Two Plus Two Older Archives  

Go Back   Two Plus Two Older Archives > General Gambling > Probability

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-07-2003, 10:20 PM
southerndog southerndog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Souff Cackalacky
Posts: 220
Default Expected Value in Football

I once saw a guy on a football pregame show talking about punting vs. going for it on 4th down. He said it was a better move to go for it in most situations. I didn't see the whole segment and was in a waiting room, but it seemed pretty interesting.

The guy was a Ph.D. economist.


Has anybody else heard of similar research?
I always felt football coaches were too conservative.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-07-2003, 11:16 PM
Bozeman Bozeman is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: On the road again
Posts: 1,213
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

Yes, but I don't remember where.

Football coaches are way too conservative,
Craig
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-08-2003, 12:40 AM
Flounder Flounder is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

You might be thinking of this guy. He wrote a paper on going for it on 4th down. The money paragraph states

[ QUOTE ]

The results are striking. The analysis implies that teams should be quite aggressive. A team facing fourth and goal is better off on average trying for a touchdown as long as it is within 5 yards of the end zone. At midfield, being within 5 yards of a first down makes going for it on average desirable. Even on its 10-yard line -- 90 yards from a score -- a team within 3 yards of a first down is better off on average going for it. In practice, however, teams almost always kick on fourth down early in the game. The only significant exceptions occur in the "dead zone" around the opponent's 35-yard line, where a field-goal attempt is unlikely to succeed and a punt is likely to produce little yardage, and on plays where the team has one yard to go and is near the opponent's goal line. Even in those cases, however, teams are much more conservative than the recommendations of the dynamic-programming analysis.


[/ QUOTE ]

I haven't read the whole paper, so I can't say how close his model corresponds with reality.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-08-2003, 12:58 AM
southerndog southerndog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Souff Cackalacky
Posts: 220
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

This sounds like it. I think I actually heard of a similar study done on baseball and sacrificing.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-09-2003, 03:28 AM
bigpooch bigpooch is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 759
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

The decision to go for first on 4th down is made by the
coach. Even if the decision is in the long run better,
the coach needs to consider the occupational ramifications
of such a decision and whether management deems that the
decision was correct. Coaches are often second guessed
after a disastrous result and the more "questionable"
decisions made means the less likely to be employed as a
coach! For further research: model an appropriate utility
function for coaches specifically for 4th down.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-12-2003, 06:50 AM
Timer Timer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 128
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

>>I once saw a guy on a football pregame show talking about punting vs. going for it on 4th down. He said it was a better move to go for it in most situations. I didn't see the whole segment and was in a waiting room, but it seemed pretty interesting.<<

You should ask Sklansky. He has written of this.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-12-2003, 05:27 PM
Lawrence Ng Lawrence Ng is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 78
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

Not the New England Patriot's coaching staff. They define aggressive football. =)

Lawrence
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-12-2003, 06:43 PM
ironman007 ironman007 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 30
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

Go Pats! However the Patriots also used the 4th down punt last week to pin the dolphins deep which caused them to score their only touchdown. Punting is correct in a game of field position.
While most coaches could be more aggressive, to suggest it's usually better to go for it on 4th down is pure nonsense.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-12-2003, 06:52 PM
AnyAce AnyAce is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 85
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

Flounder is right, that is the article. I tried to read it (and have a pretty good math background) and it was tough sledding.

While it works in theory, I think it breaks down in reality a little bit. The problem is that the sample is too small with only 16 games per year. So a coach could go for it on 4th down according to the method in the paper and come up short far more often than the paper predicts just because he is "running bad", something we poker players know about. This would probably cost him his job (as someone already noted).

With more games per season (say like 162) you could make these decisions often enough such that it should even out over the course of the season.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-12-2003, 07:03 PM
ironman007 ironman007 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 30
Default Re: Expected Value in Football

Punting vs going for in on 4th down comes down to a risk vs reward and usually the risk outweighs the reward which is why in most cases teams punt. Teams don't run bad when trying for 4th downs because they're not playing poker on the field.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.