NBA Coach of the Year betting: A respected name flying under the radar

NBA Coach of the Year betting: A respected name flying under the radar

Betting on the Coach of the Year market is another opportunity to place a wager on a team you expect to have a great season and outperform expectations.

The award is always given to one of the best regular season teams in the league. Nine of the last 10 winners led their teams to a top-three seed in their respective conferences. The lone exception was Tom Thibodeau, who led the Knicks to the fourth seed in 2021.

Coaches whose teams far exceed expectations are rewarded, too, such as Mike Brown and the Kings last year. Coaches leading an already-established great team with superstars, on the other hand, aren’t typically recognized unless the team puts together a historically great season, like the 73-win Warriors led by Steve Kerr.

Coach of the Year Odds

Coach (team)

Mark Daigneault (Thunder)

Adrian Griffin (Bucks)

Joe Mazzulla (Celtics)

Frank Vogel (Suns)

Nick Nurse (Sixers)

Rick Carlisle (Pacers)

Darvin Ham (Lakers)

Erik Spoelstra (Heat)

Jamahl Mosley (Magic)

Jason Kidd (Mavs)

Michael Malone (Nuggets)

Quin Snyder (Hawks)

Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies)

Willie Green (Pelicans)

JB Bickerstaff (Cavs)

Ime Udoka (Rockets)

Chris Finch (Timberwolves)

Tyronn Lue (Clippers)

Will Hardy (Jazz)

Darko Rajakovic (Raptors)

Jacque Vaughn (Nets)

Monty Williams (Pistons)

Gregg Popovich (Spurs)

Mike Brown (Kings)

Steve Kerr (Warriors)

Chauncey Billups (Blazers)

Tom Thibodeau (Knicks)

* Coaches with odds longer than 50/1 are not listed

Mark Daigneault of the Thunder and Rick Carlisle of the Pacers are two candidates who immediately jump out. I expect both teams to surpass their win totals and external expectations while making the playoffs. Both groups have emerging young players and are expected to take another leap this season toward contention. The oddsmakers agree, as Daigneault is the favorite to win and Carlisle is the sixth favorite.

However, if we’re following voter trends, it’s hard to imagine either team hosting a playoff series in deep and loaded conferences. Despite my belief that these teams are poised for a surprising season, it’s best to stay away.

There’s also Michael Malone and Joe Mazzulla, who piloted two of the best teams in the league last year. Although Mazzulla was much maligned and still has to prove himself, a great regular season from the Celtics is the expectation. I’d stay away from these two candidates.

There are other respected coaches pioneering great teams such as Frank Vogel, Nick Nurse, and Darvin Ham, all of whom could be worth consideration. However, I’m going with a different candidate down the oddsboard.

Tyronn Lue has never won the award but is widely considered to be among the best coaches in the league. The Clippers are vastly underrated heading into the season with the Lakers, Suns, Nuggets, and even Warriors praised as the contenders in the West, and they have the fifth-best odds to win the West (+900) behind all those teams. Their win total is set at 46.5, just two wins better than last season.

The Clippers are entering a pivotal year for the franchise. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George‘s contracts expire after the season, as does Coach Lue’s. They are also leaving their arena for their own building following the season.

Leonard and George’s injury problems derailed the team last season, but the Clippers still managed to win 44 games and earn the five seed. Both players have missed a substantial amount of time as teammates, but the two are reportedly healthy ahead of the season.

Lue spent the offseason publicly stating the team needs to prioritize the regular season more than it has, and reports from the Clippers’ training camp indicate the team’s accountability and energy is greater than it was last year.

When healthy, Leonard and George are both superstars. They are surrounded by a ton of productive parts, including Terance Mann, Norman Powell, Ivica Zubac, and Russell Westbrook. All of the contenders in the West have vulnerabilities. The Clippers are also in trade discussions for James Harden. If they do land him at some point, last season’s league leader in assists would take some pressure off of Leonard and George.

There’s no reason Los Angeles can’t be a top seed in the West, and, if that’s the case, Lue’s presence as head coach will get plenty of attention.

Pick: Tyronn Lue +2500 (bet $10 to win $250)

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.

Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

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