Rowdie: Mathematical football prediction and betting tips

Home-field Advantage In Football Betting: Should Bettors Invest In This Advantage?

Much attention has lately been gathered around identifying and unlocking trends, which can be regarded as propositions for football betting. One such trend is the emphasis on the home-field advantage as a critical factor determining to a considerable extent the outcome of a football match. The assumption is that clubs playing in their own field, at home, have an advantage over their opponents which is statistically significant and which can bring them to the front of the scoreboard and standings.

Home-field advantage is not a new theory in the world of betting, but in the last few years, where sports betting is more and more discussed by experts and analysts, it has become a ‘thing’. However, no matter how this theory can help bettors make more sophisticated choices, you should always keep in mind that it is also leveraged by all sportsbooks and bookmakers in Portugal and in fact in every part of the world and getting to understand the home-field advantage is not only a prerogative of punters, but of bookies as well.

What is the home-field advantage?

In simple words, the home-field advantage theory states that there is an inherent advantage to those clubs that are playing football within their own premises. This advantage comes from a number of factors including:

* Playing in front of a crowd that is cheering the club and which is full of passionate spectators who are out-loud expressing their support to their favorite club. The audience has generally been recognized by clubs themselves as a primary driver of motivation, so just think of what is going on in a field filled with fans.

* Feeling proud to play in your hometown and being filled with the perceived responsibility to make everyone else proud as well

* Having the confidence in playing in a field that they know really well

* Not having to deal with any fatigue or stress coming from being on the road or from being in front of a new, unknown and uncertain environment

* And last but not least, meeting with another club which does not have the above good things, plus they have the stress and fatigue from being on the road.

Home-field advantage stats

The theory of home-field advantage has not been developed solely on thinking that any team will perform better when it is cheered and supported by the audience or when they get to have all the benefits from playing at home. It has been developed on the basis of statistical analysis, which illustrates that an advantage exists.

In a five season period, from 2015 to 2020, analysis of six major European Leagues (including [league 8], [league 564], [league 82], [league 384], [league 301] and [league 9]) revealed that on average the home teams had a win rate of 45%. In some leagues the win rate was higher, as for example in the German Bundesliga in the 2016-17 season the win rate was nearly 50% or in the Italian Serie A in the same season was almost 49%. Overall somewhat less than half of the games ended with the home team scoring a victory.

Interestingly, in the 2020-21 season, when the outburst of the coronavirus pandemic forced most of the matches to be played “indoors”, without the presence of audiences, the results were quite different. The win rate of home teams dropped significantly from an average of 45% the previous five seasons to an average of 40% that season. All else remaining constant, the only difference being the absence of fans, home teams due to covid19 did not manage to do so well as in the previous seasons and their win rate dropped by 11%. This fairly explains the statistically significant advantage of playing at home.

How to use the home-field advantage in betting?

The home-field advantage is a theory that is out there not as a winning formula but as a general guide or a reference point for bettors. It is an edge that you can have when studying a match before making any decisions on how to bet on this match.

But bettors should always keep in mind that besides the home-field advantage there are other numerous factors that interplay and in the end affect the outcome of any given match. So, it is important that the home advantage should be used in conjunction with other analysis as well and not alone when making a betting decision. It’s a good way to start or a good way to inform your analysis, but it should not be the only way to place bets.

Is home advantage a real thing? What do the statistics say about it? Are we debunking a myth?

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