Gase, the low expectations of New York going into 2020, and the signs of potential based on the way they ended last year, you better believe that +5000 odds for Gase to win Coach of the Year has enormous upside. This is a wager to take advantage of that oddsmakers clearly missed the mark on.
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