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Hey Look, More Things Wrong With NFL Overtime!

As if it weren't enough that a random coin toss essentially decides the winner in a significant majority of overtimes, now comes SCIENCE! to tell us that the flip of the coin may not be so random.

Nearly two-thirds of teams that get the ball first end up winning the game. If only there were a way to better your odds of winning that coin toss...

Stanford professor Susan Holmes, who co-authored the paper "Dynamical bias in the coin toss," said it's actually a 51-49 proposition with the side facing up predicting the side that will land up. And it can be even more pronounced a difference than that.

"The bigger the coin," Holmes said in a phone interview, "the more bias there would be."


And wouldn't you know, as the games get more important, the coin gets bigger; the playoffs and Super Bowl use special commemorative coins that increasingly resemble Pogs, pepperoni slices and coasters.

So just take a glance at the coin before the ref flips it, and pick the side you can see*.

An interesting fact I gleaned from this article: when there's no special coin, the ref can use any old change he's got in his pocket, be it penny, gold dollar, or the Panamanian Balboa coin I got as change at the bodega yesterday.

*Advice not practical, as ref will most often have heads facing up. And as we all know, tails never fails.


Come Overtime, Here's A Tip For The Chiefs [KC Star]

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