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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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SHOULD WE GO FOR A ONE-POINTOR TWO-POINT CONVERSION?

Since 1994, when the NFL began allowing teams to go for a two-point conversion after a touchdown, it has become important for NFL coaches to determine whether to go for one or two points after a touchdown. The success rate for a one-point conversion is over 99%, so we will assume that there is a 100% chance that a one-point conversion will be successful. The success rate for two-point conversions is around 47%.1 On average, a one-point conversion try earns one point and a two-point conversion attempt earns 0(.6) + 2(.47) = .94 points. So, on average, a one-point conversion earns more points but in some situations it is clear that going for two is the proper choice. For example, if a team ...

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