Home field doesn't mean much to NFL playoff bettors

Jan 11, 2013 |
After watching NFL home sides go 3-1 SU (straight up) and ATS (against the spread) last weekend in the Wild Card playoff round, it would be easy to conclude that home-field advantage is exactly what it sounds like – an advantage.

But an examination of the home team’s numbers against the spread in recent years in this article from Pinnacle suggests that bettors might want to re-think that edge.

“During the six seasons since 2007, home sides have won 37 of the 60 postseason games in the run-up to the Super Bowl – an impressive 61.7 percent. However, the home side covered the spread in just 29 of those 60 games – just 48.8 percent,” writes Jack Ratcliffe.

That’s a costly winning rate when you consider a sports bettor needs to win at a roughly 58 percent clip to turn a profit. This is a change from a period between 1981 to 1996, says the article, when home teams racked up a moneymaking ATS win rate of 58 percent in playoff games.

All four home teams are favored in this weekend's NFL games and two home sides are seeing a pile of chalk – Denver and New England. Both teams sat at -9.5 at most sportsbooks heading into the weekend.

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