A feature as old as the game itself has faded in the NFL: home advantage.
So far this season, the teams that play the games at home have a lower percentage of victory than the visitors.
Counting Thursday night’s game that opened Week 10, the visitors dominate the board with 70 wins to 66 from the locals. It’s the second season in a row that touring organizations have had a better record.
In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic made public access to the stands impossible, visitors prevailed 128-127.
With the end of the lockdown, it was thought that the return of fans to the stadiums would bring with it the “old normal”. However, the teams on the road have already learned to win.
Bookmakers and their users were among the first to notice the decline in home advantage. Until before 2021, the idea of an intrinsic value of three points to home advantage remained in popular wisdom.
In the new normal, the analytical community has tried to interpret the new trend to adjust for the difference.
Projection houses have studied the axes that can vary the most, such as: the effects of crowd noise on players and officials, even the altitude of the stadium have been investigated to find the most precise answer possible.
Before covid, all teams were at least a little better at home than on the road. But, in the past two years, 14 franchises have had negative scoring spreads playing backyard games. Even discarding the 2020 data and taking only the 2021 results, the pattern remains with 15 organizations with scores against.
The Cardinals (5-0), Rams (4-0), Patriots (4-0), are the most winners as visitors, while, as locals, Eagles, Lions and 49ers, do not have victories.
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The house no longer wins in the NFL