How important is home side advantage?

by , 16 November 2017
How important is home side advantage?
When analysing a game between two teams, it is always important to take into consideration the team playing at home.

Statistically speaking the home team across all different sports tend to enjoy a better performance in front of their home crowd.

However, the performance of the home team is different from sport to sport, team to team and even ref to ref.

So how important is home side advantage and how can we quantify it?

Let's get started…

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What is Home Side Advantage?
Well simply put, Home Side Advantage refers to the perceived benefit the home side gets when playing in front of their hometown crowd.
Taking a look at the 2016/2017 Premier league home wins vs away wins. The season ended with 187 home wins compared to only 109 away wins.
So clearly, there is a whiff of home side advantage in the league. 
Quantifying Home Side Advantage
A quick look at the 2016/2017 English Premier League stats and you’ll see that there were:
~ 109 away wins
~ 84 draws
~ And 187 home wins
If home advantage wasn’t a factor, then we would see home and away wins looking similar.
However, here and in almost if not every season this league has seen a home side advantage play a major factor.
And why wouldn’t it?
If we keep draws as they are, out of the total 380 games played, we would be left with 296. With 187 wins at home and 109 wins away.
With no home side advantage, we would expect the number of wins away and at home to be the same.
Let’s calculate the home side advantage.
187 home wins / 148 home wins with no home side advantage=1.26
Now we calculate the opposite with away wins.
109 away wins / 148 away wins with no home side advantage=0.73
So, we can calculate that in the English premier league there is a 26% less chance that the away team will win. 
But there is another way…
There is another way that we use to calculate home side advantage, and it’s by taking a look at the number of goals scored.
Looking at the number of goals scored for the 2016/2017 season, you will see that:
~ 457 goals scored away
~ 607 goals scored at home
~ With 1064 total goals scored during the season
Now we can see how many goals should be scored per game:
1064 total goals / 380 games played=2.8 goals per game.
With no home side advantage, you should expect the goals per game to be 1.40.
But, we had 457 goals scored away and 607 goals scored at home.
457 away goals / 380 games=1.20
607 home goals / 380 games=1.59
From these statistics, we can now work out how many more goals than expected a team will score at home or away.
1.20 away goals / 1.40 expected goals=0.85
1.59 home goals / 1.40 expected goals=1.13
From this, we can see that the home side advantage adds 13% more goals than their away counterpart.
Knowing how often a team is likely to win at home is a great tool you can add to your betting strategy and is an even better metric for you to use when deciding on “match results” for your future bets.

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