What Should Bettors Expect from the Redskins After Firing Jay Gruden?
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden
- The Redskins fired coach Jay Gruden after Washington started the season 0-5.
- Using Bet Labs, we analyzed how NFL teams perform after firing their head coach.
The Washington Redskins fired Jay Gruden on Monday after an 0-5 start to the season. During Gruden’s tenure, the Redskins went 35-49-1 with one playoff appearance.
On Sunday, the Redskins travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, FOX) in their first game without Gruden. Despite being down a coach, Washington opened as a 6.5-point favorite in a battle of winless teams.
Oddsmakers think the Redskins can win without Gruden, but are they right?
To answer that question, we turned to the Bet Labs database. Gurden is the 25th coach to be fired in-season since 2003. Here are how the previous 24 teams did in the next game following their coach’s dismissal:
On average, teams have been 5-point underdogs in their first game after a coach gets fired. These teams have gone 10-14 (41.7%) straight up (SU). That doesn’t sound impressive until you consider the team’s record before letting its coach go.
Combined, the 24 teams had a 64-172-2 (27.1%) record before the coach was relieved of his duties.
The improved win rate leads to a profitable record against the spread (ATS). Teams that fired their coach in-season have gone 13-11 ATS in their following game. Prior to the coaching change, these teams had gone 88-146-4 (37.6%) ATS.
Teams that fire their coaches in-season maintain this level of improved play for the remainder of the season. After firing a coach, NFL teams have gone 56-90 (38.4%) SU and 74-70-2 (51.4%) ATS.
It is reasonable to theorize that a team would play better once an embattled coach is removed. With the dark cloud lifted from an organization, players are free to concentrate on football without the distractions associated with a coach in jeopardy of losing his job.
It is also possible that the betting market overreacts to coaching changes, which leads to value on teams that make an in-season move.
The Redskins are currently 1-4 ATS this season. With 11 games left on the schedule, history suggests the team will finish with a .500 ATS record down the stretch.