A well-run NFL organization shares many of the successful traits used by a Fortune 500 company. Both industries contain mission statements, talent acquisitions and thorough analysis of the competition.
And just like Apple’s stock price was affected by Tim Cook replacing Steve Jobs, the power ranking valuation of an NFL team can change – sometimes drastically – with the right (or wrong) coaching hire.
A team’s identity can often change with a new person calling the shots on the sidelines and this is something NFL bettors must be conscious of when preparing for a new season.
We’re sticking with the analogy and giving you four stock tips on four NFL teams who’ve switched up the headsets.
Odds to win the Super Bowl: +1400
2017 season win total: 9.5
Forget the Super Bowl hangover – that’s not what’s got us worried. The Dirty Birds offense was first in scoring (33.8 ppg), second in yards per game (415.8) and first in yards per play (6.8).
The mind behind that offensive attack, Kyle Shanahan, took a job with the San Francisco 49ers. Atlanta replaced Shanahan with a guy who coached only one game as an offensive coordinator last year and that was at the college level.
No one is rooting against Steve Sarkisian and his redemption song. That said, there are reasons to be skeptical of Sark’s coaching chops – especially considering the act he’s following.
Expect Atlanta’s offense to take a step back and look for that crazy Over mark from 2016 (13-2-1 O/U) to come back down to earth.
Advice: Bet Under and against Atlanta in the first month of the season
Odds to win the Super Bowl: +10,000
2017 season win total: 6.5
Letting go of Rex Ryan had to be done. The Bills defense was below average and Ryan isn’t much use if his stop unit isn’t among the league’s best. Besides, everyone wants to see him and brother Rob on next season’s The Biggest Loser.
One thing that did take many by surprise was letting go of offensive coordinator and interim head coach, Anthony Lynn. Lynn constructed the league’s top rushing attack and helped Tyrod Taylor become a productive quarterback.
Lynn’s replacement as the new offensive coordinator is no slouch. Rick Dennison worked magic in Denver a year ago, but how much of that success can be attributed to Dennison with Gary Kubiack looking over his shoulder?
The changeup on the offensive side of the ball and appointing former Carolina Panther defensive coordinator Sean McDermott as the Bills new head coach should equal lower-scoring games for Buffalo in 2017 (Over went 12-4 in 2016 for Buffalo).
Bet advice: Take the Under and the points with the Bills for the first few weeks
San Francisco 49ers
Odds to win the Super Bowl: +20,000
2017 season win total: 4.5
The Niners decided to clean house in the front office and the sidelines too. Chip Kelly is gone and Shanahan is the new head coach and offensive guru by the Bay.
We already went over Shanahan’s success with Matt Ryan and the Falcons a year ago. The problem is San Francisco still owns one of the least-talented rosters in the league.
Best strategy might be to stay away from San Fran until we get a clearer picture of what this team looks like under Shanahan.
Advice: Stay away
Los Angeles Rams
Odds to win the Super Bowl: +15,000
2017 win total: 5.5
Jeff Fisher liked his pro football offense like he liked his facial hair. Basically, if it worked in 1993 it should work in 2016. Unfortunately, no one had the heart to tell Fisher the mustache never worked.
Thankfully, Los Angeles decided to show Fisher the door and appointed Sean McVay the club’s newest head coach. McVay is young but he made a wise hire bringing in Wade Phillips to replace Gregg Williams at defensive coordinator.
This was the worst offense – by a large margin – in the National Football League a year ago and second-year quarterback Jared Goff didn’t give many reasons to be optimistic about his future.
All that being said, McVay should at least have a new approach to moving the sticks on offense and Phillips will improve a defense that was already above average. That gives L.A. some life as 3.5-point home dogs opening the 2017 schedule against the Colts in Week 1.
Advice: Back the Rams in Week 1