March 2, 2021

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Why Is 16 Better Than 21?

1 min read

Fun article from Jon Bois at SB Nation. Did you know that more points doesn’t always mean a better chance to win? In the history of the NFL, it turns out the graph of points scored and how often teams won that particular game is far from a straight line. This is true even if you only use more common scores like combinations of 3 and 7. Why do teams with 16 points win more often than teams with 17 or 21 points? It looks like scores that require multiple field goals win more often than scores that don’t. It’s fascinating since we know that its better to score a touchdown than a field goal. It seems to have to do with turnovers more often leading to field goals. Interesting stuff here. Discuss.

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