Quin Snyder is the odds-on COY favorite. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Utah Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder is the new favorite to win Coach of the Year
- FoxBet’s market lists preseason favorite Stave Nash now at odds of +1500
- Will voters be impacted by the “too many Jazz guys on my ballot” factor? See odds below
Gotta hand it to FoxBet for being ahead of the curve. They are the only major U.S. sportsbook with NBA Coach of the Year odds posted, and they have Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz as the favorite at -150.
But as a former voter on all major awards, this writer can tell you that media members who vote on these awards have a tendency to spread out their votes among overachievers. And that could cost Snyder some votes.
Odds below from FoxBet
2021 NBA Coach of the Year Odds
|Coach/Team||Odds at FoxBet|
|Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz||-150|
|Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns||+650|
|Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers||+650|
|Ty Lue, L.A. Clippers||+1400|
|Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets||+1500|
|Frank Vogel, Los Angeles Lakers||+2000|
|Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies||+2500|
|Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs||+3000|
|Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics||+3300|
|Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks||+3300|
|Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets||+3300|
|Terry Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers||+4000|
|Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers||+4000|
|Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks||+5000|
|J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers||+5500|
|Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors||+6000|
|Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City Thunder||+6000|
|James Borrego, Charlotte Hornets||+6600|
|Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat||+6600|
|Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors||+6600|
|Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls||+6600|
|Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks||+6600|
|Stan Van Gundy, New Orleans Pelicans||+8000|
|Stephen Silas, Houston Rockets||+8000|
|Scott Brooks, Washington Wizards||+10000|
|Steve Clifford, Orlando Magic||+20000|
|Luke Walton, Sacramento Kings||+20000|
|Dwane Casey, Detroit Pistons||+50000|
Odds as of March 29th
Midseason replacements Nate McMillan of the Atlanta Hawks and Chris Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves are not listed. Nash was the preseason favorite.
How Could Any Voter Pass Up on Snyder?
When the NBA league office sends out the ballots, voters get to vote for first, second and third place. Generally they do not like to give too many awards to a single team, no matter how deserved.
Heck, in 1996-97, voters selected Karl Malone of Utah as MVP because many of them were sick and tired of voting for Michael Jordan year after year after year. Jordan, naturally, used it as motivation in the NBA Finals.
This season, Jordan Clarkson of the Jazz is a mortal lock for Sixth Man of the Year. His odds Monday at DraftKings were -1115, with Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets second at +1600.
Also, Rudy Gobert of the Jazz is -225 for Defensive Player of the Year, followed by Ben Simmons of the 76ers at +200.
So that means members of the Jazz will be getting at least two awards, and that will prompt some voters to give some props to a different team in a different award category.
more blocked than the suez canal pic.twitter.com/nKXnUpLBNL
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) March 28, 2021
Doc Rivers & Monty Williams Have Strong Cases
Brett Brown got fired in Philadelphia in large part because he could not achieve playoff success with Simmons and Joel Embiid, both of whom have maturity issues. But Rivers has a way of connecting with the hardest cases, and he is working his magic with Philly’s two best players.
Embiid was the leading candidate for MVP before suffering a bone bruise in his left knee. He is averaging a career-high 29.9 points and is shooting 52.5 percent from the field, 42.2 percent from three-point range and 85.9 percent from the line – all career-highs in his fifth NBA season.
That type of quantifiable improvement is usually harnessed by the coaching staff. Simmons defends the best offensive player on the opposing team every game, and is playing with a newfound confidence. Also, Tobias Harris is channeling his All-Star snub and has been leading the team offensively during Embiid’s absence, averaging nearly 23 points this month as the Sixers have gone 9-2. Doc has been in his ear.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 28, 2021
Williams has the Suns in second place in the Western Conference, vastly exceeding preseason expectations.
He has let Chris Paul be the floor general, made Devin Booker the primary scorer and has coached DeAndre Ayton into the most under-the-radar improved player. The Suns’ point differential of +6.4 is third-best in the league, and they have not lost consecutive games since Jan. 27, when they were 8-8. They are 23-6 since then.
If Cameron Johnson and Dario Saric were each averaging 0.2 points more per game, the Suns would have seven double-figure scorers.
16-6 : Best road record in the @NBA pic.twitter.com/mxufgXG4lR
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 28, 2021
2021 NBA MVP Award Odds Tracker
Who are the legitimate dark horses?
Let’s start with Stotts, whose team we highlighted last week after they acquired Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors.
After the #Blazers traded with the #Raptors for Norman Powell, their #NBA championship odds dropped from +8500 to +5500: https://t.co/PkqgNS9R2K
— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) March 26, 2021
Stotts has his team 10 games over .500 and tied with Denver for fifth in the West despite being without center Jusuf Nurkic for 32 games and C.J. McCollum for 25 games.
Any other coach who lost two of his three best players would have an excuse to mail it in, but Stotts has done just the opposite with little fanfare. But many of the broadcasters who vote on this award are former players and coaches, and they notice that sort of thing.
Stotts at +4000 represents value, but it would take a heck of a surge by the Blazers combined with a downturn by both the Sixers, Jazz and Suns for Stotts to win.
3️⃣ in a row.#RipCity pic.twitter.com/rIZvianKg6
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 29, 2021
Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks merits a mention because his team is going to make the playoffs, but they just lost starting center Mitchell Robinson to a broken foot and did not make any major moves at the trade deadline to significantly improve the roster.
Voters will likely give love to the Knicks by voting Julius Randle as Most Improved Player.
Chris Sheridan has been covering sports gambling since 2018 when PASPA was overturned. a veteran journalist with 30+ years experience covering sports for the Associated Press, ESPN, SheridanHoops and BasketballNews.com, he has been at the forefront of sports gambling coverage since it was legalized.