Wed. Jan 23rd, 2019

The 3 best bets for the next NFL head coach to be fired

The Green Bay Packers handed Mike McCarthy the pink slip following a loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, setting into motion the odds for the next head coach to be fired. We give our three best bets for who will get canned next, as released its odds on Wednesday morning.

Todd Bowles - New York Jets (+150)

The odds on this prop bet fluctuate each week as coaches gain or lose momentum, and, in turn, preserve their job or find themselves on the hot seat, depending on the results of any given game. The Jets' Bowles, however, has been a constant name on the prop list all season.

Following consecutive five-win campaigns, Bowles was given an opportunity to right the ship and rebuild the roster when he earned a contract through 2020. There's been little to show for that act of faith, as the Jets sit 3-9 on the year, haven't won in roughly two months, and are coming off a game in which they blew a 16-point lead to the Tennessee Titans.

A number of last week's head coaches in jeopardy netted potential job-saving wins to earn some extra time. The Jets are mired in a six-game losing streak and are underdogs in all four games to finish out the season, so there's a reason Bowles is the favorite to be cut loose.

Marvin Lewis - Cincinnati Bengals (+400)

On the heels of back-to-back losing seasons, Lewis unconventionally earned a two-year contract extension with the Bengals following a 2017 season in which they continued to trickle down the AFC North pecking order. That type of security played a big role in Lewis' odds opening up at +7500 to be the first head coach fired in 2018; there was no way a franchise would part ways with a head coach during the early stages of a new, multi-year deal. Now, entering Week 14, Lewis is third on the list behind Bowles (+150) and Arizona's Steve Wilks (+300).

Cincinnati is currently on a four-game skid and has lost six of its last seven. Some circumstances are out of Lewis' hands, as starting quarterback Andy Dalton hit injured reserve two weeks ago and star wide receiver A.J. Green was lost for the season after reinjuring his toe in Week 13. But there's also the aforementioned losing streak, which drove Cincinnati in the wrong direction and perhaps led to a staggering dip in crowd attendance.

The 2019 year on Lewis' contract is a team option, so the Bengals will likely let him finish out the final four games of this season. But through the combination of other coaches previously on the hot seat - Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Dirk Koetter, Jacksonville Jaguars' Doug Marrone, Baltimore Ravens' John Harbaugh, and Denver Broncos' Vance Joseph - picking up wins last week, Arizona perhaps opting not to part ways with a first-year head coach, and the off-chance Bowles picks up a win against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday to earn himself more time, we'll take a shot on what is a decent price for a head coach who might not win another game this season.

Ron Rivera - Carolina Panthers (+1200)

Firing a two-time NFL Coach of the Year? It could certainly happen, especially when considering a first-year owner is watching the season unravel before his eyes.

It took one month for the Panthers to go from sleepers to sleepwalking. A 6-2 start to the season has quickly turned to 6-6 with four straight very Panthers-like losses - a blowout against the Pittsburgh Steelers on prime time, a questionable decision to go for two when down one point late to the Detroit Lions, the Seattle Seahawks' comeback in Charlotte, and last week's death knell of Cam Newton's four-interception performance against the Buccaneers.

The Panthers' final four games aren't exactly cakewalks, either. They have to go on the road for the third time in four weeks to play the improved Cleveland Browns before three straight divisional games, two of which come against the high-flying New Orleans Saints.

Joe Person of The Athletic discussed the Rivera situation on ESPN's The Gerry V show, saying he doesn't think first-year owner David Tepper has the type of ego that would prompt him to blow things up just to "make his mark" on the franchise.

"But this is a production-based business. Anytime a team goes south, especially with a new owner who did not hire these gentlemen, then there's going to be questions that need to be asked," he added.

One more loss to make it five straight and the Rivera odds become that much more intriguing with three divisional games on deck ... if it even gets that far.

Alex Kolodziej is theScore's betting writer. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.

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