Effective Field Goal Percentage in Basketball: Definition, Calculator & Formula, Leaders
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Warriors guard Steph Curry is among the all-time leaders in effective field goal percentage, among a see of big men.
|Table of Contents|
|EFG% Calculator & Formula|
|Effective Field Goal Percentage Leaders|
Effective Field Goal Percentage Definition
Effective field goal percentage (often written as EFG%) is a measure of a basketball team’s shooting success from the field, but with 2-point shots and 3-point shots weighted appropriately. Three-point shots are given 1.5x the importance as 2-point shots, because they’re worth 1.5x the points.
Traditional field goal percentage counts all shots the same — it’s simply shots made divided by shots attempted. EFG% solves for that problem.
The thesis behind effective field goal percentage has really been the driver behind the NBA’s 3-point revolution. Shoot more 3-pointers because they’re worth 50% more points, and teams don’t shoot 50% worse on shots from beyond the arc. The Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21 are shooting 56.7% from 2-point range and 39% from 3-point range.
While it’s not the most advanced stat in the world, anyone keeping basic stats of a basketball game — from youth leagues to the NBA — can use EFG% as a better measure of a team or player’s actual shooting ability.
EFG% Calculator and Formula
The formula for effective field goal percentage is simple.
Use our Google Sheet calculator to calculate effective field goal percentage on your own.
Effective FG% Leaders
In the 2021 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets lead the league with a 57.4% effective field goal percentage. The Orlando Magic are last at 49.2%. There two teams are actually first and last in traditional field goal percentage as well, because the NBA has evolved to the point where 3-pointers are no longer an option to keep up — they’re a requirement.
Gonzaga led the nation in 2020-21 with a 61% EFG, while Chicago State was last at 41.3%.
All-Time NBA EFG% Leaders
Many of the NBA’s all-time effective field goal percentage leaders are big men who are also among the all-time leaders in traditional FG%.
But the appropriate weight to 3-pointers allows elite shooters like Steph Curry, Kyle Korver and Brent Barry to crack the list as well.
EFG% Sports Betting Uses
Most basketball betting models start with effective field goal percentage as one of the four factors. That means it’s already factored into the betting market and there isn’t a hidden edge revealed when looking at EFG%.
But you should look at and use EFG% over many other shootings measures, because it assigns the proper value to each shot.