NBA Coach of the Year Odds


The 2020-21 season is coming up fast and bettors are already heavily involved making futures bets on all the major awards. While a lot of this action is focused on the best players, you can also speculate on the top coaches in the league as well. With that in mind, we’re going to dive in-depth and take a look at the futures betting market for the NBA Coach of the Year.

With the NBA season fast approaching, it’s a great time to speculate on how the new campaign will turn out. The old cliché states that everybody essentially has a perfect record right now and hope is at its highest. Soon the games will begin and we’ll start to find out for real who the best teams and performers are going to be.

That’s why now is the very best time to try and win big by doing some futures betting. These wagers are ideal for bettors who want to make a lot of money on a small wager. Once the season begins, the odds will change and you won’t be able to find the same kind of value.

All 30 NBA Coaches and Their Coach of the Year Odds

It’s common at this time for futures bettors to hone in on speculating who they think will capture year-end awards. Whether it’s MVP, Rookie of the Year, or Defensive Player of the Year, you can guess which players will perform above expectations. But you might not even think about speculating on Coach of the Year.

In many ways, Coach of the Year is much harder to predict. After all, it’s easy to see which players are going to be among the best year in and year out, because they tend to be consistent.

But how do you judge which coach is somehow going to inspire his team into doing better than many expected, thereby capturing the attention of the media who vote for the award?

The flipside to that is that the odds are much more balanced when it comes to picking who will be NBA Coach of the Year. Even the favorites in this year’s race have middling prices. As a result, those bettors looking for value should think about heading in this direction with their futures bets before they worry about the players’ year-end awards.

In this article, we’ll take you through the coaches for all 30 NBA teams and give you their current futures odds to win the NBA Coach of the Year. We’ll talk about their strengths and weaknesses in terms of winning the award. And then we’ll end up by giving you our picks for what we believe will be the best bets you can make in this department at top gambling sites.

The NBA Coaches

Lloyd Pierce, Atlanta: +2000

Atlanta Hawks LogoPierce just endured a bit of a disappointing season with the Hawks, a team many thought could be a sleeper playoff contender a year ago. The early-season suspension of John Collins destroyed their confidence, and they ended up not even making the bubble. Flush with salary cap money, Atlanta was the biggest mover in this year’s free agency, adding four talented veterans to their youthful nucleus of Collins and Trae Young.

That puts a lot of pressure on Pierce to perform, which means another slow start could lead to a quick coaching change. But it also gives him the tools to bring this team into playoff contention. And that would put his name on the short list of NBA Coach of the Year candidates, making him a decent bet at 20 to 1.

Brad Stevens, Boston (+1200)

Stevens is one of those coaches in a bit of a nether region when it comes to NBA Coach of the Year possibilities. The Celtics finished third in the East a year ago, meaning that they’d have to probably get to top seed this year to gain the voters’ attention. Remember that any postseason success wouldn’t be factored into the vote.

While his tenure in Boston has been bumpy at times, Stevens seems to have an excellent rapport with his young cadre of talent. But it’s hard to see them putting on the kind of regular season show that will gain him awards love. That’s why it’s hard to see him as the fourth betting choice right now for NBA Coach of the Year, which is where he stands.

Steve Nash, Brooklyn (+750)

In his head coaching debut, Nash is considered the betting favorite right now for NBA Coach of the Year honors at a little more than 7 to 1 at NBA betting websites. The logic is understandable. Armed with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Nets are poised to make a huge leap from where they stood a year ago, and Nash could ride that wave.

Still, there could be some voters reluctant to crown Nash if the Nets only get into the top half of the East. He’ll need a drama-free season in terms of handling the egos of his two superstars. And he’ll also need the team to enter the playoffs as one of the clear favorites for the NBA championship, which is a lot to ask from a guy learning the ropes.

James Borrego, Charlotte (+2500)

The Hornets regressed in Borrego’s second season at the helm, but that was understandable with the departure of Kemba Walker. After a measly 23-win season, they certainly have the room for improvement that an NBA Coach of the Year would need. And after drafting the lightning rod for attention that is LaMelo Ball, they’ll certainly have some eyes on them.

For Borrego to thrive, he’ll need to Ball to thrive in turn. If LaMelo is in the Rookie of the Year race and the Hornets are on the edge of playoff contention, Borrego would have a real chance. But it seems likely this team, while maybe slightly improved, doesn’t quite reach that level.

Billy Donovan, Chicago (+3300)

Chicago Bulls logoDonovan was a finalist for NBA Coach of the Year last season, after leading Oklahoma City to the playoffs when nobody gave them much of a chance at the beginning of the year. Still, the decision for him to part seemed to be mutual. He quickly landed with the Bulls in the midst of a major rebuild.

This is a team that won just 22 games a year ago. While there are some talented pieces, there is also the nagging suspicion that their star, Zach LaVine, might end up being traded. That would probably be too much for Donovan and the Bulls to overcome, even in a relatively soft Eastern Conference.

J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland (+5000)

Bickerstaff, who gets the job on a full-time basis this year after taking over for a handful of pre-bubble games, is one of the longest shots on the board. And, quite frankly, it’s no real surprise. Whatever his coaching abilities, he just doesn’t seem to have the firepower to help him out.

The Cavaliers are oddly going against the prevailing grain in the NBA by trying to build with size, particularly center Andre Drummond. This is a lineup that just isn’t going to scare anybody. And Bickerstaff will likely just try to hold on until the talent improves.

Rick Carlisle, Dallas (+1200)

Few coaches in the league are more respected than Carlisle, who is looking for his second NBA Coach of the Year award. His first, believe it or not, came all the way back in 2000-01, when he was with Detroit. He of course has added an NBA Title with the Mavs to his record, so he immediately gets respect from the voters.

On top of that, the Mavs sit in a sweet spot in terms of how people might perceive this award. Even at 11 games over .500 a year ago, they were only the #7 seed in the West. If they could move up a few spots into the top two or three with Luka Doncic leading the way, Carlisle should be in the mix for sure.

Michael Malone, Denver (+1800)

Malone has heralded this team through a major rebuild, and they’ve come out the other side looking like a serious contender. They certainly have the public’s attention after dumping the LA Clippers in one of the more unlikely playoff comebacks in league history. And now their roster looks better than ever.

Denver has superstar types in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the latter coming off a magical postseason. Michael Porter Jr. leads the younger reinforcements and should be ready to shine in his second season. The Nuggets probably need to get top seed in the West for Malone to win NBA Coach of the Year, but they have the stuff to do it.

Dwayne Casey, Detroit (+5000)

Casey’s wild ride on the coaching carousel at least gives him an angle to attract voters. Three years ago, he won NBA Coach of the Year with Toronto, only to lose his job at the end of the following season, one that ended with his former team winning the title. He ended up in Detroit, helming one of the league’s also-rans.

The Pistons would seem to be in the middle of a rebuild, and yet they were somewhat aggressive in free agency acquiring veterans. Yet the fact that their young budding superstar Christian Wood bailed out should give an indication of their immediate prospects. Casey has little chance to win this award in 2020-21.

Steve Kerr, Golden State (+3300)

Kerr had to watch his dynasty bottom out last year with Kevin Durant gone and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson hurt. Nobody could have expected them to sink to the worst record in the league. But at least now they’re primed for a comeback, which could put Kerr back in the NBA Coach of the Year discussion (he won the award back in 2015-16.)

Thompson’s second straight season-ending injury is probably why the odds are so high. But a run to the back edge of the West playoff chase is certainly possible, considering that Curry is back and joined by Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins and promising rookie James Wiseman. Kerr is one of the best long shot plays on the board right now without a doubt.

Stephen Silas, Houston (+2500)

Houston Rockets LogoA lot has to go right for Silas, in his first NBA head coaching gig, to win this award. First of all, Houston’s brass has to convince James Harden to stay. That seems less and less likely with every day that passes and every new team that is announced as a possible landing place for the Beard.

Assuming that occurs, he’ll then have to guide this particular group pf Rockets back to the playoffs in a prime spot. And he’ll have to do that while incorporating John Wall and switching the team back to a more conventional lineup after last year’s small-ball experiment. Those are a lot of balls to juggle the first time out of the gate.

Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana (+4000)

In some ways, new coaches have a huge advantage when it comes to getting into contention for the NBA Coach of the Year award, because they have a built-in story. If the coach is immediately successful, it can look like they were the determining factor in the team’s turnaround. But for Bjorkgren, he might have come aboard a sinking ship.

The Pacers have some nice pieces, but they are pieces that seem forever destined to form a middle-of-the-pack whole and no better. Arguably his best player, Victor Oladipo, who didn’t even play all that well a year ago, also seems to be unhappy with the team’s situation. It’s hard to imagine Bjorkgren coaxing anything too magical out of the Pacers.

Tyronn Lue, Los Angeles Clippers (+900)

This is an interesting one, because much of how voters for NBA Coach of the Year view the job that Lue does, assuming he does a good one, will be based on their perception of the Clippers from a year ago. Do they base it on the fact that they were the #2 seed in the West despite having rarely having their full contingent of players? Or do they base it on the face-plant that the team took in the playoffs.

If it’s the former, it’s hard to imagine Lue having room to improve the team enough to impress anybody. But if it’s the latter, an excellent regular season while managing the mercurial talents of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George could do the trick. But the second-choice odds he’s getting just don’t make a bet on Lue all that appetizing.

Frank Vogel, Los Angeles Lakers (+1200)

Lakers LogoIn terms of coaching situations in the NBA, it’s hard to sit in a better one than what Frank Vogel inhabits. He is coming off a season where his team posted the best record in the West and then strolled to a championship without too many anxious moments. And this team, which already includes All-World talents LeBron James and Anthony Davis, seems to have improved when you tally up their offseason comings and goings.

But in terms of winning NBA Coach of the Year, Vogel is in a lousy spot. To get that done, the Lakers would have to have a record-setting kind of season in terms of dominance, which likely won’t happen with James and Davis resting a bit more often and the West full of talented teams. Even a top seed and best record of the league likely won’t impress the voters with the embarrassment of riches at Vogel’s disposal, so don’t be fooled by the somewhat low odds into thinking he can win the award.

Taylor Jenkins, Memphis (+4000)

Jenkins came within a hair of leading the Grizzlies to a surprising playoff appearance a year ago. But things will not get any easier this year. He has the misfortune of coaching a team in a conference where the Dallas Mavericks finished 11 games over .500 and were still only the #7 seed.

On top of that, Jenkins will have to navigate the early part of the schedule without Jaren Jackson Jr., one of his top performers. He does have Ja Morant on his side, and that’s good for a lot. But this will not be the year that Memphis surprised people, which means that a #8 seed is probably about as good as they can hope, which in turn means that Jenkins won’t get any NBA Coach of the Year consideration.

Erik Spoelstra, Miami (+1200)

Any notion that Spoelstra was somehow a coach who was carried along by LeBron James should have been dispelled last year. He brought a Heat team that most thought would miss the playoffs to the finals, where they succumbed to James and the Lakers. And he returns that team mostly intact for another run.

Spoelstra has never won NBA Coach of the Year honors, so there certainly could a groundswell of sentiment for him. But the problem is that the outstanding postseason last year raised expectations. And it’s hard to outperform high expectations, which means Spoelstra’s chances of winning this award this year, at those odds, are a bit overrated.

Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee (+2500)

Budenholzer has already won this award twice, which will certainly work against him. Even though voters for yearend awards aren’t supposed to think that way, there is certainly a “been there, done that” feeling that work against a two-time winner. But familiarity isn’t the only thing hurting Coach Bud.

For the past two seasons, the Bucks, after sterling regular seasons, have underperformed in the playoffs and went home disappointed. As a result, any accolades they might receive for storming through the schedule once again are likely to be tempered by suspicion that they’ll blow it again. As a result, Budenholzer really has no shot here.

Ryan Saunders, Minnesota (+3300)

Saunders first full season as a coach was a bit of a downer, but it certainly wasn’t all his doing. First of all, Minnesota got little from Karl-Anthony Towns, their undisputed star, due to injury. They also attempted to change on the fly by exchanging one volatile scorer (Andrew Wiggins) for another (D’Angelo Russell.)

But there is an avenue for this team to surprise in 2020-21. Towns needs to be on the floor, of course, and the Wolves should benefit from the stability of Ricky Rubio at point and the potential of #1 overall draft pick Anthony Edwards on the wing. They have a chance at a postseason appearance, which would put Saunders into the NBA Coach of the Year discussion at lucrative odds.

Stan Van Gundy, New Orleans (+1600)

New Orleans Pelicans logoIf you were to write up a template for NBA Coach of the Year, it would probably contain a lot of the elements that Van Gundy brings to the table. First of all, there is the comeback angle. After eight years spent largely in the broadcasting booth, he’s back for another go-around on the coaching carousel.

Then there is the perception that this was a more talented team on paper a year ago than what actually showed on the floor, meaning the possibility for big improvement exists. Plus, Van Gundy gets Zion Williamson without having to worry about minutes limits. Don’t overthink this: Stan Van is one of the better value choices out of all the coaches at odds of 16 to 1.

Tom Thibodeau, New York (+3300)

Thibodeau possesses a pretty impressive head coaching record, as just one of his seven seasons with Chicago and Minnesota ended without a playoff appearance. He already enjoys an NBA Coach of the Year trophy, picked up in his first year with Chicago a decade ago. And he returns to a head job after a few years away, so he has a bit of a comeback story angle as well.

But Thibodeau is tasked with trying to figure out the morass that is the New York Knicks. On the one hand, this is a mess of epic productions, with a ton of bodies that don’t seem to know how to play winning basketball together. But if Thibs can somehow find a way to inspire this team into postseason consideration, he will soar to the top of the NBA Coach of the Year mighty quickly.

Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City (+6000)

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the longest shot to win the NBA Coach of the Year award out of 30 candidates. This, of course, is no reflection on Daigneault, a young (age 35) first-time NBA head coach with a track record of fine work as an assistant and G-League guy. It is instead a reflection on what lies ahead of him this year.

The Thunder overachieved last year for Billy Donovan, but many of the ley pieces that were part of that run are gone, including Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams. Oklahoma City is filled with draft picks in the coming years, so the future looks bright. But Daigneault will almost certainly preside over one of the worst teams in the league in 2020-21.

Steve Clifford, Orlando (+3500)

Orlando just seems to be stuck in that nether region somewhere between being true contenders and being doormats. The problem with that area is it can linger for years unless you commit to either rebuilding or going for it with conviction. And Clifford is the guy tasked with presiding over that limbo area.

Clifford is actually a connoisseur of this kind of team, having presided over several of them in Charlotte before coming to the Magic. There were no moves made in the offseason to suggest that this year will be any different. As such, his long-shot status for NBA Coach of the Year is completely understandable and warranted.

Doc Rivers, Philadelphia (+1400)

Philadelphia 76ers logoSome 21 years ago, Rivers won Coach of the Year honors for guiding an Orlando team to a .500 record. Three teams and one championship later, he may be walking into his best chance to win the award again in quite some time. After all, the Sixers are poster children for unrealized promise, making them the ideal clay for a coach seeking yearend honors to sculpt.

Rivers will obviously have to solve the riddles of why Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons seem like two of the best 15 players in the league and can’t lead this team to anything special. If he can do that with a stellar regular season where Philly surpasses Boston and maybe even Milwaukee as well in the East, he could be the one to beat. At 14 to 1, you could do a lot worse at top sports betting websites.

Monty Williams, Phoenix (+1000)

The oddsmakers love Williams, as he is the third choice on the board at 10 to 1. As the Suns headed into the hiatus last year, it looked like Williams might have to worry about job security. But everything changed in the bubble, thanks to an unbeaten stretch that ended with Phoenix barely missing out on an unlikely playoff spot.

The Suns front office decided to tinker with the winning formula: Kelly Oubre and Ricky Rubio are out and Jae Crowder and Chris Paul are in. Paul’s track record suggests that he could be the missing piece to elevate Devon Booker and DeAndre Ayton. This team could rise quickly in the West, and a top half finish in the conference would put Williams firmly in the running for NBA Coach of the Year.

Terry Stotts, Portland (+2800)

Stotts had blink-and-you-missed-them head coaching stints in Chicago and Atlanta, but found a home in RIP city, where he’s been at the helm since 2012. The fact that a guard named Damian Lillard was the team’s first draft pick that year may have something to do with Stotts staying power. But the truth is that the Blazers always seem to overachieve in the always-rugged West with Stotts on the sideline.

The hope for the Blazers in 2020-21 is that a full season with Jusuf Nurkic at center will help balance out a team that relied so heavily on Lillard and C.J. McCollum for offense last year. They snuck into the playoffs last season, and would need to move up the ladder to give Stotts a legitimate NBA Coach of the Year chance. That seems like it might be too big a leap for them to make in that conference with the personnel they have.

Luke Walton, Sacramento (+2800)

Sacramento Kings LogoWalton seemed in over his head with the Lakers, so Sacramento, with far less pressure involved, looked like a better fit for his second head-coaching stint. Yet the results haven’t been there just yet. Last year they at least made it to the bubble, but they couldn’t come up with enough victories there to get to the playoffs.

The Kings’ roster is a bit unwieldy right now, which means Walton might have to deal with playing time concerns. Yet even as there is competition at a lot of spots, there aren’t enough game-breaking players who would be starters on other squads. As a result, it looks like another quiet year for the Kings and no honors for Walton.

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio (+3300)

2020-21 marks the 25th season for Coach Pop in San Antonio, and his record puts him in the running for greatest NBA coach of all time. But without a transcendent player on his roster, a la David Robinson, Tim Duncan, or Kawhi Leonard, this edition of the Spurs doesn’t scare anybody. And Pop would probably be the first to say you can’t get it done without the players (although he probably wouldn’t say it in between quarters to an unfortunate TNT reporter.)

This year’s edition of the Spurs will be built once again around LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, two tough veterans who are past their peaks. Their young players have only improved in fits and starts. Barring some sort of miracle transaction, this will not be a memorable year, and Popovich won’t win what would be a record fourth NBA Coach of the Year award.

Nick Nurse, Toronto (+2800)

Nurse has made this whole NBA coaching thing look pretty easy. In this first season, the Raptors went all the way and won the title. And then last year, he won the NBA Coach of the Year award for guiding the Raptors to the second-best record in basketball after losing Kawhi Leonard.

That’s all well and fine, but those accolades will likely deny him the chance at the Coach of the Year honors again. In the nearly 50-year history of the award, nobody has ever won it twice in a row. That’s enough of a sample size to eliminate Nurse from consideration this time around.

Quin Snyder, Utah (+2200)

Snyder has carved out a nice little run as coach of the Jazz, but there is some concern that they’ve stagnated a bit. In Donovan Mitchell, they have a legitimate star, but the other pieces aren’t all that imposing. Indeed, the group in training camp for the Jazz looks very similar to the one that fell in the first round a year ago.

There is also the possibility that, if the Jazz start slow, they might be looking to trade center Rudy Gobert, who is in the last year of his contract. The West is not the place to be if you’re not moving forward in some way. Snyder might actually have to worry about job security at the end of this year more than preparing an NBA Coach of the Year award speech.

Scott Brooks, Washington (+4000)

Washington Wizards LogoBrooks, who won the NBA Coach of the Year a decade ago with the Thunder, is trying to make it dig the Wizards out of the doldrums. But he hasn’t has much luck, the team’s record has worsened in each year from his first to last year, his fourth with the team. Obviously, more regression and he’s likely be ousted, maybe even before the season is over.

There is cause for optimism, however, with Russell Westbrook coming aboard to team with a healthy Bradley Beal. In the frontcourt, there are some interesting young pieces, like Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant. This team can compete for the playoffs, especially in the East, which would be a great rejuvenation for Brooks, a story that would be catnip for Coach of the Year voters.

Our Favorite Bets For 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year

Short Odds

  • Monty Williams (+1000)
  • Doc Rivers (+1400)

Medium Price Picks

  • Stan Van Gundy (+1600)
  • Michael Malone (+1800)

Long Shots

  • Steve Kerr (+3300)
  • Billy Donovan (+3300)
  • Scott Brooks (+4000)

Jim Beviglia

Jim Beviglia joined as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog.
For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h …

View all posts by Jim Beviglia