2/14/2007

How to Pick Scores That Win Football Pools

Gregg Easterbrook has some stats that guide you on how to predict football scores when doing office pools where you need to pick the final score of some game.

Simple rule-of-thumb for picking the final scores of NFL Football games:

- Do NOT pick 11, 12, 15 and 18 -- these scores rarely occur.
**Good numbers to choose include: 20, 24, 17, 27, 10, 13**- The most common final scores in 2006 were, in order:
- 20-17, 23-20 and 24-21 (occured 6 times each)
- 24-10, 27-24 and 17-13 (each occured 4 times)

- Avoid low totals, and high totals. I.e. don't pick 6-3. Don't pick 44-38.

Using those rough guidelines, you have about a 1 in 500 chance of picking the exact final score, according to polymath Easterbrook.

For quick fun, and to double-check, I just did a frequency count on the scores of NFL games from 1990 - 2000 in order to rank the most common final scores.

Here are the most common scores - **choose from these:**

- 17 occurred 371 times - 9 percent
- 10 occurred 303 times - 8 percent
- 20 occurred 302 times - 8 percent
- 24 occurred 291 times - 7 percent
- 14 occurred 264 times - 7 percent
- 13 occurred 254 times - 6 percent
- 21 occurred 214 times - 5 percent
- 27 occurred 214 times - 5 percent
- 31 occurred 193 times - 5 percent

The least frequent scores are all high numbers above 40. But 11, 12, 18, 25, 32, 33, 36 occur very few times for lower numbers. Never pick a number above 38!

PS. I know this topic isn't seasonal nor very ad related, but when football season rolls around again, I'll know where to find the info - and it'll be indexed by that time.

Labels: betting, football, randomness

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