Fired NFL Coaches: How Marvin Lewis, Mike McCarthy, More Performed Against the Spread

Fired NFL Coaches: How Marvin Lewis, Mike McCarthy, More Performed Against the Spread article feature image

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marvins Lewis

  • The end of the NFL regular season means coaching changes across the league.
  • We are compiling all the NFL coach firings and how those coaches have performed against the spread with those teams.

The morning after Week 17 in the NFL brings new beginnings and also a little thing called “Black Monday.” Traditionally, this is the time news breaks across the league of NFL teams letting go coaching staffs, general managers and head coaches.

After the 2018 season, here is a running list of betting trends, notes, blurbs and odds around all the openings across the league.

For the coaches and teams below, time to look ahead to 2019…

Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

  • Straight Up: 131-122-3 (51.8%), 0-7 in playoffs
  • Against the Spread: 132-115-9 (53.4%; +11 units), 0-6-1 in playoffs
  • Over/Under: 122-138-4 (46.7%)
  • Seasons: 16

The Cincinnati Bengals are going to have a new head coach on the sidelines in 2019 for the first time since 2002. The last head coach of the Bengals before Marvin Lewis was Dick LeBeau, who went 8-24 straight up in two seasons.

In Marvin Lewis’ seven playoff games for the Bengals, Cincinnati failed to cover the spread by 11.2 PPG.

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins

  • Straight Up: 23-25 (47.9%), 0-1 in playoffs
  • Against the Spread: 22-23-3 (48.9%; -2.1 units), 0-1 in playoffs
  • Over/Under: 28-21 (57.1%)
  • Seasons: 3

After making the playoffs once and the “Miami Miracle,” Adam Gase’s tenure down in South Beach ended on the road in Buffalo on Sunday.

In the Bet Labs database (since 2003), no Dolphins head coach with at least 10 games under his belt turned a profit for bettors in their stay in Miami. Gase came second-closest, behind just Tony Sparano (32-31 ATS, -0.1 units).

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: former Packers coach Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

  • Straight Up: 125-77-2 (61.8%), 10-8 (55.6%) in playoffs
  • Against the Spread: 112-86-6 (56.6%; +22.3 units), 11-6-1 (64.7%) in playoffs
  • Over/Under: 123-95-4 (56.4%)
  • Seasons: 13

Mike McCarthy ended with the second-most games coached in Packers history behind just Curly Lambeau and I tell you this, his against the spread record was probably better.

McCarthy covered 57.2% of regular season and playoff games as coach of the Packers, making him the second-most profitable coach in the Bet Labs database (since 2003), behind just Bill Belichick.

Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns

  • Straight Up: 3-36-1 (0.9%), no playoff appearances
  • Against the Spread: 13-27 (32.5%; -14.9 units)
  • Over/Under: 19-21 (47.5%)
  • Seasons: 3

Transitioning from Mike McCarthy to Hue Jackson seems like a fitting thing to do. Jackson managed to win just three total games in three seasons, but he actually ended up covering 13 of the 40 games for the Browns, including covering six of his last nine games.

Since taking the job in Cleveland in 2016, Jackson is the least profitable coach against the spread across the league, behind Vance Joseph, who was the second-worst and was also let go in Denver.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: former Broncos coach Vance Joseph

Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos

  • Straight Up: 11-21 (34.4%), no playoff appearances
  • Against the Spread: 10-20-2 (33.3%; -10.4 units)
  • Over/Under:  11-20-1 (35.5%)
  • Seasons: 2

Speaking of Vance Joseph, the former Broncos head coach ended up coaching 32 games in two seasons for Denver and was an abysmal 10-20-2 against the spread. Since being hired at the start of 2017, Joseph was the least profitable coach in the NFL, just behind Dan Quinn, who was 13-21 ATS.

One of the interesting notes on Joseph’s tenure, was the Broncos were 20-11-1 to the under, making Denver the second-most profitable team to the under in that span, just behind their AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders (20-11-1).

Todd Bowles, New York Jets

  • Straight Up: 24-40 (37.5%), no playoff appearances
  • Against the Spread: 28-32-4 (46.7%; -5.7 units)
  • Over/Under: 33-31 (51.6%)
  • Seasons: 4

Since 2003, the New York Jets have had four different head coaches: Todd Bowles, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan and Herm Edwards. Of those four coaches, Bowles was the least profitable against the spread, with all four coaches losing bettors money.

Where the Jets struggled most under Bowles was on the road, where they went 10-18-3 against the spread, the least profitable coach in the NFL on the road in that span.

Steve Wilks, Arizona Cardinals

  • Straight Up: 3-13 (18.8%), no playoff appearances
  • Against the Spread: 7-8-1 (46.7%; -1.3 units)
  • Over/Under: 7-9 (43.8%)
  • Seasons: 1

Just one year into his 4-year contract with the Cardinals, Steve Wilks was fired on Monday. Wilks finished the season 3-13 straight-up and 7-8-1 against the spread, mainly due to the fact that the Cardinals were favored in just two games all season (lost both to Raiders and Redskins).

In the Bet Labs database, Cardinals head coaches have not had an easy time covering the number, with Arizona, 131-130-4 (50.2%) since 2003.

Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Straight Up: 19-29 (39.6%), no playoff appearances
  • Against the Spread: 22-23-3 (48.9%; -2.6 units)
  • Over/Under: 24-23-1 (51.1%)
  • Seasons: 3

In three seasons in Tampa Bay, Dirk Koetter went 22-23-3 against the spread, including 4-5-1 with Ryan Fitzpatrick and 18-18-2 with Jameis Winston.

Koetter and the Bucs found some success as an underdog though, going 17-14-3 against the spread, but only 2-9 straight up as a touchdown underdog, including Tampa’s Week 1 win in New Orleans against the Saints this season.

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