Sports Betting Guide

The home field advantage in football

To make a winning bet, you need to analyse even the most insignificant details connected to your selection. Especially in team sports such as football, there are dozens of variables that need to be considered before placing a bet. For example, have You ever wondered what is the influence of the home stadium in football? Let us find out.

home field advantage

Where can you find the ‘edge’ over the bookmaker?

Patience is the key to success in many aspects of life, including sports betting. The best punters place no more than 10 - 15 bets per month. Why is that? Because before each bet they thoroughly analyse the event they have selected. It is hard to tell which factors they consider in their analysis, but there are few very important aspects that every football punter must look through before placing any bet.
 
These include the knowledge of the current shape of the players, their last few performances, their statistics as well as history of direct matches between both teams. The home field advantage is also very important, especially in team sport like football. The place that the match is played is very significant for the final result of the game, and thus, your bet.

The numbers do not lie - home field advantage matters

The American scientists have analysed that MLB baseball teams win 54$ of their home games. In case of ice-hockey and NHL teams it is 56% while NFL teams win 57% of their home fixtures. When it comes to the basketball teams from the NBA, the home team wins in 60% of the cases. The home field advantage in the U.S.A sports competitions is mostly visible in MLS football league where the home team wins in approximately 65% of all matches!
 
The statistics look similar when it comes to international football matches. The football analyst have studied almost 9000 matches played between 1993 and 2004 - the statistics clearly show that the teams that were playing at home won most games (50,5%) while the draw (25%) or the guests win (24,5%) was definitely less common. It must be said though, that all teams that are associated in FIFA, even the low-ranked ones, were considered in this study. In case of a top national teams such as Spain, Brazil, Germany, France or Italy, the home team win rate in front of their own crowd home increases to over 60%. 
 
Even the history of the World Cup proves that the stadium helps the home team. From 20 tournaments played up until 2017, the home team progressed into the quarterfinals in 17 cases, 13 times they reached semi-finals and 6 times they have been crowned as the best football national team in the world on their own soil.

Home teams win all over the world

Few years ago, another football analysts research study of 80 000 matches from 4 seasons (2011-2015) in 64 football leagues from all over the world, proved the theory that the home teams are winning more often on their own stadiums. The biggest home team winning rates (55%) were observed in Bosnia, Albania and Serbia. From the other hand, the lowest home team winning rate proved to be in competitions from Malta with only 38% of the games won by the home teams. 

No League Home win Draw Away win
1 Bosnian Premier League 55% 24% 21%
2 Albanian Supiriore 55% 23% 22%
3 Serbian 1. Division 53% 26% 21%
...        
11 UEFA Champions League 50% 22% 28%
...        
16 Spanish Primera Division 48% 23% 29%
17 Polish Ekstraklasa 46% 27% 27%
18 Dutch Eredivisie 46% 25% 29%
...        
20 French Ligue 1 45% 28% 27%
...        
25 Italian Serie A 45% 27% 28%
...        
32 English Premier League 45% 25% 30%
...        
35 German Bundesliga 45% 24% 31%
...        
64 Maltan Premier League 38% 22% 40%
  Overall in 64 league competitions 47% 25% 28%

The UEFA Champions League have the highest home win rate (50%) from all the most prestigious football competitions in the world. Right behind the Champions League, we can find Spanish Primera Division and then French Ligue 1, Italian Serie A, English Premier League and German Bundesliga. It seems that the first position in this classification of the Champions League may be a surprise, but is it? 
 
The home match in the Champions League is for the majority of teams a big event and everyone is very focused on the good result. What is more, the quality level of teams participating in this prestigious competition is very diverse, where football giants from the top leagues are regularly smashing the weaker clubs at home. It is thus understandable that in more balanced football leagues, such as English Premier League, where every team has chances of winning with anyone, the home team winning rate will be slightly lower.

Home teams better in more than half of Premier League matches

While we talk about Premier League. The football analysts obviously studied the English top division. They analysed 22 seasons of the league that is considered one of the best in the world (Between 1992 and 2014). The results are not so different from those from the previous table. Throughout all those years, the home teams won 46% of the game on their own stadium while the away teams were better in only 27% of the cases. There also were seasons, where the difference was even bigger, for example in 2009 / 2010 season it was 51% to 24% for the home team. The average rate of scored goals was also higher for the home teams.

Season Matches Home Win Draw Away win Average home team goals per game Average away team goals per game
2013/2014 380 47% 21% 32% 1.57 1.19
2012/2013 380 44% 28% 28% 1.56 1.24
2011/2012 380 45% 24% 31% 1.59 1.22
2010/2011 380 47% 29% 24% 1.62 1.17
2009/2010 380 51% 25% 24% 1.70 1.07
2008/2009 380 46% 26% 29% 1.40 1.08
2007/2008 380 46% 26% 27% 1.53 1.11
2006/2007 380 48% 26% 26% 1.45 1.00
2005/2006 380 51% 20% 29% 1.46 1.02
2004/2005 380 46% 29% 26% 1.50 1.07
2003/2004 380 44% 28% 28% 1.51 1.16
2002/2003 380 49% 24% 27% 1.50 1.13
2001/2002 380 43% 27% 30% 1.47 1.17
2000/2001 380 48% 27% 25% 1.54 1.06
1999/2000 380 49% 24% 27% 1.67 1.12
1998/1999 380 44% 30% 25% 1.46 1.07
1997/1998 380 48% 25% 27% 1.56 1.12
1996/1997 380 43% 31% 26% 1.47 1.08
1995/1996 380 49% 26% 25% 1.53 1.07
1994/1995 462 44% 29% 27% 1.51 1.08
1993/1994 462 42% 31% 28% 1.44 1.15
1992/1993 462 46% 28% 26% 1.56 1.08
Overall   46,36% 26.50% 27,14% 1.53 1.11

We are playing at home - where comes the advantage of the home team?

So why exactly does the home team have an advantage? After all, it seems that everything is the same for both teams. The field, the ball, the goals and even the rain dropping evenly on the head of players from both teams. But is it really? Apart from the rain part, all these things differ to some extent between home and away team. Find out how below.

  • Momentum - is a term used not only in sports psychology but in every aspect of life. In a nutshell, a momentum is a period of time in which a person does things it seemed he or she is not capable of. Home field advantage is very good example of that. When you play at home, you are much more determined, confident and focused. Footballers do not want to disappoint their teammates, coaches, families and of course fans gathered at the stadium and will do everything to get a good result at home.                                                                                                                                                                                         
  • Stadium - the football ground is another very important aspect, especially the pitch. Some stadiums are perfect for some teams and are nightmare for others. Liverpool’s anfield or Barcelona’s Camp Nou are famous examples of football stadiums perfect for their home teams, but not so much for the away sides. From the other hand, already mentioned Barcelona, sometimes have problems with stadiums with pitches different from the one that they are used to. Spanish team is known for their numerous, quick passes which can be performed only on the pitch in perfect condition. The condition of the pitch is crucial. How many times we have observed a top-notch team losing to a lower league club because they were surprised by the bad condition of the field. But the pitch is not the only important element of the football stadium. Arsenal played for almost a hundred years on the small Highbury Stadium. The team played their best seasons on that stadium, winning three Premier League titles (What is more, during those years, when they were not winning the league, they were second!) and four FA Cups between 1997 and 2005. Everything changed when they moved to much bigger Emirates Stadium in 2006. Till this day Arsenal fans wonder what would have happened if they stayed on the Highbury.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • Fans - It seems obvious for us that we do not need to convince you about the truth behind the power of the cheering crowd. Loud cheers from the supporters can boost the players confidence, make them more determined and discourage their opponents at the same time. A very good example would be a surprising win of Celtic over Barcelona in a 2012 Champions League match. Scottish players were inspired by their amazing fans and managed to defeat the best team at that moment, full of global football stars. Apart from great support from the fans, this game is famous for many other things, about which we mentioned in the article about the influence of ball possession on the final result of the match. As it turned out, the Scotts needed only 11% of overall ball possession to defeat the Spanish giants. But fans influence not only the players of both teams, they also have a considerable impact on the referees...                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Referees - First of all, we are not talking about purposeful “fixing” the games and any other sort of corruption. The referee is just a human, prone to making mistakes, like all of us. Nevertheless, it seems they are making more mistakes in favour of the home team. Why it is like that? Up until the end of the previous century, a very common practice among the home teams was throwing parties a day before the game, and obviously, the referees were also invited. We were sure that this custom was abolished, but it is not the case in some parts of the world! Generally, the referees are known for making mistakes that favour the home team.                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Style of playing - every team has their own style of playing, their football DNA, that works only for them. Despite that, some teams prefer different style of playing in front of their home crowd and different in away games. For example, team X likes to keep the ball exchanging hundreds of passes at home, but in away games, gives the ball to their opponents and wait for the opportunity to counter-attack. From the other hand, team Y may be comprised of mostly young, inexperienced players that have troubles playing outside their own stadium and lose 80% of their away games.

Summary

Ever since the beginning of this discipline of sport, the home teams have always had the advantage over their opponents. There is a number of factors that contribute to that phenomenon - we only mentioned the most important ones, as we did not want to bore You. One way or another, we hope that this article was educational for most punters and will help You to make a winning bet. Good luck!

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