COTY Odds: Nick Nurse’s NBA Coach of the Year Odds Are Slowly Becoming Insurmountable
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been leading the Coach of the Year race since the season began. Did he strengthen his position in the race or did another guy emerge as the new top dog? Here’s a look at the updated Unibet odds for the coaches in the running for the COTY award based upon how their teams performed over the past week (Feb. 28 through Mar. 5).
Coach of the Year 2020 Odds
Honorable Mentions in the NBA Coach of the Year Odds Discussion: Brad Stevens and Frank Vogel
Before we get to our usual top three frontrunners, I thought it would be appropriate to mention the names of a couple of head coaches who have been in and out of the mix for this award – Brad Stevens and Frank Vogel. Both coaches are currently on the outside looking in, with their current at +1000 each. However, being that their teams are playing well, don’t be surprised if either of them re-appear on the list before the season is over.
Now, let’s get to our top three candidates.
Third-Best NBA Coach of the Year Odds Odds: Billy Donovan (+700) Last Week’s COTY Odds (Not in Top 3)
For the first time this season, Billy Donovan has made his way onto the list. Unfortunately, the Thunder suffered through a week they would soon like to forget. In their first outing, they faced off against the Milwaukee Bucks. This proved to be a one-sided affair, with the Bucks going on to win that contest by a 133-86 margin. It was more of the same in the team’s next outing against the LA Clippers. Although the Thunder were more competitive in that contest, the Clippers came out on top 109-94.
The Thunder managed to finish their week on a positive note, knocking off the Detroit Pistons 114-107. Despite their 1-2 mark over the past week, the Thunder are defying expectations following an offseason in which they traded both Paul George and Russell Westbrook. While I don’t expect to see Donovan in the top three next week, he deserves a lot of credit for the fact that this team in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Second Best NBA Coach of the Year Odds: Mike Budenholzer (+400) Last Week’s COTY Odds (+500)
The Milwaukee Bucks have been the best team in the NBA all season long and you thought that the trend would change, you’d be mistaken. As previously mentioned, the Bucks defeated the Thunder by a 47-point margin, and they followed that up with 93-85 win against the Charlotte Hornets. However, the Bucks didn’t have the same level of success against the Miami Heat.
Not only did the Heat beat them 105-89, but they also became the first team in the league to beat the Bucks twice this season. But as they always do, the Bucks got back on track, beating up on the Indiana Pacers 119-100. On the heels of a 3-1 week, the Bucks have won eight of their last 10 games and are 53-9. While their offensive efficiency has dipped a bit (from third to sixth overall), the Bucks are still the top–scoring team in the league, and they have the best defensive rating in the NBA as well.
NBA Coach of the Year Odds on Favorite: Nick Nurse (-125) Last Week’s COTY Odds (+100)
Another week has come and gone, which means that Nick Nurse continues to be the odds-on favorite to win the COTY award. While his betting chances continue to improve, his Raptors didn’t have a great week. The Raptors kicked off their slate of games with a pair of losses against the Charlotte Hornets and the Denver Nuggets. Fortunately, their next two opponents were exactly what Toronto needed. They defeated the Phoenix Suns 123-114.
It should be noted that the Suns have the third-worst record in the Western Conference. And in a rematch of the 2019 NBA Finals, the Raptors defeated the injury-plagued Golden State Warriors 121-113. Toronto isn’t an offensive juggernaut by any means, but they continue to excel at the defensive end of the floor. They are ranked first in scoring defense (allowing 106.7 points per contest) and they have the second-best defensive rating in the association. These numbers, along with the fact that Toronto is in the No. 2 spot in the conference playoff race, will continue to strengthen Nurse’s case as a Coach of the Year candidate.