The upside: A trusting Houston Texans fan could make a lot of money betting on David Culley.
The downside: Despite the new coach's quiet confidence, oddsmakers ain't seeing it.
Does the new Texans’ rookie coach have a chance to surprise? A chance, even, to win NFL Coach of the Year?
According to BetMGM, well, yes ... there is a chance. But it is the worst chance in the league. Culley has the same odds to win Coach of the Year for 2021 as does the Cincinnati Bengals’ Zac Taylor does: +6600.
And yes, those are the basement odds in the NFL.
Is it just because Culley, as experienced as he is as an NFL assistant, a first-year coach? No, because rookie coach Brandon Staley of the Chargers is at +1600 odds, the same number attached to the Rams' Sean McVay, Miami's Brian Flores, Kansas City's Andy Reid, and the Niners' Kyle Shanahan.
And it's the second-best number in the league. (Keep in mind, the oddsmakers aren't suggesting that Staley's Chargers will be as good as those other clubs. But in the case of, say, Reid, the Chiefs are expected to be good, therefore lessening the coach's odds of being recognized. Which is counterintuitive, but that's the way the vote usually goes.)
More rookie coaches? The New York Jets’ Robert Saleh has +1800 odds. Arthur Smith of the Atlanta Falcons is at +2500. The Jaguars' Urban Meyer is at +3500 ... and Meyer and Culley will start off the NFL season in Week 1 with a chance to start proving the oddsmakers right or wrong.
Although the Texans aren’t expected to have a good season, it isn’t unprecedented for a coach to win coach of the year amid a losing campaign. In 1990, the Dallas Cowboys’ Jimmy Johnson won the award after posting a 7-9 record following a 1-15 mark in his first season in the league.
READ MORE: Texans NFL Schedule Analysis