Scorigami? What on earth is that?
This is the most typical response you are likely to hear when mentioning the word, at least to an audience outside of the US.
If you are not from the land of NFL, you can certainly be forgiven if you have never heard of the term before.
Truth be told, it was actually quite a new concept to us too but after plenty of digging around, we were able to get a firm grasp on what it entails.
As we are kind folk here, we are more than happy to share our knowledge of all things Scorigami with you in this comprehensive guide.
Scorigami, a portmanteau of score and origami, was coined by SB Nation writer Jon Bois in 2016, making it a thoroughly modern creation.
The term Scorigami itself refers to a scoring combination that has never been seen previously in a particular sport. At the time he coined the term, Bois was talking on an episode of “Every NFL Score Ever” so his focus was on American Football. The term has since spread, however, and you can now easily find people keeping track of NBA (basketball) Scorigami or MLB (baseball) Scorigami.
As well as looking at individual sports, Scorigami can simply apply to a particular competition within a sport, such as the World Cup (soccer) or the Super Bowl in the NFL. Regardless of the sport or competition though, the concept remains the same in that you are seeking a unique, never previously recorded score. Should a novel score arise then voilà, you have Scorigami. It is generally more interesting in sports that have unusual point values, rather than something low-scoring like soccer, because there are more unique combinations to realistically hit.
How Do You Know What Results Are Unique?
Scorigami is not a concept league organisers have embraced as much as some fans have.
When Bois first mentioned the word in December 2016, an NFL Scorigami website appeared soon after. A meticulous NFL fan took the time to scour all previous records, plotting them on an easy to view graph which you can visit for yourself.
Similar websites have appeared across other sports and in all cases we can find, they are simply unofficial creations made by fans who excel at data gathering and plotting.
A small point to note is that some Scorigami sites have the winning team score and the losing team score as the two axis. There is no universally agreed-upon approach though, as others use a home team/away team score split. In the case of the latter, you end up with twice as many data points to hit because there would be two spaces for every score, for example, 30-25 and 25-30.
What Can I Learn From Scorigami?
Some Scorigami sites, such as the NFL one, tell you how exactly how many times a score has been seen in the past, allowing you to identify some of the most common outcomes which you can factor into your betting.
Other websites just tell you when the result was first achieved, so it just provides you with a little historical knowledge, which is not much use to a bettor.
Ultimately Scorigami’s main purpose is to inform you of all the results that have not yet been achieved and some of them can be quite surprising.
In the NFL for example, at the time of writing, no game has ever finished 22-18 (though 122 games have finished 23-17).
Is Scorigami A Popular Concept?
To a large extent, this depends on the sport. It is something we have seldom seen when talking about football (soccer) but you can find an abundance of NFL-related articles talking about it. Some fans, and indeed Bois himself, now end up rooting for Scorigami to hold so there is another score ticked off the list.
BUF 24 – 6 NO
This game has a 1.54% chance of ending in Scorigami.
Most likely Scorigami: 39-6 (0.16%)
— Scorigami (@NFL_Scorigami) November 26, 2021
There is even an NFL_Scorigami Twitter account, created by Dave Mattingly, which automatically tweets out the chances of Scorigami occurring for a particular game (while the game is in progress). At the time of writing this account had a massive 274.5k followers so yes, you can definitely call it popular with NFL fans.
No other sport has embraced Scorigami quite like American Football but it does receive a little coverage in some other areas. Major League Baseball (MBL), for instance, has discussed it on a couple of articles published on their official website and it also gets the occasional mention on reports for college football games (NCAA).
Can All Scored Be Achieved?
This depends on the sport.
In football (soccer), theoretically at least, there is no limit to what the score could be. Although completely unrealistic, it is possible within the rules of the game that a contest could end up 14-12.
In NFL however, the spiritual home of Scorigami, some scores are simply not obtainable for example 1-0 or 3-1. Others would require completely ridiculous scenario, such as 6-1.
For this scoreline to happen, the team that has just scored a touchdown would, during their conversion attempt, have to retreat all the way back to their own end zone. In doing so a one-point safety would be awarded to the opposition team. There could then be no other points scored during the game for the score to end this way.
Can I Bet On Scorigami?
As standard, this is not a betting market bookmakers usually offer, partly because it would require them to verify which results have not been registered before. They could rely on the fan-made websites but this means trusting some third party information that is not necessarily going to be correct.
We would say though that at this stage, any errors would have been picked up on, at least for the NFL version, due to its popularity. Even so, for a typical NFL game, it is not a market you would find during online betting. If you were to make a specific request, however, it is possible that some bookies will give you a price.
It is only for very big games where you might see odds for Scorigami advertised, and by this, we mainly mean the Super Bowl. American bookmakers FanDuel, for example, offered odds of +1100 for “yes” and -1400 for “no” during the 2021 finale. Translated into more familiar odds this is 11/1 and 7/100 respectively.
Scorigami is also something one or two UK bookies refer to in their American Football terms and conditions where they specify that the final score including overtime will be used to settle bets. It seems that it is very infrequent that UK bookmakers pay attention to this fun concept, however.