# What is the most common number of points scored by a football team?

I can find the most common scores - but those always include two teams. I simply want to know the most frequently appearing score, either winning or losing. Where might I find this information?

You don’t give your location, so it might be pertinent to ask …by “football” do you mean American football, or “soccer” ?

EDIT : scrub that, obviously it’s American football …in soccer they score “goals”, not “points”

Making a bet for tomorrow?

No, but since everyone else is, I started to wonder about it. Just the most common single team ending score in the history of football. And I can’t seem to find it.

The most common score is 12. Your turn to guess what type of football.

Push comes to shove, you can always massage that data to get what you want by totaling up all the counts of each number across all the scores.

I take it you found a list like this one:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/game_scores.cgi

ETA:

That has an option to present the data in CSV, making it fairly easy to do a quick script or program to generate totals for all the score numbers 0-73.

Moved to the Game Room.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

The average score for a team in2012 is 22.8 I don’t know what the “most common” would be, however.

ETA: According to this, the most common game score is 23-20. But that doesn’t answer your question, I guess. I suppose you could take that list and add up the total number of games each number appeared in the final score.

OK, I did this and got the most common score as 17. Here’s your counts:

0: 1475
1: 0
2: 36
3: 833
4: 1
5: 18
6: 775
7: 1745
8: 39
9: 386
10: 1683
11: 36
12: 264
13: 1384
14: 1813
15: 183
16: 850
17: 2073
18: 98
19: 493
20: 1680
21: 1435
22: 250
23: 943
24: 1713
25: 151
26: 443
27: 1289
28: 964
29: 195
30: 604
31: 1031
32: 97
33: 260
34: 709
35: 488
36: 100
37: 326
38: 508
39: 43
40: 104
41: 288
42: 218
43: 45
44: 110
45: 212
46: 15
47: 43
48: 100
49: 76
50: 15
51: 34
52: 43
53: 7
54: 7
55: 22
56: 29
57: 6
58: 7
59: 12
60: 2
61: 5
62: 9
63: 3
64: 1
65: 2
66: 2
67: 0
68: 0
69: 0
70: 1
71: 0
72: 1
73: 1

Based on the link above, the most common single team score is 17. Here is the chart of all answers 1-73:

``````

Score	Count of Results
0	1475
1	0
2	36
3	833
4	1
5	18
6	775
7	1745
8	39
9	386
10	1683
11	36
12	264
13	1384
14	1813
15	183
16	850
17	2073
18	98
19	493
20	1680
21	1435
22	250
23	943
24	1713
25	151
26	443
27	1289
28	964
29	195
30	604
31	1031
32	97
33	260
34	709
35	488
36	100
37	326
38	508
39	43
40	104
41	288
42	218
43	45
44	110
45	212
46	15
47	43
48	100
49	76
50	15
51	34
52	43
53	7
54	7
55	22
56	29
57	6
58	7
59	12
60	2
61	5
62	9
63	3
64	1
65	2
66	2
67	0
68	0
69	0
70	1
71	0
72	1
73	1

``````

Sorted by count instead of score:

17: 2073
14: 1813
7: 1745
24: 1713
10: 1683
20: 1680
0: 1475
21: 1435
13: 1384
27: 1289
31: 1031
28: 964
23: 943
16: 850
3: 833
6: 775
34: 709
30: 604
38: 508
19: 493
35: 488
26: 443
9: 386
37: 326
41: 288
12: 264
33: 260
22: 250
42: 218
45: 212
29: 195
15: 183
25: 151
44: 110
40: 104
48: 100
36: 100
18: 98
32: 97
49: 76
43: 45
52: 43
47: 43
39: 43
8: 39
2: 36
11: 36
51: 34
56: 29
55: 22
5: 18
50: 15
46: 15
59: 12
62: 9
58: 7
54: 7
53: 7
57: 6
61: 5
63: 3
66: 2
65: 2
60: 2
73: 1
72: 1
70: 1
64: 1
4: 1
71: 0
69: 0
68: 0
67: 0
1: 0

That’s from 2002 to 2011. The numbers we used above give 20-17 as the most common score, and the site claims it’s all games from 1920 to “present”, which seems to mean 2012.

You can either claim that that’s more accurate since it represents a larger sample, or say that all those old games throw off the results because scoring is different today. Take your pick.

In the spirit of the OP though, here’s the frequency chart for the final digit of scores (used by the ubiqitous “score grid” games):

``````
0	5564
7	5482
4	4354
3	3476
1	2829
6	2214
8	1716
9	1205
5	1076
2	918

``````

More trivia from the linked-to table:

The most common points by winning team are, in order, 24, 27, 20, 31, 17, 23, 28, 21, 34, 30.
The most common points by losing team are, in order, 7, 10, 14, 0, 17, 13, 21, 3, 20, 6.
The most common points by tieing team are, in order, 0, 14, 20, 34, 40, 26, 48, 56, 28, 42, 12, 6.
The most common total scores are, in order, 37, 41, 44, 34, 51, 38, 31, 30, 27, 45.
The most common score differences are, in order, 3, 7, 10, 4, 6, 14, 17, 1, 21, 11, 13, 2.

The least common small total scores are, in order, 1, 4, 11, 2, 5, 8, 18, 15, 12, 3, 9, 0. (1 and 4 never occurred.)

Four never occurs? A team can’t score two safeties against the opposition and not score anything else? Or has it just never happened.

It is possible but apparently has never happened.

It would certainly be rather exceptionally unlikely.

What do you think the odds of breaking the single game scoring record per team (73)? I keep waiting, and whenever I see 35 or more points in the first half, I get excited and let down.

I think pretty slim. The modern game doesn’t reward (and, in fact, disincents) running up the score.

Gregg Easterbrook has long touted “Home team wins, 20-17” as the most reliable default score. If you’re trying to predict a final, that’s the most commonly-occurring one.

Granted, it’s still an exceptionally rare score, but it’s the most common one overall.

Beautiful. Thank you, all. Is this a great site, or what?