No place like home: An examination of the home field advantage in gambling strategies in NFL football

Roger C. Vergin, John J. Sosik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Home teams in sports have an advantage because of learning, travel and crowd factors. In the National Football League, home teams won 58% of games over the period 1981-1996. An examination of the betting market on NFL games showed that bettors generally have recognized the magnitude of the home field advantage. The point spread market was efficient in that the strategy of betting on home teams produced a win rate of .499. However, for a subset of games which had national focus (i.e., Monday night and playoff games), betting on the home team produced a .592 win rate, which was significantly different than .5 at the .0003 level, and betting on underdog Monday night and playoff home teams produced a .656 win rate. These results suggest that the home field advantages recognized in the sports psychology literature are increased under the public attention of national exposure to a larger extent than is recognized by bettors, and the point spread market is inefficient for national focus games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Economics and Business
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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