2022 NBA Coach of the Year Odds and Predictions

NBA Coach Of The Year Odds

While the NBA Coach of the Year odds indicate we have a heavy favorite to win the award this season, I can’t remember a year in which so many different coaches can make a legitimate claim. Voters may eventually congregate around the heavy favorite, but there are at least 10 coaches in the mix this season that deserve at least some recognition for a job well done.

Needless to say, the Coach of the Year discussion on Twitter doesn’t get as heated as the debate over other major awards, like MVP, Sixth Man of the Year, or Defensive Player of the Year. In many years, the coach of the team that most easily surpasses preseason expectations goes on to win this award. However, we’ve also seen voters reward the coach of the team with the best record at the season’s end.

NBA Coach of the Year betting may not generate quite as much interest at NBA betting sites as some of the other awards, but this year’s field of contenders is a fascinating one. How should you bet this award heading into the final weekend of the 2021-22 regular season?

NBA Coach of the Year Betting Odds

Bet on NBA Coach of the Year betting at Bovada.

Monty Williams:
-2000
Erik Spoelstra:
+700
Taylor Jenkins:
+800
JB Bickerstaff:
+1000
Ime Udoka:
+1500

Tom Thibodeau of the Knicks won this award last season. In his first year with the team, Thibs took the Knicks to the No. 4 seed in the East and their first playoff appearance in nearly a decade. Unfortunately, the Knicks were unable to build on that success this year and wound up missing out on postseason play. Thibodeau winning the award fell under the category of a coach helping a team exceed all preseason expectations.

None of the five candidates listed above has ever won NBA Coach of the Year.

Monty Williams (-2000)

The Suns finished last season with the second-best record in the Western Conference, yet they still had their fair share of doubters entering the postseason. Phoenix made it all the way to the Finals, where they wound up falling at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

What they’ve accomplished this season should silence all doubters.

Even after a remarkable playoff run that nearly culminated in the franchise’s first-ever title, some skeptics still thought the 2020-21 Suns were a bit flukey.
Phoenix set a franchise record with their 63rd win of the season earlier this week. Phoenix holds a massive 7.5-game lead over the second-ranked Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings, and they have long since secured home-court advantage throughout the entirety of the playoffs.

Considering the Suns’ roster looks a lot like it did last season, their outstanding season shouldn’t be a huge surprise. If anything, the Suns got better with additions like JaVale McGee, Landry Shamet, and Aaron Holiday.

If Chris Paul can stay healthy throughout the playoffs – a big if, given his long injury history – I see no reason to think the Suns can’t win it all for the first time later this summer. Head coach Monty Williams deserves much of the credit. He has instilled a steady, winning culture since taking the job in 2019. Phoenix did a lot of losing after the famed “seven seconds or less” era, but Williams has helped restore the franchise to its old status as a consistent winner.

With the way his Suns have run away with the NBA’s best record, Williams would certainly be a deserving winner. I would argue his NBA Coach of the Year odds shouldn’t be quite as favorable as they are (-2000), but he’s also the most likely candidate to actually win it. He finished a close second behind Thibodeau in last year’s voting.

Erik Spoelstra (+700)

The Heat deserve some recognition come awards season. Miami is going to finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference, which isn’t a development many saw coming at the beginning of the campaign. The Heat did have a nice offseason.

But they’re still championship long-shots entering the playoffs.

It’s hard to believe Erik Spoelstra has never won Coach of the Year before, but it’s true. This is a two-time champion and the second-longest-tenured coach in the league. However, it seems most voters credited those loaded Heat teams for those championship runs about a decade ago.

Since LeBron James’ departure, however, Spoelstra has proven that he knows what he’s doing. The Heat have been perennial contenders under Spoelstra’s watch, including an unexpected run to the NBA Finals in the bubble back in 2020. Miami may not have won a title since James left, but Spoelstra is commonly regarded as one of the league’s brightest coaches.

The Heat have plenty of talent, but guiding this team to 52-win (and counting) season is no easy task. Managing NBA superstars is a skill unto itself, and Spoelstra has shown over the years he’s one of the best in the league at managing personalities.

Keeping a team led by Jimmy Butler focused on the ultimate goal is certainly no easy task. However, Spoelstra is a long-shot in the NBA Coach of the Year betting odds at +700. Williams is the far safer bet at this point, but throwing a few bucks down on Spo isn’t a bad idea at that number.

Taylor Jenkins (+800)

If Monty Williams and the Suns weren’t running away with the West, Taylor Jenkins would be getting a lot more love in NBA Coach of the Year betting odds. Frankly, I still think Jenkins is wildly undervalued at +800.

When it comes to exceeding preseason expectations, the Grizzlies fit the bill. Memphis has piled up a franchise-record 55 wins, and they’re set to open the playoffs with their highest seed ever. That’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment given how excellent those Grit-n-Grind teams were about a decade ago. The Grizzlies likely won’t go home empty-handed come awards season.

Ja Morant (Most Improved Player), Desmond Bane (Most Improved Player), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Defensive Player of the Year) are all getting some buzz in a few other categories. Coaches tend to go overlooked, of course, and Jenkins is hardly a household name. Memphis is his first-ever stop as an NBA head coach, but it’s safe to assume he’ll be patrolling the Grizzlies’ sidelines for years to come.

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the amazing job he’s done with the Grizz this year.

Whether this team is good enough to win a title this season remains to be seen, but Jenkins deserves plenty of credit for helping keep this team afloat in the games they’ve played without Morant. The Grizzlies’ superstar has missed 23 games this season. Missing star players is typically a death knell for NBA teams, but not these Grizzlies.

Remarkably, Memphis is 20-3 in the games their best player has sat out so far this season.

What more is there to say?

Williams is a deserving favorite, but Jenkins should be getting more love in the NBA Coach of the Year odds. Use that to your advantage and take a few stabs at those +800 odds. Jenkins will surely get some votes, and rightfully so.

JB Bickerstaff (+1000)

If Coach of the Year were handed out in January, JB Bickerstaff may well have won it. Unfortunately, his Cavaliers have been ransacked by injuries over the past few weeks. Cleveland got off to a hot start to the season, which was quite a surprise considering most prognosticators had Cleveland pegged as a likely lottery team once again.

The Cavs hadn’t won more than 22 games in any of the three seasons following LeBron’s second departure in 2018. However, they surpassed that 22-win total by December this year. Cleveland is now 43-37 and seventh in the Eastern Conference, which means they’ll likely have to settle for a spot in the play-in tournament. Earlier in the year, the Cavs had risen all the way to the No. 3 spot in the conference.

As mentioned, though, injuries have hit this team hard in recent weeks. All of Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton, and Dean Wade are currently sidelined.

Please Note:
The team has hope both Allen and Mobley will return at some point before the postseason begins, which would certainly give the Cavaliers a good shot at making the actual playoff field. Their final record won’t be quite as impressive as it was earlier in the season, but that shouldn’t overshadow the terrific job Bickerstaff has done with this team. After a few lean years, the Cavs are finally trending in the right direction. Will Bickerstaff win this award this year?

At this point, it’s unlikely. His +1000 NBA Coach of the Year betting odds offer some upside, but I think he’s been overlapped by a few of the other contenders as the season winds to a close.

Ime Udoka (+1500)

Ime Udoka is, essentially, the polar opposite of JB Bickerstaff. While Bickerstaff gained some Coach of the Year steam early after the Cavs’ hot start, Udoka and the Celtics got off to a dreadful start. Some wondered whether Boston would even keep the first-year head coach beyond the season if they continued their struggles.

Well, those concerns have certainly been put to bed. All of a sudden, Udoka’s Celtics have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 50-30. They aren’t totally home-free when it comes to the No. 2 seed just yet, but they’re still in pole position down the stretch.

Thanks, in large part, to a stingy defense, the Celts are going to be an extremely tough outcome in playoff time. The absence of Robert Williams takes some of their rim protection away, but Boston’s defense has continued to perform well even with the Time Lord on the sidelines. There is still a chance Williams returns from his torn meniscus during the playoffs, as well.

Are the Celtics a legitimate title contender? Given the wide-open Eastern Conference, how can we say they’re not? Udoka kept the ship afloat after some chemistry question marks arose in the season’s early stages.

Now that they’re rolling, this suddenly looks like a team nobody will want to face in a short playoff series.

However, it might be too little, too late for Udoka’s NBA Coach of the Year betting odds (+1500). I would sooner bet on Udoka than Bickerstaff, especially given the extra profit potential, but Williams and Jenkins are the clear-cut frontrunners, in my view.

Who Wins NBA Coach of the Year?

Unlike Defensive Player of the Year, which is truly wide-open, we have a heavy -2000 favorite to win Coach of the Year. It’s hard to argue against Williams’ case considering the Suns could win as many as 65 games before the season is done.

That’s rarefied air in the NBA:
It’s an incredibly impressive feat in a season that has featured so much parity elsewhere. Of course, the upside in those -2000 NBA Coach of the Year betting odds is awfully limited. A $100 wager on Williams’ -2000 odds will only net you a profit of $5. Profit is profit, but is it worth the risk?

Wagers on Spoelstra, Jenkins, or Udoka aren’t as likely to cash, but all three have much more profit potential if they do. I don’t think Williams should be this heavy of a favorite, with Jenkins’ +800 Coach of the Year odds really standing out among the long-shots.

I’ll rank my favorite Coach of the Year bets for the 2021-22 season as follows:

Taylor Jenkins:
+800
Ime Udoka:
+1500
Monty Williams:
-2000
JB Bickerstaff:
+1000
Erik Spoelstra:
+700

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

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Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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