Bill Belichick Now Favored to Win Coach of Year With Tom Brady Pulling Away as MVP Race Favorite
Now separated, the longtime coach and quarterback are having wildly successful seasons without each other
With five weeks of play remaining in the NFL’s first 17-game regular season, the New England Patriots versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the most likely Super Bowl LVI matchup and has a 10% chance of happening, per ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Even better odds? The chances of New England coach Bill Belichick and former Patriot quarterback Tom Brady being recognized as being the top performers at their respective positions in the NFL this season.
After guiding the Brady-less Patriots to a disappointing 7-9 finish last season while Brady led the Bucs to a win in the Super Bowl, 69-year-old Belichick appears to have gotten his groove back as New England is riding a seven-game winning streak and sits atop the AFC East and the conference as a whole at 9-4.
A game better than the Patriots at 9-3, Tampa Bay is in first place in the NFC South and Brady is leading the NFL in nearly every major statistical category for passing including attempts, completions, yardage and touchdowns. And, it is worth mentioning, the ageless wonder is doing it at the age of 44.
While Brady has been an MVP candidate since Week 1 of the regular season, Belichick’s push to the top of the Coach of Year race has mostly come in the last month as the Patriots have notched quality wins over teams like the Chargers, Browns, Titans and Bills. Now listed at +125 to win the award at DraftKings, Belichick is the consensus favorite after moving past Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury.
“More than 75% of the bets on Belichick this season at DraftKings have been placed since Nov. 7,” per ESPN. “In recent weeks, for every bet on Kingsbury, the second-favorite at +250, there have been nearly 16 bets on Belichick. And at sportsbook PointsBet, Belichick has attracted twice as many bets and three times as much money as any other candidate.”
The clear favorite at +140 ahead of other quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers (+550), Patrick Mahomes (+900) and Kyler Murray (+900), Brady can give himself an even better shot of locking up the fourth MVP award of his career with a strong performance against the Bills and rising star QB Josh Allen (+1000) in Tampa Bay on Sunday. After that game against Buffalo (7-5), Tampa will play its final four games against teams that currently have losing records.
During their two decades in New England, Brady and Belichick both won their positions’ top honor in 2007 and 2010. (Belichick also won Coach of the Year in 2003 and Brady won his third MVP award in 2017.) Neither of those seasons ended with Belichick or Brady hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after winning the Super Bowl. If the odds bear out, an award-winning season will also end with a Super Bowl win for one of them this time around.
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