When is a two point conversion better than an extra point? A dynamic programming approach.

This post continues my series of slidecasts about football. My first slidecast is here.

Today’s topic addresses when a two point conversion is better than an extra point after a touchdown. As you may guess, it is best for a team to go for two when they are down by eight. You can see other scenarios when it is best to go for two, based on the point differential and the remaining number of possessions in the game.

This presentation is on Wayne Winston’s book Mathletics, which is a fantastic introduction to sports analytics.

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One response to “When is a two point conversion better than an extra point? A dynamic programming approach.

  • Dan Black

    I have seen something similar at the UK OR Society conference last year. It calculated these probabilities for cricket (they may have used statistical methods rather than DP as the end point of a cricket match is rather difficult to define) and used the changes in these probabilities to calculate the contribution of each player to the game.

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