What is playing on a home field worth?
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
Playing at home is an obvious advantage? But how much of an advantage is it? Andrew takes a look at some of the numbers and tries to find out how much of an advantage playing at home is.(This piece was written following the 2010-2011 football season.)
We all know that the venue for a football match has a significant impact upon the odds of both competing clubs. But how much of an advantage is there when playing at home? How can we quantify it? Do we have a tendency to over estimate the significance of playing on familiar ground in front of a thousands of passionate home fans? Does it vary from league to league? And is there greater betting value in home teams at different stages of the season?
League by League
Let's start by having a look at how home teams have performed in the major leagues of European football. We will here be looking at some fundamental figures for home clubs competing in the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, Dutch Eredivisie and the Spanish Primera.
Home Goals For vs Goals Against
Over the last 10 seasons, we can see that the average Goal Difference (GD) is consistent across the 5 major leagues with 4 leagues averaging a GD between 4 and 4.3, with the Eredivisie being the only league extending a GD significantly beyond with an average of 0.54.
If we look at the average GD proportional to the average total goals, we again see consistency across 4 leagues, each of them having a GD proportional to total goals scored between 15 and 16%, with the Eredivisie having 18% proportional GD.
When we look at average winning percentage, again we see consistency against the 4 leagues with the Eredivisie again being the exception. Italian Serie A has the lowest home winning percentage over the last 10 seasons, with 46.5% while the Eredivisie the highest at 49.1%
A game of two halves
Let's now look at how home teams perform 1st half vs 2nd half. We can see that while average overall scoring is greater in the 2nd half, the average GD for home vs away clubs is only marginally better in the 2nd half.
Proportional to all scoring, we can see however that 1st half GD is greater for home teams, when compared to 2nd half scoring. The average 1st half GD is 16.7% of average total goals, with that number dipping to 15.6% in the 2nd half.
When is the value?
So now let's look at how home teams have performed against the odds during different stages of the season. To find out, we will split up the season into 4 parts and bet on home teams at even stakes, meaning we will bet a single unit for each home team.
First Quarter of the season
We can see that betting on all home teams in the first quarter of the season across the 5 major leagues would have resulted in a loss. This no surprise of course as you would not expect such a simple breakdown to produce any glaring anomaly. But what we do see in comparison to other periods of the season, is that home clubs in general appear to be less value against the odds early in the season.
Betting at even stakes on all teams in any situation, we should expect to see a loss of around 4 to 5%, which is our standard bookmaker commission. When looking at the 1st quarter of the season across the 5 major leagues the last 10 years, we see that two league, English Premier League and the Dutch Eredivisie have been above the standard loss we would have expected. When we look at the other 3 leagues, we can see that home teams have performed poorly against the odds early in the season, in particular the Italian Serie A, which has seen home teams give up a loss of over 10% over the last 10 seasons.
Second Quarter of the season
We see things change dramatically in the 2nd quarter of the season. If you had bet on all home clubs across the 5 leagues during this period of the season over the last 10 seasons, you would have made a small loss. Yes, it's a loss, but compared to the average loss of bookmaker commission you would expect to take, we can perhaps assume that home clubs are better value during this period than they are earlier in the season.
The most significant changes in comparison to the opening quarter of the season, were seen in Spain, Holland and especially Serie A which saw all home teams combine to make a profit the last 10 years in the 2nd quarter of the season.
Third Quarter of the season
We see great divergence between the leagues in the 3rd quarter of the season, with 3 leagues, the English Premier, German Bundesliga and Spanish Primera making reasonable profits in this period of the season for home clubs while Serie A and Eredivisie clubs experiencing standard losses over the 3rd quarter of the season.
Fourth Quarter of the season
In the final quarter of the season, we see all leagues except the Spanish Primera perform well against the odds. Two leagues, the Bundesliga and Eredivisie made profits on home clubs at even stakes, while the Premier League and Serie A made respectable losses above standard bookmaker commission.
Click here for the BettingExpert 2012/2013 Football Stats Guide. Detailed stats for the 8 biggest leagues of Europe.
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@TheGame Thanks for your kind words, means alot to get great feedback from the readers. And glad to hear some of my material has helped you with your betting. I'm always happy to share the wisdom.
@ Andrew I don't know where you get your inspiration from but thank you, I've been around here for about a month now and you always post interesting and intelligent material, some of which shows me this game we all love from new angles, I have implemented some of your theory into my own system and it helped me turn over a tidy profit last month. Articles like the one above are priceless as these are things we all propably know but never really pay attention to until it is brought to our attention like this, I will definitely be remembering these words once the English Premier League kick off again. Thank you and long may your wisdom bless the BE Community.......