Mike Brown, Joe Mazzulla in Close Race for NBA Coach of the Year

Mike Brown, the head coach for the Sacramento Kings, is a slight favorite at +150 odds to win the NBA Coach of the Year.  Joe Mazzulla from the Boston Celtics is right behind Brown at +170 odds with a quarter of the NBA regular season remaining.

Mike Brown Joe Mazzulla NBA Coach of the Year odds Kings Celtics Awards
Mike Brown, head coach of the Sacramento Kings, calls out a play from the sidelines during a recent game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. (Image: AP)

It’s a close race for the NBA Coach of the Year, with a common scenario. It’s a tough choice between acknowledging the head coach from the best team in the league with Mazzulla and the Celtics, or rewarding the head coach from the most improved team with Brown and the Kings.

Head Coach NBA Coach of the Year Odds
Mike Brown (Kings) +150
Joe Mazzulla (Celtics) +170
Michael Malone (Nuggets) +290
Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies) +850
JB Bickerstaff (Cavaliers) +1200
Mike Budenholzer (Bucks) +1300
Jacque Vaugh (Nets) +1800
Mark Daigneault (Thunder) +2500


Monty Williams from the Phoenix Suns won the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year, but he’s a long shot on the board at +10000 odds to win the prestigious award in consecutive seasons.

Cow Town Surprise: Mike Brown +150

The Sacramento Kings last secured a trip to the playoffs in 2006, which is the longest any team in NBA has gone without reaching the postseason. It’s also the longest-standing postseason drought for any franchise in the four major American sports leagues. The Kings hired Brown to end that drought.

The Kings hoped Brown could guide the young Kings out of the basement and make the playoffs in a couple of seasons. The current squad is way ahead of schedule, and the biggest surprise in the NBA this season. The Kings are in third place in the Western Conference standings with a 35-25 record. They also find themselves in first place in the Pacific Division, and drawing the attention of bettors.

During the preseason, oddsmakers set the Kings’ win total at 33.5 over/under. The Kings passed that number heading into the All-Star break. FiveThirtyEight projects the Kings will finish the season with a 45-37 record.

Under Brown, the Kings are the highest-scoring team in the NBA, averaging 120.7 points per game. That’s 10 points higher than last season’s average of 110.3 ppg, when the Kings were ranked #16 overall.

The high-octane Kings recently set a franchise mark by participating in the second-highest-scoring game in NBA history. The Kings beat the Los Angeles Clippers 176-175 in double overtime on Friday night. With 176 points, the Kings scored the third-most points in NBA history.

After the first 30 games of the season, Brown was the fifth favorite on DraftKings’ NBA awards board at +700 odds. At that time, the Kings were in sixth place in the standings. With 22 games remaining, Brown emerged as the betting favorite to win the NBA Coach of the Year at +150 odds.


Beantown Rookie: Joe Mazzulla +170

Mazzulla was an assistant coach on the Celtics last season when they won the Eastern Conference but lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. The Celtics faced high expectations entering this season based on last year’s runner-up finish.

The front office scrambled in the preseason to handle an internal scandal involving then head coach Ime Udoka. Reports surfaced that Udoka had an inappropriate relationship with a female member of the Celtics’ staff. Both parties were married, and the Celtics suspended Udoka for violating the team’s code of conduct.

The Celtics promoted Mazzulla as interim head coach and recently inked him to a multiyear deal as their full-time head coach. The Udoka scandal didn’t impact the locker room, and the Celtics are the team to beat out of the Eastern Conference despite having a rookie head coach.

Aside from two weeks in November, the Celtics have been the betting favorite to win the 2022-23 NBA championship. You can currently back them to win the title at +280 odds.

Under Mazzulla, the Celtics were the first team in the NBA to reach 10 wins, 20 wins, 30 wins, and 40 wins. The Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 44-17. They’re projected to finish the season with a 58-24 record, and eclipse last season’s record of 51-31.

Mazzulla had been the front-runner to win NBA Coach of the Year for the entire season. In mid-December, Mazzulla saw his odds reach their best number at +130 odds. Mazzulla is currently the second favorite on the board at +170 odds.


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