One of the topics that many bettors continuously talk about is the home team advantage. In other words, when the public thinks that the home team only needs to pitch to win the game. On the whole, a team fares better when it plays at home than on the road. Yet, there are a few factors that might influence the home team’s performance. The assumption is quite logical and rational on many levels. Sportsbooks online include it in the odds as well. Still, it’s good to approach things with a grain of salt.
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Home Team Advantage – The Basics
The basics of the home team advantage concept are pretty obvious, but let us run you through them so that you know what exactly home team advantage entails. First, it includes familiarity with the pitch and its surroundings favor the home team. Fans play a role as well. But, they are not as important as you’d think if you look at some of the research we’ve done.
What plays a significant role, however, are fields and pitches that are a bit out of the norm. For example, is the pitch or court artificial or of a different-than-usual size? Also, traveling is an important factor, especially if the away team has to travel far away on a tight schedule. Key players can be exhausted or there might be a few injuries.
Second, there’s the fact that nearly all the teams use slightly different strategies for playing at home and away. In a sense, it will make home team advantage a self-fulfilling prophecy. The thing is, while a draw is acceptable for most teams away. The teams playing at home always want to push things a bit further. They want to perform better in terms of results by being more proactive than the opposition. And, of course, there is the potential referee bias towards home teams. That can do a lot of damage to sports like football through things like soft penalties or red cards.
Home Ground Advantage Stats
You might wonder how home team advantage looks like when we add in the hard data. Let’s take a look at the home and away stats for the number one football league in the world, the English Premier League. For example, in the 2018/19 season, there was a total of 380 matches, which is a decent statistical base.
In terms of wins, home teams performed way better than away teams, winning 48% of all matches against 34% (with a 19% draw rate). Over those 380 matches, the average home goals per match stats is 1.57, while away teams score an average of 1.25 goals per match.
If one delves a bit deeper into the stats, nineteen out of the twenty teams that played in the season had a better-than-expected performance at home. The only team that had a better road record was Crystal Palace. And, to back up our claims of fortresses, the stats were much different for certain teams. Fulham, for example, were scoring an average of 1.11 goals per home game while having an average of just 0.26 goals per away game.
How dramatic would the difference be if teams play all their games at home or away? The outcome of each match will be astronomical. For example, they won’t regulate Fulham into the home-only table, while Crystal Palace would finish sixth (instead of twelfth) in the away only table!
What You Should Think About
When you do your research, factor in as much info as possible. Not only the general home team advantage but the team’s home record. And, how the road team performs in its away games. Almost every season home teams build an aura of invincibility. That is when it’s almost impossible to beat them at home. So much so that we dub it a home fortress. They can do a lot of damage even against teams that are well above them on paper. It’s worth knowing which teams are playing in such a mindset. And, of course, if you know something that will affect the home team’s advantage. Like locker room problems for the home team. You should reconsider the home team’s advantage and look at the odds from a neutral point of view.
Always Consider the Odds
There’s nothing wrong with the idea that home team advantage exists and that sportsbooks online factor it into the odds. That doesn’t mean that this concept applies equally to all sports and teams. Therefore, prod for weaknesses in the odds before you bet on the home town.
Some teams might play poorly at home. Or, there might be some trouble in the locker room. If the team spirit is not there and the players don’t play for each other. Then it’s smarter to be on the road team. Also, never let the public influence you to bet on the home team.