Is home field advantage an important factor when betting on sports?

Have you ever wondered if the “home field advantage” in betting on sports is superstition, or if there is some truth to it?

We can all agree on one thing: All the information you can get about betting on sports is helpful, because it’s a complicated phenomenon.

So today’s question: does the home team really win more often than the away team? The simple answer is yes, and there are a number of factors that explain why.

What causes the home team’s advantage?

Getting a clear understanding of the factors that influence the home advantage and how they differ between sports is key to properly considering them when making sports bets.

The effect of the crowd

A loyal following that gets behind the home team can actually give a boost. This is simple human nature: we do our best when other people are watching. The following has even been shown in a study: a full stadium gives a greater advantage to the home team.

When betting on sports, therefore, also take into account the supporters of the home team. Are they able to stand behind the team when things get tough? Or will they just leave?

Now with the empty stadiums (because of Corona) this point doesn’t count anymore. So take that into account as well!

Empty stadium in corona time
Empty stadium in corona time

Travel fatigue

Of course a team feels most comfortable at home. This comfort increases their advantage over their opponents who may also have to get used to the field or weather conditions (the latter is of course less important in the Netherlands, but it certainly is in America).

The comfort of playing at home is a significant advantage, but there is an even larger factor at play here related to which team is better equipped.

Home teams do not have to travel, and travel is a physically exhausting experience that affects even the strongest professional athletes. For example, the rigorous NBA travel schedule has been found to affect players’ ability to perform at the top level.

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When is the home advantage the most important thing?

To properly consider the home team advantage in your own sports betting, you need to know how heavily its influence is weighted depending on the sporting event you plan to bet on.

Home team advantage varies by sport

All sports are affected by home team advantage, but the significance varies greatly between leagues. In soccer, the home team advantage is a serious factor, so take it into account when betting on soccer.

Calculating the home team’s advantage factor

The quickest way to find out which teams are best to bet on when they play at home is to use SBD Sharp – a tool that calculates the profitability of each team in specific scenarios. It shows you the best teams to bet on, both overall and favorites or underdogs.

Prefer to do the math yourself and calculate the exact home team advantage factors? It is relatively easy to perform a quick calculation to estimate the home advantage of a specific team.

To determine the relative size of the home advantage for a specific team, compare their home winning percentage to their away winning percentage. (The calculations should include a relatively large sample size, but weigh recent results more heavily)

More on betting on sports:

Betting on Football review
Betting on soccer
Tennis betting
Betting on tennis
Max racing
Betting on Max Verstappen
Horse racing
Betting on horses

Looking for more sports betting tips?

Home advantage is just one of the many factors experienced sports bettors consider when betting on sports. Learn more in our complete guide to sports betting.

No matter what, remember to do your sports research thoroughly before placing a bet. Experienced sports bettors aren’t luckier than the rest of us, they just do better research.