Bill Belichick is faced with the difficult challenge of keeping the New England Patriots among the top contenders in the AFC without quarterback Tom Brady in the 2020 NFL season, and oddsmakers are confident in the legendary head coach's chances of succeeding.
The eight-time Super Bowl champion is the betting favorite to win the league's Coach of the Year award next season, according to the latest odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. He's actually the clear favorite at +800 odds, with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel next on the list with +1600 odds.
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Here's the full list of betting lines for the award:
No Brady, No Problem?— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) April 7, 2020
Bill Belichick is the favorite to win Coach of the Year in the NFL pic.twitter.com/Cz08dcs7Nd
Belichick has won AP Coach of the Year three times in his career. Here's a quick recap of those seasons (the award is for regular season results only):
2003: Patriots went 14-2 in regular season, won Super Bowl XXXVIII
2007: Patriots went 16-0 in regular season, lost Super Bowl XLII
2010: Patriots went 14-2 in regular season, lost in AFC Divisional Round
You might be surprised Belichick hasn't won Coach of the Year more often considering the enormous success he's enjoyed in his 20 years as Patriots head coach. However, many of this award's winners were coaches who took what was expected to be one of the worst teams in the league and exceeded expectations. The Patriots have been playing with Super Bowl-or-bust expectations for well over a decade, so it was often hard for Belichick to exceed expectations.
One season Belichick should've won Coach of the Year but didn't was 2008 when the Patriots went 11-5 after Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. Matt Cassel filled in as the starting quarterback and the Patriots were still quite competitive, although they lost a playoff spot due to a tiebreaker.
If the Patriots enjoy similar success without Brady in 2020, it's hard to imagine Belichick not earning Coach of the Year honors.