NFL Week 1 Wagering Slant - Every New Head Coach Loses

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TwinSpires Staff

September 11th, 2018

by BetAmerica Staff

Teams with new head coaches went a brutal 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS in NFL Week 1 wagering.

Seven new coaches made their debut this weekend, and none of them won a game. The closest was Matt Nagy, who also suffered an embarrassing defeat on the grand stage of Sunday Night Football. Nagy was the only new head coach to cover in NFL Week 1 wagering. All of the remaining head coaches were dusted. Some teams are in better positions with new signal callers at the helm, but others are clearly still stuck in the gutter.

Mike Vrabel - Tennessee Titans (Lost 20-27 to Miami PK) It's very difficult to pin this one on Vrabel. Not only did Marcus Mariota suffer a serious elbow injury, but the game was routinely delayed by weather making it hard for either team to develop a game script. Miami didn't look great either. This was an impossible game to watch both literally and figuratively. The Titans get a vulnerable Houston team next weekend to prove who they are, but the line won't be released until we know more about Mariota's arm. Very tough to generate a solid take away on what Vrabel's capable of here as a head coach because this particular NFL Week 1 wagering matchup seemed like an outlier.

Next Game: Houston at Tennessee 

Pat Shurmur - New York Giants (Lost 15-20 against Jacksonville -3.0)

Going toe-to-toe with the Jacksonville Jaguars defense? I'll give that a thumbs up despite the obvious issues. The Giants had home field advantage, but were unable to squeeze past the relentless Jaguars, who ultimately won because of a pick-six by Myles Jack in the fourth quarter. Manning went just 23-of-37 on the day with 224 yards and no touchdowns, but had a strong connection with a returning Odell Beckham Jr., who caught 11 passes for 111 yards. And while the debut of Pat Shurmur in NFL Week 1 wagering produce a victory, the unveiling of Saquon Barkley came off as advertised. The rookie broke off a scintillating 62-yard scamper where he shattered through three tackles before flashing his game breaking speed. There are positive here, like the Giants allowing just 250 yards, though that might have to do with Blake Bortles. Right now, we aren't going to take the Giants lightly. They have three dangerous tools that they didn't last year, and Shurmur is seemingly one of them. We'll get a much closer look at them on Sunday Night when they take on Dallas.

Next Game: NYG at Dallas -3.0 (Sunday Night)

Steve Wilks - Arizona Cardinals (Lost 6-24 to Washington Redskins +2.0)

The Cardinals were always going to have an uphill battle ahead of them in NFL Week 1 wagering, but nobody thought it would be as bad as it actually was. David Johnson got the team on the board in the final minutes of the fourth, but the team failed to execute on a two-point conversion. Bradford looked completely useless, slotting just 20-of-34 passes for 153 measly yards. Arizona was always on tap for a rebuild around rookie Josh Rosen, but the situation does feel a lot more desperate than it did in the preseason. The line for Week 2 definitely reflects that.

Next Game: Arizona at LA Rams -12.5

Frank Reich - Indianapolis Colts (Lost 23-34 to Cincinnati Bengals +1.0)

At least Andrew Luck made it through the game and threw some NFL footballs? I don't know. This is a grasping at straws thing for us. Indianapolis looked rough and Luck needed 53 pass attempts to notch 319 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick. The running game accomplished very little, and the Colts were clearly outclassed by the Bengals, which is a weird thing to say in and of itself. Obviously, there's room for improvement but the ceiling on the Colts is only as high as Luck can push it. He's pulled off miracles before, especially as a rookie, but the Colts are one of the most difficult teams to grade in the near term. Take a wait-and-see approach.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Washington -5.5

Matt Nagy - Chicago Bears (Lost 20-21 to Green Bay Packers -7.5)

Nagy's creative schemes continue to blossom in Kansas City, but they failed to find traction in Chicago when the Bears gave up a 20 point lead on Sunday Night Football. Nagy as a coach can't be truly faulted for Mitchell Trubisky, but he signed on to coach the second overall pick from 2017 and the Bears don't really have a pathway to get out from underneath him if he doesn't pan out. Chicago not only traded a mountain of picks for Khlalil Mack, they also shifted a ton of their future picks to San Francisco in order to draft Trubisky. Thankfully, there's a freighter of talent on this team and the defense is still going to be effective regardless of allowing 21 points in the second half on Sunday night. Unfortunately, a lot of this hinges on whether or not Trubisky can morph in to a respectable player. Fans in the Windy City are probably tired of his constant, 'deer in the headlights' look even though those that backed him in NFL Week 1 wagering profited nicely. The Bears are probably a good pick against a sneaky good Seattle team that will be without Doug Baldwin, and has been somewhat unreliable historically on the road. If Trubisky was even remotely league average, we'd be a lot higher on the Bears than we are this minute.

Next Game: Seattle at Chicago -3.5 (Monday Night)

Matt Patricia - Detroit Lions (Lost 17-48 to NYJ +7.0)

Yikes. Of any coach to debut in Week 1, Matt Patricia had the most embarrassing outing by far. Everything started off well with Quandre Diggs picking off Sam Darnold's first NFL pass and returning it to the house in front of the hometown fans. And then, anything that could go wrong for Detroit happened. Stafford was picked off four times. Special teams allowed a kick-return touchdown. The weaknesses on the edges for Detroit's defense were exposed in prime time. The strangest part about it is that Patricia is a known Belichik disciple, and one of the many things he should have learned is that love is in the details. Detroit seeming insanely underprepared considering the tutelage that Patricia is supposed to bring with him. It's incredibly difficult to clean up a mess like that within a week when facing a road game on the other side of the country. Especially when most of that work was supposed to be done already.

Next Game: Detroit at San Francisco -5.5

Jon Gruden - Oakland Raiders (Lost 13-33 to LA Rams -6.0)

For a hot minute, Gruden and the Raiders looked like they were going to pull it off. The Scrutiny Machine was grinding Gruden all week long following the Khalil Mack trade, but the resilient Raiders were holding a 13-10 lead against a Rams team that simply looked off. Whatever McVay said to his squad at halftime worked. The Rams rolled the Raiders for 23 unanswered points to win in a blowout with Todd Gurley blasting his way to 147 yards and a touchdown. That's forgivable to some extent. Even the oddsmakers weren't giving the Raiders much of a chance as modest +6.0 home dogs in NFL Week 1 wagering. But Derek Carr's 3 interceptions were awful and the lack of a definitive game plan doomed Oakland in the second half. The noise surrounding Oakland was already filled with negativity, and that's just going to get louder with each loss. How the team handles it - and how Gruden manages all of that scrutiny - will definite Oakland's season.

Next Game: Oakland at Denver -6.0