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Is NFL Home Field Overrated?

Posted by Jay Sanin on 8/21/2016 5:26:14 AM

When taking part in NFL betting, home field advantage is often weighed heavily when making decisions. And while which team is at home definitely has an impact on the odds for each game, is home field advantage really as big a deal in NFL games as many think it is? The answer may surprise you and is worth keeping in mind when making NFL betting picks.

Home Field Math

In the 2015 NFL season, there were 15 teams that had a record of 5-3 or better on their home field. That can be compared to how many teams had a winning record away from home on the season, which was 9 teams. On the surface, that would make it sound like home field advantage was a huge advantage over the course of the season, but there are flaws to that thinking that could artificially inflate the value of home field advantage from an NFL betting perspective.

Of the 15 teams that boasted winning records at home, all but three of them ended up being playoff teams during that campaign. So wins at home may not be a product of some sort of home field advantage, but rather a case of the best teams in the NFL simply taking care of business at home against teams that they should have been beating anyway. At the very least, it is possible that home field advantage is not as big a deal as people make it.

NFL Betting Odds

As odds calculators would show, the odds on teams playing at home are far less favorable than the same teams playing on the road due to the concept of home field advantage. However, that logic is not without its flaws and it is worth examining why teams are perceived to have such advantages at home before simply going with it and taking unnecessary risks.

Some items to look at when evaluating a team's true home field advantage is their turnover margin at home, which can make a team look better than it actually is, as well as per play yardage statistics that can illuminate where teams are doing well and expose mismatches.

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