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In every sport, there are certain advantages in playing in familiar surroundings in front of your home crowd. Football players play on fields that are the same size, and field goals are kicked through uprights of equal dimension. However, there are differences in the unique attributes of different stadiums.
Aside from the distinct differences such as playing on artificial turf as opposed to playing on grass, one of the most significant advantages to playing home games in the NFL is the crowd. A boisterous crowd can really affect the rhythm of opposing offenses causing them to take penalties for such things as delay of game and false starts.
It’s pretty well known that oddsmakers consider the home-field advantage when establishing their lines. It is widely thought that the magic number for home-field advantage is three but this isn’t necessarily true. They give a different weight to this advantage depending on the team and how they perform at home compared to their road performance. Messing around with mathematical formulas could give you an edge if you knew the formula the oddsmakers were using. But you don’t know that formula. Unfortunately, when they provide a home team a spread for you to bet on, it is just a number, and it’s not broken down to reflect how much of that number is assigned to home-field advantage.
One indicator of how much of a home-field advantage certain teams have is to look at how well they do against the spread. Even this can be misleading as some teams play just as well at home as they do on the road. Still, let’s take a look at the teams that have the best and the worst home-field advantages from a betting standpoint.
There's No Place Like Home
5) Green Bay Packers 57.14%
With Green Bay being on this list it should be made clear that this means a Green Bay Packers team WITH Aaron Rodgers in the lineup. Including the Week 6 game against Minnesota in which Rodgers got hurt, Green Bay went 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS. In 2016, they went 10-6 SU and 9-6-1 ATS. This adds up to 14-8 SU and 12-9-1 ATS. Now, let’s see the home stats: Green Bay was 9-2 SU and 7-3-1 ATS. These might not be overwhelming figures, but compared with their road records of 5-6 SU and 4-7 ATS, it definitely appears that Green Bay performs well for bettors when they play at home.
4) Chicago Bears 67.67%
Raise your hand if you guessed the Bears had the fourth-best home record ATS in the entire NFL. In the past two seasons, the Bears are 8-24 SU and 15-16-1 ATS. Not too impressive. However, as a home team, they are 6-10 SU but 10-5-1 ATS. These are significant differences. Betting on the Bears to beat the spread could be profitable if you only play them in the Windy City.
3 -Tie) Philadelphia Eagles 68.75%
You better believe that teams don’t like visiting Philadelphia. The Super Bowl-winning Eagles have compiled a 20-12 SU and 19-13 ATS record in the past two years. At home, they are 13-3 SU and 11-5 ATS. These numbers are very similar to the numbers that the Patriots put up when they play at home which is more than enough reason to put Philly on the list.
3-Tie) New England Patriots 68.75%
When it was mentioned earlier that some teams play pretty much the same on the road as they do at home, we had the Patriots in mind. They 27-5 SU and 24-8 ATS over the past two years. Taking just their home games into consideration, we find they produced records of 12-4 SU and 11-5 ATS. You can say that their road stats of 15-1 SU and 13-3 ATS are better, but they still have one of the best home-field advantages for bettors. They just happen to be awesome on the road too.
Honorable Mention: Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets
Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again
5-Tie) Baltimore Ravens 50%
Let’s make this clear; the Ravens have racked up the majority of their wins in Baltimore over the past couple of years. They are 17-15 SU overall, and 11 of those wins came on home turf. However, we are looking at this from a betting point of view, and they have only gone 8-8 against the spread. They might win a lot at home, but they don’t cover as much.
5-Tie) New Orleans Saints 50%
Here is another entry on the list that might surprise a few people. The Saints have won 18 games and lost 14 SU while posting an ATS record of 20-12. Their home record is quite good at 11-5, but their ATS record in those games is just 8-8. Their road ATS record of 12-4 is quite impressive though.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers 46.67%
That’s right. Pittsburgh has not been doing any favors for those who back them against the spread at home. These guys are 24-8 SU and 16-15-1 ATS over the past two seasons. Their record at home in that time is 12-4 SU but just 7-8-1 ATS. They’re doing a great job of winning money for their backers on the road, but they’re not doing so well for them when they play at home.
2) Seattle Seahawks 40%
This might be a little surprising, but the Seattle Seahawks have one of the weakest home-field advantages from a betting standpoint. These guys are 19-12-1 SU over the past two seasons and 15-17 ATS. At home, they have gone 11-5 SU, but they are only 6-9-1 ATS. This is another team that can win at home, but they haven’t been cashing in tickets for the spread bettors.