The standard around the betting world is that home-field advantage is worth a field goal or three points. But just taking that saying at face value is a big mistake. In this post we're going to dig deeper and discuss what factors goes into that number.
The important thing to understand is there are underlying factors that could change that number that go can in your favor or against you when wagering based on home-field advantage. Below we're going to take a look at what bettors consider before wagering on NFL games and the home-field advantage factor.
What Exactly Does Home-Field Advantage Mean
Home-field advantage simply means the benefit a team gets from playing on their home field. They get to practice their same game day routines, see their families, eat their preferred meals, at their preferred times and not be affected from the trials of traveling and staying in hotels.
Players tend to get more energized from their fans, feel more confidence, calm and ready to play. This is also a benefit for the coaching staff and other personnel members as well since they all have routines.
There's also the belief that individual stars on teams have the confidence to play in any venue whereas role players tend to play better at home. This is not statistically proven but over time you can start to get a sense of these trends.
All Venues Aren't The Same
Home-field advantage for the Carolina Panthers isn't the same as home-field advantage for the Green Bay Packers or the Seattle Seahawks. The 12th man and the "cheese heads" at Lambeau field is a home field advantage that many players have horror stories about.
Traveling to a playoff came in the dead of winter at Lambeau field is one of the worst scenarios that many coaches and players can describe. The Packers are 18-5 at Lambeau field in the postseason. Playing in the cold and rainy weather with the 12th man feeling like they are literally sitting on your shoulders screaming provides a significant advantage as well.
West Traveling East Scenario
On top of the added advantage between different venues, you have the impacts of traveling to different venues as well. Some players handle this better than others. For those players that have really strict routines to get them up for a game seemingly are impacted the most.
One major impact is the scenario of the west coast teams traveling east for the traditional Sunday 1:00 PM game. From 2003 to 2012, west coast teams were 57-71-3 against the spread (ATS) when playing in the eastern time zone for a win percentage of 44.5%.
You will want to pay close attention to the lines and shop for the best value when you have this scenario. The half a point or the hook can make a significant difference when wagering on these type of scenarios.
Believe it or not, officiating in many cases are greatly impacted when it comes to home-field advantage. As the home team it tends to work in your favor whereas for the away team it seemingly works against you.
Officials are in some cases persuaded to throw and not throw a flag based on the crowd noise they hear. As part of a preparation strategy, NFL coaches keep record of how many pass interference or holding calls referees throw. They then coach their players accordingly to account for who is officiating the game.
For you as the bettor that means you also need to prepare for this type of scenario. Although lines aren't necessarily significantly changed because of who is officiating, but this could impact your wager. If you're betting on a team in which the run game is their strength, an official that calls more holding calls could impact your wager. Same for a team that is strong on the defensive side of the ball playing a pass happy team; there could be a major impact there as well.
This post is meant to help you fully understand the true impact of home-field advantage and the different variables you need to investigate. The better you get at learning how these variables impact the lines the oddsmakers are putting out the more you will be able to cash in.
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