A Bears' homecoming for Jim Harbaugh or Brian Flores? It depends on the hour
Michigan Wolverines' coach Jim Harbaugh was both the sentimental and betting favorite Monday morning to fill the Chicago Bears’ vacancy.
Minutes later, the surprisingly fired Brian Flores shot into the favorite's chair.
"These odds fluctuate more than almost anything we offer as reports come in fast and furious on which team has asked to interview whom," Adam Burns, sportsbook manager at BetOnline.ag said. The sportsbook set odds Tuesday for all five NFL head coaching vacancies.
"So a favorite as I write this minute may not be even on the list tomorrow … there's not much math or science that goes into this aside from just keeping up with social media, articles and rumors.”
Harbaugh, after leading his alma mater Michigan to the College Football Playoff semifinals against eventual-champion Georgia, was initially seen as likely to make another trip home to the Bears.
BetOnline opened its proposition betting on the five NFL coaching openings, posting the former Bears quarterback Harbaugh as the 5/1 favorite to replace Matt Nagy, whose Bears skidded to 6-11 this season.
But given word Flores will interview for the opening, he is now a +150 favorite. Harbaugh dipped to +600.
Harbaugh, who was 35-30 in seven seasons as the Bears quarterback, coached Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII nine years ago. He was 44-19-1 there before a falling out with management.
Michigan ended an eight-game losing streak to rival Ohio State this season. If he left for Chicago, Harbaugh would ironically be teamed with former Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields.
Harbaugh’s prior success in the league made him a quick mention as the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings joined the Bears in “Black Monday” coaching firings.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he was not pursuing Harbaugh, who earned $4 million before bonuses this season.
The favorite to lead Miami is Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. BetOnline lists Daboll a 3/1 favorite to coach the Dolphins, and he’s the third choice at +650 with the Bears.
Both of those teams requested permission from the Bills to interview Daboll, whose direction of quarterback Josh Allen made Buffalo the AFC East champions.
The Bills are 3.5-point favorites to defeat the visiting New England Patriots Saturday and they’re tied with the Tennessee Titans and defending-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the +750 third choice to win the Super Bowl (behind +350 Green Bay and +425 Kansas City), according to Tipico Sportsbook.
Daboll is also the second choice, at 4/1, to replace the fired Mike Zimmer as Vikings coach.
The 3/1 favorite to coach Minnesota is the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who has a Super Bowl victory on his resume and helped direct quarterback Patrick Mahomes to another AFC West title this season.
Following Bienemy and 4/1 Daboll, are Vikings co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson and Flores at 8/1, as well as former Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson at 9/1.
Pederson is the second favorite behind Daboll to join Miami at 5/1.
"We look at as many reports, connections, and names as possible when setting odds," Burns said. "That is the main reason you may see a lot of names as potential candidates for all of the teams, such as Bieniemy, Daboll, Harbaugh and Pederson."
Elsewhere, the three-time champion Denver Broncos seem poised to land Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the 2/1 favorite over Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (7/1).
"Bieniemy to the Vikings, Daboll to the Dolphins and Quinn to the Broncos all seem to be popular sentiments in the media and have already taken bets, especially Dan Quinn, who has seen more money than any other coach on any of the teams we have offered," Burns said.
Lastly, former Houston Texans coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is the +175 favorite to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Amid reports the Carolina Panthers are pursuing O’Brien as an offensive coordinator, interim Jacksonville coach Darrell Bevell is the 3/1 second choice, followed by Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
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