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NBA Coaching Carousel: Betting Favorites to Fill League's Vacancies

The inevitable firing of NBA head coaches is an annual tradition after teams are eliminated from the playoffs and sportsbooks have already released betting odds for the next candidates in line for six franchises.

The best basketball betting sites have newly released props for the next head coach to be hired by the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls.

What’s interesting is three of those teams have the same favorite candidate in Tyronn Lue, who is a +300 fave to be hired by the Pelicans, the +200 favorite for the Sixers and +300 for the Rockets.

Before we dive into each team, here are some important basketball betting links to check out if you want to bet on these props:

NBA Futures | NBA Odds | Bubble Betting Records | How To Bet On NBA


Houston Rockets: Next Head Coach Odds

It’s hard to tell which way the Houston Rockets will go in their head coaching search because GM Daryl Morey tends to lean on analytics in his decision-making. That’s why even though Tyronn Lue is the +300 favorite, he doesn’t seem like a Morey hire, especially given the Rockets’ offense historically has been predicated solely on layups and three-pointers. 

Sam Cassell (+400) could be an outside-of-the-box candidate to fill the role with the Rockets, having been the Clippers assistant coach for the last five seasons. Recent reports suggest there’s a mutual interest between the former Rockets point guard and the franchise and he seems like a logical choice given the prop options below.

Another long-shot choice of someone who could step in would be Billy Donovan (+1400) after he decided to leave the OKC Thunder and avoid a rebuild.

Who Will Coach The Houston Rockets In 2020-21?
CoachOdds
Tyronn Lue+300
Sam Cassell+400
Jeff Van Gundy+500
Nate McMillan+500
Stan Van Gundy+500
Brett Brown+600
Kenny Atkinson+800
Jason Kidd+900
Chauncey Billups+1000
Ime Udoka+1200
Billy Donovan+1400
Wes Unseld Jr.+1600
Becky Hammon+1800
Darvin Ham+2000

Odds as of September 15 at BetOnline


Philadelphia 76ers: Next Head Coach Odds

I touched on the Sixers’ coaching search after they were swept by the Boston Celtics a few weeks ago and while I thought Jay Wright of Villanova would be a perfect fit, he has decided to stay in the NCAA. As a result, the favorite is now Tyronn Lue (+200), who coached LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA championship and, as a former player, should be able to relate to most players on the roster even if none of them are older than 30, with the exception of Al Horford.

Keep an eye on Kenny Atkinson (+1000) or Mike D’Antoni (+400) for this gig. Atkinson did a heck of a job with the Nets in building them back to being respectable and while D’Antoni may not have the postseason pedigree, he knows how to build an elite offensive system. It would be great to watch him utilize the tools at his disposal in Philly.

Who Will Coach The Philadelphia 76ers In 2020-21?
CoachOdds
Tyronn Lue+200
Ime Udoka+300
Mike D’Antoni+400
Billy Donovan+500
Jason Kidd+600
Kenny Atkinson+1000
Sam Cassell+1200
Mark Jackson+1400
Jeff Van Gundy+1600
John Lucas+1600
Stan Van Gundy+1600
Adrian Griffin+1800
Wes Unseld Jr.+1800
Darvin Ham+2000
Becky Hammon+2500

Odds as of September 15 at BetOnline


Indiana Pacers: Next Head Coach Odds

Not really sure why they fired Nate McMillan, who may not have the greatest postseason record but made lemonade out of lemons in Indiana during his tenure. With him out of the picture, the next head coaching favorite is Chauncey Billups, an NBA analyst for ESPN and former point guard.

Billups knows about postseason basketball from his time with the Detroit Pistons and he would be a great fit in Indy to be able to shape defensive fundamentals while also being a mentor to young point guards like Aaron Holiday and TJ McConnell.

He should probably get this job but don’t count out Mark Jackson (+800), who is very familiar with Indiana and was the starting point guard for the Pacers in their last NBA Finals appearance in 2000.

Who Will Coach The Indiana Pacers In 2020-21?
CoachOdds
Chauncey Billups+250
Mike D’Antoni+350
Kenny Atkinson+500
Brett Brown+600
Tyronn Lue+600
Adrian Griffin+750
Becky Hammon+750
Mark Jackson+800
Jason Kidd+1000
Ime Udoka+1200
Wes Unseld Jr.+1200
Jeff Van Gundy+1400
Darvin Ham+1600
Reggie Miller +3300

Odds as of September 15 at BetOnline


New Orleans Pelicans: Next Head Coach Odds

Out of all the jobs available on the NBA coaching market, the perfect marriage has to be Mike D’Antoni and this squad. Tyronn Lue is the +300 favorite but I think he’s going to Philadelphia and D’Antoni would have a field day with this roster in the Bayou.

D’Antoni (+400) would have Lonzo Ball to push the pace, excellent shooters in JJ Redick and Jrue Holiday, along with superstar-in-the-making Zion Williamson. This team could easily rejuvenate the “Seven Seconds Or Less” offense based on the roster and would become the most watchable team on NBA League Pass, if they aren’t already.

Who Will Coach The New Orleans Pelicans In 2020-21?
CoachOdds
Tyronn Lue+300
Mike D’Antoni+400
Ime Udoka+500
Kenny Atkinson+500
Mark Jackson+500
Jason Kidd+600
Nate McMillan+600
Adrian Griffin+700
Darvin Ham+1000
Wes Unseld Jr.+1000
Jeff Van Gundy+1400

Odds as of September 15 at BetOnline


Oklahoma City Thunder: Next Head Coach Odds

It’s hard to tell the direction the Thunder will go in for the head coaching position because, by most accounts, Billy Donovan did a decent job in OKC. Now that he’s moved on to avoid a potential rebuild, GM Sam Presti may be looking at a candidate who can coach some of the young guns on the squad while they try to find a potential trade partner for point guard Chris Paul.

The favorite to be hired by OKC is Adrian Griffin, who is the lead assistant under Nick Nurse with the Toronto Raptors. Griffin may not be a sexy name to casual basketball fans but he was a decent rotation player in his time as an NBA player and would help to spearhead a rebuild that has been coming for a while in OKC. With all the draft picks and blue-chip prospects on the roster, the rebuild likely won’t be a long-term plan.

Who Will Coach The New Orleans Pelicans In 2020-21?
CoachOdds
Adrian Griffin+300
Mike D’Antoni+400
Kenny Atkinson+500
David Vanterpool+700
Nate McMillan+700
Kevin Ollie+850
Brett Brown+900
Nate Tibbetts+900
Tyronn Lue+900

Odds as of September 15 at BetOnline

Chicago Bulls: Next Head Coach Odds

To be fair, Jim Boylen didn’t really have a shot as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. He was put in an awful situation with a roster made up entirely of young draft picks. That being said, his in-game adjustments and roster rotations were puzzling at best so it makes sense to bring in some new blood.

The betting favorite is Billy Donovan (+300) but considering he just left OKC to avoid doing another rebuild, it seems far-fetched he would go to Chicago to do it. That’s why Kenny Atkinson and Ime Udoka should be the ones that bettors consider.

Atkinson, as mentioned, knows what it’s like to start from the basement with Brooklyn, while Udoka was the lead assistant under Brett Brown in Philly and has been a coaching candidate discussed among many teams, according to NBA insider reports.

Who Will Coach The Chicago Bulls In 2020-21?
CoachOdds
Billy Donovan+300
Kenny Atkinson+400
Ime Udoka+500
Mike D’Antoni+500
Adrian Griffin+600
Nate McMillan+600
Brett Brown+700
Tyronn Lue+700
Jason Kidd+900
Darvin Ham+1000
Wes Unseld Jr.+1000

Odds as of September 15 at BetOnline


How To Read NBA Team’s Next Head Coach Odds

At any sportsbook offering “NBA Team’s Next Head Coach” odds, you’ll see the prop laid out like this:

Philadelphia 76ers Next Head Coach:

Tyronn Lue +200

Ime Udoka +300

Mike D’Antoni +400

If this was similar to a moneyline bet, it would have an odds-on favorite designated with the minus sign (-). Since none have the option with a minus sign, the option with the lowest odds is the favorite. In this case, Tyronn Lue is the betting favorite at +300.

For example, let’s say you think the 76ers will hire Tyronn Lue to be their next head coach. If you bet $100 on Lue, you’d only net a return of $300 – your $100 is returned along with $200 in profit.

To find out how much you’d win based on what you bet, check out our Odds Calculator.