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The end zone is the part of the pitch that a player must carry or receive the ball in to score a touchdown in American football. There is an end zone at either end of the field, and each team must attempt to get there using a number of downs and drives. Each team is given four attempts – or ‘downs’ – to advance 10 yards up the field. Each time a team advances 10 yards, a new set of downs is awarded. A player scores a touchdown by entering the end zone in control of the football – they don’t have to physically touch the ball down.
A touchdown is worth six points, with an additional one or two points available after the score. The first, and most common, is to kick the ball over the posts like a rugby conversion. The second is to run the ball over again from the two-yard line for a two-point conversion.
Although there are direct markets concerning the scorers of touchdowns, many possible bets when it comes to American football have to do with end zones. In the same way as goals are crucial to a large percentage of football (or soccer) bets, touchdowns are the main scoring method in American football, therefore the ball entering the end zone is all-important.
Whether it is a money line bet, which is popular in the US, or a wincast – where the bettor must select the winner of a match as well as a touchdown scorer – the end zone is central to a bettor’s picks.
Other markets available include next score in which a bettor can choose between a touchdown and field goal. The field goal, worth three points, is really the only way that the end zone doesn’t play a major part in a scoring market.
A betting term that is most popular in baseball and ice hockey, but can be applied to American football is the wonderfully named Grand Salami. With this bet the punter must predict the total amount of points scored on a particular day.