We investigate the inclusion of bonus points 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 determinants of match outcomes. This implies that including bonus points in league
standings generates a more accurate ranking of teams from best to worst than a system that only rewards wins and ties. Our preferred system awards four points for a win, two for a tie, one point for scoring three 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 in some matches, which would increase spectator interest.
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sports ranking systems;
Document Type: Research Article
Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, E19-411, CambridgeMA 02139, USA
Electrical Engineering Department,California State University, Long BeachCA 90840, USA
Publication date: 2013-01-01
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