Players from any sport cannot be blamed if they all agree that they are more relaxed and comfortable playing before their home fans. Cheering fans backing up the home team are not lost among the sports betting circles, with bookmakers recognizing that edge and raising the odds for bettors to convince that they have a sure winner.
Not all teams win every game on their home floor, but it raises their probabilities of emerging victorious instead of traveling on hostile territory. This is what home field advantage is all about.
The advantage home teams enjoy over visiting teams in almost every sport is basically called the home field advantage. From football to baseball to basketball and hockey, a loud crowd usually pumps up the hosts and lures more bettors to place their money on a sure bet.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EDGE, HOME COMFORTS CRUCIAL
Pessimists can always dismiss the homecourt advantage, saying that teams play basically with the exact measurements of a basketball court, stadium or arena in any part of the world that gives both teams equal chances of winning. But bookmakers, just like the home crowd, beg to disagree.
There are intangible factors, or non-physical aspects, that spur players on home teams to perform beyond their capabilities regardless of their position in the standings. Courts may be almost the same arena, but players are still particular on team facilities where they are more comfortable to practice and play.
The luxury of having no long hours of traveling and being comfortable in your home’s time zone are also big factors for players, aspects that sportsbooks are also particular with, especially if these teams have a distinct home record compared to its performance on the road.
HOME MLB TEAMS CARRY MORE THAN 50% SUCCESS
In a sport where all teams travel a lot for their regular season games, teams winning more than half of their matches in front of their fans can be a big deal, especially for bettors who place their money on their favorite teams.
Home teams won 52.94% of their home games, resulting in a 1,286-1143 win-loss record in the 2019 season, where teams played a total of 2,429 games.
Bettors should also be mindful of the pitching rotation of their favorite teams, as this determines how their team fares in the field they will be playing in and weather conditions players are more comfortable in.
FEWER GAMES, MORE SPOTLIGHT IN NFL
Unlike in the MLB, focus is tight on the limited number of games in the NFL as bettors pounce on any small detail to handicap their bets or make extensive research for their future bets.
There were 256 games played by all NFL teams in over 17 weeks of football in the 2020 NFL season just before the pandemic got worse around the world. The home teams back then carried a 127-128-1 record, resulting in a 49.61% win rate.
Before the pandemic, the home teams were 132-123-1, or a 51.56% winning rate, making the sub-500 winning percentage for home teams in the 2020 season as the first time in NFL history that the number dipped.
LONG STRETCHES OF HOME GAMES VITAL IN NBA
The NBA has a longer regular season than the NFL but still fewer than an MLB season, The long stretches of teams playing at home or being away on the road are vital to their overall performance should they battle for higher seeding for the playoffs.
Home teams posted a 729-501 record out of 1,230 games played during the 2018-19 season, resulting in the home team winning 59.27% of the time. The numbers here are vastly different from those in the NFL, with hoop stars showing more comfort without longer travel time, hotel stays and dealing with hostile fans.
But punters should still weigh on their handicapping process, as they have to consider the overall capabilities and weaknesses of each team.
Two teams that are evenly matched based on lineups will only get separation from sportsbooks due to the home field advantage, while the best team in the league that plays on the road and visits the worst team playing at home may still get that victory in most situations.