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Ever wonder if the ‘home team advantage’ is just superstition, or if there’s actually some truth to it? When you’re determining which bets to place, you need every advantage you can get.

Before we talk about whether home teams win more often than the away team (and what it means for moneylines), let’s talk about what factors play into the home team getting a leg up on their opponents.

What Causes a Home Field Advantage?

At first, you may think it has something to do with weather or the team’s location, but home team advantage is talked about in every sport! Knowing both teams’ home and away stats will go a long way, but determining the real advantage guarantees that you can confidently place those bets.

The Effect of the Crowd

Experts agree: There could be a variety of reasons for a home team advantage. If a home team’s fan attendance is high, the team may gain the upper hand because they feel energized by the stands being full just for them. It’s even been shown that sports with denser crowds produce more leverage for the home team.

The density of the crowd is only part of their effect on the game. Some sports also have loud, unruly fans. Other sports (like baseball) have fans that often leave before the game is over if a win or loss seems likely. The atmosphere and mood of the crowd play into the psychology of advantage. They provide adrenaline and confidence to their favorite players. Plus, fans are much less likely to boo the home team than the away team.

Travel Fatigue

Naturally, a team feels most comfortable at home. This raises their edge against their opponents who don’t know the field or court as well. For home games, everything is much more familiar and comfortable, but that’s not the only reason why the cards are stacked in the home team’s favor.

Even more important might be the fact that home teams don’t have to travel for these games. For instance, it’s been found that the rigorous NBA travel schedule affects players’ ability to compete at peak performance.

Biased Refs

Perhaps something else to consider is the bias of home team officials. While they may try to be impartial, they nearly always have favorites, too. This might explain why home field advantage in the NBA is greater in the post-season than during the regular season. According to Chicago Booth Review, evidence indicates that even refs subconsciously want their team to come out on top!

We’ve established why a home team advantage might exist, now let’s take a deeper look at how you can use a home field advantage to your benefit.

What is the Winning Percentage of Home Teams?

All sports have a home advantage of sorts, though you’ll find that the home team advantage of the NHL doesn’t compare to the NBA or NFL. One news outlet, Fivethirtyeight.com, found that the NFL had a regular season winning percentage at home of 57.1%, while the NBA’s was 59.9%. Similarly, the MLB’s advantage was 54% and the NHL’s 55.1%.

For perspective, statistically normal odds are about 50/50, so these results show that these winning percentages are above the statistical norm.

Home Advantage Statistics NFL NBA MLB NHL

What do post-season winning percentages look like? These stats show that the NHL maintained a winning percentage at home landed at 55.3% and the MLB’s win percent was 54.2%. The home field advantage of the NFL gave the league a winning percentage of 64.7% and the NBA a percentage of 64.5%. These numbers clearly show that the advantage is accentuated in the postseason.

One thing is pretty clear: It exists, so you might as well learn how to take advantage of it!

Why Does the Home Team Advantage Make a Difference?

Whether you understand why a home team advantage exists or not, remember that it absolutely makes a difference. Knowing that there’s a higher likelihood of a win affects the odds, and it also gives more insight into how teams will perform. You just have to learn how to turn it into profit!

Looking for a sure thing? The higher the team’s winning percentage is at home, the more likely they’ll be to win. If their percentage is 52% then they have a fair chance. If it’s 64%, then you can be fairly confident of a win.

Since it’s been proven travel tires a team out, look for matchups where the away team has come a long way and the home team has a high winning percentage. The combination will increase the chances the home team will win. Carefully selecting matchups will allow you to dominate the lineup.

Calculating the Home Team Advantage Factor

When you want to figure out what sort of edge the home team has over its opponent, you’ll need to do the math to see how it affects the moneyline. You start by figuring out what the home team advantage factor is.

To do this, you’ll take the home team’s winning percentage as a decimal and multiply it by the home field advantage factor (as a decimal). This gives you the true winning percentage, which can also be called the implied probability.

Now that you have the implied probability, use a betting calculator to determine your odds and how you’d like to place your wagers.

Having the home field advantage allows you to determine how risky your bet is. You can choose potential bets more wisely with this information and calculate what the odds really are. If you’re new to betting, it’s best to learn a bit more about what these odds actually mean.

With your newfound knowledge, it’s never been easier to bet with confidence!