Sporting Charts

What is the Most Common Margin Of Victory In The NFL?

A win is a win. It doesn't matter to a team if their margin of victory is a single point or a rout to the tune of 59 points. When the game ends, the winner gets an additional win on their record.

However, to sports bettors a single point difference in the margin of victory can affect whether their bet covers the spread and pays off, or loses.

To help give you an edge, we looked at every regular season and playoff game played in the NFL since the start of the 2002 season to see the most common margins of victory.

Even if you aren't a sports bettor, this will provide you with some interesting facts to outsmart your sports buddies.

Breaking Down NFL Margins of Victory Since 2002

Since 2002, the most common margin of victory in the NFL has been 3 points with 418 games out of 2,668 games. This is equivalent to 15.67% of games finishing with a 3 point difference between the winner and loser at the end of the game.

Below, we take a look at the frequency of margins of victories across all 2,668 games to find some interesting trends:

Margin of Victory # of Games % of Games
1 92 3.45%
2 92 3.45%
3 418 15.67%
4 138 5.17%
5 79 2.96%
6 148 5.55%
7 258 9.67%
8 83 3.11%
9 40 1.50%
10 161 6.03%
11 70 2.62%
12 40 1.50%
13 87 3.26%
14 125 4.69%
15 37 1.39%
16 42 1.57%
17 96 3.60%
18 63 2.36%
19 30 1.12%
20 61 2.29%
21 83 3.11%
22 26 0.97%
23 24 0.90%
24 65 2.44%
25 31 1.16%
26 15 0.56%
27 48 1.80%
28 50 1.87%
29 14 0.52%
30 14 0.52%
31 38 1.42%
32 11 0.41%
33 6 0.22%
34 16 0.60%
35 13 0.49%
36 4 0.15%
37 8 0.30%
38 16 0.60%
39 2 0.07%
40 2 0.07%
41 6 0.22%
42 3 0.11%
43 0 0.00%
44 1 0.04%
45 6 0.22%
46 2 0.07%
47 0 0.00%
48 0 0.00%
49 2 0.07%
50 0 0.00%
51 0 0.00%
52 0 0.00%
53 0 0.00%
54 0 0.00%
55 1 0.04%
56 0 0.00%
57 0 0.00%
58 0 0.00%
59 1 0.04%


Notes

  • The top three most common margins of victory are 3 points (15.67%), 7 points (9.67%) and 10 points (6.03%). This is somewhat unsurprising as 3 and 7 are the points for field goals and touchdowns.
  • 50.52% of games end in a single digit margin of victory (9 or less points).
  • 63.96% of games end in a margin of victory of under two touchdowns (13 or less points).
  • The lowest margin of victory to have not occurred since 2002 is 43 points. Other margins of victory to not have occurred include 47, 48, 50-54, 56-58 and every margin above 59.


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