With the NBA season taking shape, it’s time to start looking ahead to the award races. This includes Coach of the Year, which figures to be one of the more compelling competitions this year.
Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown earned the honor in 2022-23, leading the franchise back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. His Kings didn’t have the best record in the league, which is often a qualifier for this award, but they did take a massive step forward, which is just as important.
Several candidates have caught my eye, including some new faces and familiar ones. Let’s examine the latest NBA Coach of the Year odds for 2023-24.
NBA Coach of the Year Odds 2024
Track line movement for NBA Coach of the Year with our odds widget below:
Select NBA Coach of the Year from this odds interface by changing the Winner dropdown to Awards - Coach of the Year.
These NBA lines are current as of Monday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. ET and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Mark Daigneault (+550)
- Adrian Griffin (+700)
- Erik Spoelstra (+800)
- Joe Mazzulla (+900)
- Nick Nurse (+1000)
- Michael Malone (+1000)
- Rick Carlisle (+1400)
- Taylor Jenkins (+1400)
- Frank Vogel (+1500)
All other candidates to win NBA COTY have odds of (+1600) or longer.
Who Will Win NBA Coach of the Year?
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (+2200)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit
Popovich is the longest-tenured head coach in the league and a three-time NBA COTY winner (2003, 2012, 2014). If he’s going to add another trophy to the cabinet and become the most-awarded coach in NBA history, this year may be his best chance to do so.
The opportunity lies in Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and by all accounts one of the most talented and physically gifted prospects to ever enter the league. If anyone can help Wembanyama achieve greatness as a rookie, it’s Popovich.
After winning just 20 games in 1996-97, Popovich’s Spurs made a massive turnaround in 1997-98, going 56-26 thanks in part to the phenomenal play of then-rookie Tim Duncan.
This past year, the Spurs earned their first No. 1 overall pick since drafting Duncan after going 22-60 in the regular season. With Wembanyama leading the way — and a sneaky-good roster around him — I wouldn’t rule out a strong showing from the Spurs.
Look for the Spurs to exceed expectations in 2024 and take the value on Popovich at (+2200) with your NBA bet of the day.
NBA Coach of the Year Favorites
Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City Thunder (+550)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units
Daigneault finished second in Coach of the Year voting in 2022-23 after leading the Thunder to a 40-42 record and a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament. It was a drastic improvement from the 24-win record that Oklahoma City posted the year prior, and it could suggest that he has more to come.
The Thunder are loaded with young talent, and assuming these players develop as expected, this team should only continue to improve with time. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is already a superstar, but it’s guys like Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren who could take this group to the next level.
The West looks dangerous this year, but Oklahoma City is in a great position to excel and prove that 2022-23 wasn’t a fluke. Should Daigneault and the Thunder follow in the footsteps of Brown and the Kings, Coach of the Year honors could be within sight.
Adrian Griffin, Milwaukee Bucks (+700)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.25 Units
Griffin has served as an assistant coach with a handful of NBA teams since 2008, but this will be his first season as head coach. That experience helped him land the enviable position of coaching arguably the league’s best duo, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard.
The Bucks went 58-24 this past season — the best record in the league — meaning Griffin has some big shoes to fill. However, as a first-year head coach, the bar should be set considerably lower for him than it would be for, say, Mike Budenholzer, who led the team from 2018 to 2023.
Griffin still needs to deliver, but at (+700), there’s some value here with a small wager.
NBA Coach of the Year Contenders
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat (+800)
One key factor to consider when evaluating NBA Coach of the Year candidates is room for improvement. As of now, that’s not something I see a ton of for Spoelstra and the Heat.
Miami went 44-38 in 2022-23, and while this award is exclusively for regular-season performance, I can’t help but feel that some voters could be influenced by the Heat’s trip to the 2023 NBA Finals when evaluating the 2023-24 version of this team.
Earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference would be a compelling argument for Spoelstra, as his Heat did in 2021-22. However, there are other teams that I feel much better about during the regular season than Miami, which makes it difficult for me to recommend a bet on Spoelstra at (+800).
Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics (+900)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units
Mazzulla impressed in his first year as coach of the Celtics, guiding his team to a 57-25 record before fizzling out in the Eastern Conference Finals. He continued to improve throughout the year, and although he was bested in the playoffs, there’s still plenty more to come.
The blueprint for Mazzulla winning NBA COTY is Monty Williams. His Phoenix Suns went from 51-21 and earning a spot in the 2021 NBA Finals to 64-18 the following season, which earned Williams the honor.
Mazzulla’s Celtics don’t need to make a drastic regular-season improvement, but if they can win 60-plus games and look like the league’s unquestioned No. 1 team during the regular season, he’ll be the frontrunner by year’s end.
NBA Coach of the Year Sleepers
Nick Nurse, Philadelphia 76ers (+1000)
A former NBA Coach of the Year, Nurse finds himself in a new situation after parting ways with the Toronto Raptors this offseason. However, the odds are seriously stacked against him in Philadelphia.
The 76ers do have the reigning MVP in Joel Embiid and an up-and-coming guard in Tyrese Maxey who has top-level talent, but the James Harden situation has muddied his chances.
Nurse has inherited a significant problem, and until that gets solved, we won’t have a clear picture of what he’ll be working with.
Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets (+1000)
At (+1000), I’m not sold on Malone’s Coach of the Year campaign. There’s no problem with him being considered one of the favorites at this stage, but how much room for improvement is there for a team that already finished No. 1 in the Western Conference standings this past year?
It’s certainly possible the Nuggets dominate the 2023-24 regular season and win 60-plus games, but the West is already shaping up to be a much tougher conference, with teams like the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors looking much stronger than in 2022-23.
- See where the Nuggets stand in the latest 2024 NBA Finals odds.
I don’t intend to bet against Malone and the Nuggets once the playoffs roll around, but the value just isn’t there right now to support his NBA COTY bid.