In statistics, a **line of best fit** is the line that best “fits” or describes the relationship between a predictor variable and a response variable.

The following step-by-step example shows how to create a line of best fit in Excel.

**Step 1: Enter the Data**

First, let’s enter the following dataset that shows the number of hours spent practicing and the total points scored by eight different basketball players:

**Step 2: Create a Scatter Plot**

Next, let’s create a scatter plot to visualize the relationship between the two variables.

To do so, highlight the cells in the range **A2:B9**, then click the **Insert** tab along the top ribbon, then click the option titled **Scatter** in the **Charts** group:

The following scatter plot will automatically be created:

**Step 3: Add the Line of Best Fit**

To add a line of best fit to the scatter plot, click anywhere on the chart, then click the green plus (+) sign that appears in the top right corner of the chart.

Then click the arrow next to **Trendline**, then click **More Options**:

In the Format Trendline panel that appears, click the button next to **Linear** as the trendline option, then check the box next to** Display Equation on chart**:

The line of best fit along with the equation for the line will appear on the chart:

**Step 4: Interpret the Line of Best Fit**

From the chart we can see that the line of best fit has the following equation:

**y = 2.3095x – 0.8929**

Here is how to interpret this equation:

- For each additional hour spent practicing, average points scored increases by
**2.3095**. - For a player who practices zero hours, average points scored is expected to be
**-0.8929**.

Note that it doesn’t always make sense to interpret the intercept value in a regression equation.

For example, it’s not possible for a player to score negative points.

In this particular example, we’re mostly interested in the value for the slope of the regression line which is **2.3095**.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

How to Perform Simple Linear Regression in Excel

How to Perform Multiple Linear Regression in Excel

How to Calculate R-Squared in Excel