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An innovative approach to National Football League standings using optimal bonus points

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Author Info

  • Niven Winchester

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Otago)

  • Raymond T. Stefani

    ()
    (College of Engineering, California State University, Long Beach)

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    Abstract

    Bonus points provide a simple way to improve the accuracy of league standings. We investigate the inclusion of bonuses in the National Football League (NFL) using a prediction model built on league points. Both touchdown-based and narrow-loss bonuses are shown to be significant. Our preferred system awards four points for a win, two for a tie, one point for scoring four or more touchdowns and one point for losing by seven or fewer points. Such a system would also make it easier for supporters to identify playoff contenders and place importance on otherwise meaningless end-of-game plays.

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    File URL: http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ/research/discussionpapers/DP_0905.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Otago, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0905.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2009
    Date of revision: Jun 2009
    Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:0905

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    Web page: http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ
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    Related research

    Keywords: tournament design; sports predictions; NFL;

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    References

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    1. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H. O., 2003. "Predicting the outcomes of National Football League games," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 257-270.
    2. David Romer, 2006. "Do Firms Maximize? Evidence from Professional Football," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 340-365, April.
    3. Banerjee, Anurag N. & Swinnen, Johan & Weersink, Alfons, 2004. "Skating on thin ice: rule changes and team strategies in the NHL," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0401, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    4. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    5. Zuber, Richard A & Gandar, John M & Bowers, Benny D, 1985. "Beating the Spread: Testing the Efficiency of the Gambling Market for National Football League Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 800-806, August.
    6. Raymond Stefani, 1997. "Survey of the major world sports rating systems," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 635-646.
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