Home Field Advantage in Sport - What is it Worth?

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Using Home Field Advantage to Advance Your Betting

Many discussions have taken place over the years as to why teams perform better at home. Some factors are disputed, but the general consensus is that the home team is aided by both a psychological lift from the home crowd and this crowd making it difficult for the away team, familiarity with the playing grounds, less travel and home comforts (the away team having to stay in a hotel) and even officialdom favoring the home team.

Whatever the factors are, a home bias is there in every sport, and in the following article I will explain exactly how to work out the size of the edge, both in general terms and for individual teams – with the ability to use these calculations across many sports and leagues.

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Home Field Advantage in Sport – General Calculations

There are two ways to define an edge in home field advantage in sport. One is to focus purely on the number of wins a team has, the other is to focus on the number of goals/points/runs a team has scored. Here, I’ll use the 2012/13 English Premier League Table as an example:

Home Field Advantage In Sports

Home Field Advantage in Sport – Winning Edge

By doing a few simple calculations we can quantify the effect home advantage had on this season. Under the home section of the table, if we add up the number of wins, draws and losses, we can see that the season looked like this:

Home wins : 166

Draws         : 108

Away wins  : 106

Obviously, if home advantage wasn’t a factor, the number of home wins and away wins would be similar – however here, you can see that home advantage plays a major part. If we make the assumption that the number of draws is around where it should be (over a 380 game it should be approaching the norm) then we can see, that of the other 272 games, 166 were home wins and 106 were away wins. Without home advantage, you would expect these numbers to be both around 136 (272 / 2).

So what can we take from this? Well we can calculate that a home team in general will have a 22% more chance of winning than expected if there wasn’t home advantage. We work this out using this calculation:

Number of home wins (166) / Expected home wins without home field advantage (136) = 1.22

Similarly, we can do the same calculation for away teams.

Number of away wins (106) / Expected home wins without home field advantage (136) = 0.78

So, the away teams have a 22% less chance of winning than expected.

Home Field Advantage in Sport – Goals Edge (or points/runs)

Home Field Advantage in Sport – Goals EdgeThere is another way to formulate home advantage looking at the table, and that is by looking at the number of goals scored. In this season there were 592 goals scored at home, and 471 scored away from home (once again an easy calculation by looking at the league table).  This equates to 1063 goals over the 380 games in the season.

You can now work out how many goals should be scored per game:

1063 total goals / 380 games = 2.80 goals per game

From this without home advantage, you would expect teams to score 1.40 goals per game each. However, there were 592 home goals in 380 games and 471 away goals, which works out as:

592 (home goals) / 380 games = 1.56 goals per game

471 (away goals) / 380 games = 1.24 goals per game

From these figures you can work out how many more goals than expected a team will score at home/away:

Number of home goals per game (1.56) / Number of expected goals (1.4) = 1.11

Number of away goals per game (1.24) / Number of expected goals (1.4) = 0.89

From these figures you can see that a team will generally score 11% more goals at home than expected, and an away team will score 11% less goals away from home than expected.

You’ll be able to figure out both these figures for any sport that features a league table that has home results listed separately (you’ll be able to find these for many sports, and many leagues). Perhaps you may feel that a sample of one season is not enough, so maybe you could crunch the numbers for more than one season – the same rules apply.

Knowing how more often than the norm a team wins at home will be useful for the “match result” bets you’ll place in the future.

Knowing how many more goals/points/runs a team scores at home will be useful for “point spreads”, “correct scores”, and various line bets (including Asian Handicap betting in soccer, puck line in hockey and run line in baseball).

Home Field Advantage in Sport – Individual Teams

However, that is not quite the end of the story. We’ve looked at the figures in general terms, but what about those teams who seem much better than usual at home, and not so good on the road (or vice versa).

Let’s take a look at Everton in the above table. Throughout the whole season they managed sixteen wins, fifteen draws and seven losses. Now we have already worked out that a team has a 22% more chance of winning at home, so of the sixteen games won, we can work out how many of these should have been home wins and away wins. Without home advantage, you would expect 8 home wins and 8 away wins, but adding in the 22% home advantage we see:

8 (expected home wins) * 1.22 (home advantage) = 9.76

8 (expected away wins) *0.78 (away disadvantage) = 6.24

Rounding these figures up, we would expect Everton to have 10 wins at home, and just six on the road – however when we look at the table, Everton actually have 12 wins at home and just four on the road. Using these figures, we can work out that Everton in that season were particularly good at home, and particularly poor on the road.

Knowing information like this about individual teams can give you a big edge in your gambling, and once again, the same calculations can be done across many sports and many leagues.

Home Field Advantage in Sport – The Betting Edge

Knowing exactly what edge a home team may have in a particular sport, either in general, or for individual teams, will give you a greater insight into that particular sport, and give you a greater feel than your run of the mill punter. With the ability to use the calculations above in many sports and many leagues, you may even get a head start on the bookmaker, especially on some of the lesser known sports and leagues.

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This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

30181

 

Planet Mark's Top Rec:

32Red are giving the old 'High Street Bookies' sports betting brands some real trouble in 2019.

This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

30181

 

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Bovada have a huge range of markets (especially when it comes to the bigger events), competitive lines and super-easy deposits / withdrawals.

The killer reason is the promos – you’ll find their list of offers for regular bettors unrivalled anywhere online. Check out www.bovada.lv to see the latest deals for yourself now!

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