COTY Odds: Nurse is Still Out in Front, but Erick Spoelstra Returns in the NBA Coach of the Year Odds
By: James Tillman III
While Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has led the Coach of the Year race for most of the season, it’s been a case of musical chairs in terms of the second and third spots on our list. Brad Stevens (Boston Celtics) and Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat) had been mainstays, but they were recently supplanted by the likes of Mike Budenholzer and Frank Vogel.
Could either of these coaches find their way back to the pack? Here’s a look at the updated odds for the COTY award based upon how their teams performed over the past week (Feb. 7 through Feb. 13).
Coach of the Year 2020 Odds
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Third-Best NBA Coach of the Year Odds: Erik Spoelstra (+700) Last Week NBA COTY Odds: (Unranked)
Last week, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel held down the No. 3 spot, but a familiar face has re-emerged. Unfortunately, the Heat didn’t have much success over the past week. Miami kicked off its weekly slate of games with a pair of losses against the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Although they did get back into the win column against the short-handed Golden State Warriors, the Heat limped into the All-Star break with a 116-101 loss to the Utah Jazz, giving them just one win in their last four outings. Despite winning only four games in their previous 10 games overall, the Heat are still at the No. 4 spot in the conference playoff race. It will be interesting to see if the team can find its footing once again once the second half of the season starts.
Second-Best NBA Coach of the Year Odds Odds: Mike Budenholzer NBA COTY Odds (+500 – No Change)
Mike Budenholzer is a bit of a newbie on this weekly list. After making his debut at the No. 3 spot two weeks ago, coach Budenholzer comes in at the No. 2 spot for the second straight week. The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off their week in solid fashion, posting wins against the Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings. However, the Bucks failed to make it a perfect week, as they were defeated by the Indiana Pacers 118-111. On the positive side, the Bucks still have the best record in the NBA.
They are still a top-four team at both ends of the floor. And they lead the league in opponent field goal percentage, limiting the opposition to just 41.1 percent shooting from the field. As good as the Bucks have been all season, the question is whether there’s enough time for Budenholzer to overtake the guy who has defied the odds all season long.
Best NBA Coach of the Year Odds: Nick Nurse (+175) NBA COTY Odds from Last Week (+200)
Another week has come and gone, which means that Nick Nurse is still atop the leader board in the Coach of the Year race, and rightfully so. The Raptors kicked off their week by notching wins over the Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. This extended their franchise winning streak to a whopping 15 games. However, they simply ran out of gas against the same Nets squad on Feb. 12.
In that contest, Toronto shot 37.8 percent from the field and an abysmal 30.2 percent from 3-pont range en route to a 101-91 loss. The good news is the Raptors have catapulted to the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They have the third-best point differential in the NBA.
Furthermore, this team is ranked fourth in scoring and has the second-best defensive rating, giving up 105.4 points per 100 possessions. Simply put, Nick Nurse continues to be the guy that you should bet on winning the Coach of the Year award.