What percent of the time does the Home Team win?
What percent of NFL games are decided by 10 points or more?
You could make a guess, either educated or not, or you could go back and see what happened last year, in the belief that a sample size of 256 games is statistically significant. I did the latter.
And this information could benefit you, if you might be wagering some of your hard-earned money this 2015 Season.
There are two theses I’m going to present, with the research to support each one.
#1. Home field is nice, but not critical.
There were 256 games played last year. The Home Team won 146 times, lost 109 times, and there was one draw. Which means that the Home Team won just over 57% of the time. If you keep in mind that the really good teams – and here I’m talking about the New Englands and Seattles and Green Bays are going to dominate on their home turf, then we’re looking at something close to a coin-flip proposition when we’re talking about teams that are good… or worse.
Bottom-line: Don’t overestimate the importance of home field “advantage” for the majority of teams.
#2. Bet on teams to win, not cover
I thought it would be interesting to look at the margin of victory – and here I think the numbers will shock you.
If we can define a blow-out as winning by two touchdowns or more, then a blow-out (41.0% of ALL games) was more likely than the likelihood that a game was decided by seven points or fewer: 37.9%.
Bottom line: Playing the “I think they’ll lose the game but cover” is a mug’s game. There has not been a single NFL game… EVER… where the point spread exceeded 20.5 points… only bet on teams if you think they will win the game – and if you can get points on top of that, so much the better!