When deciding whether to make an NFL play against the spread, bettors have to weigh several factors, including injuries, matchups, weather and location of the game, among others. Sportsbooks are considering those same factors when hanging a spread, but if a bettor can get an advantage in one aspect of spread projection, it can go a long way toward being consistently profitable. Of course, most of the factors listed above are exceeding difficult to find an edge, especially when sportsbooks can win the resource game when unearthing information. But one specific factor can provide bettors an edge over the competition if they're willing to challenge their assumptions: home-field advantage.
For much of the modern era of football, home-field advantage in the NFL was presumed to be three points. What that means is that if two teams that are perceived to be even in strength meet, the one who's playing at home should be favored by three points. You've likely seen many divisional matchups between a pair of evenly-matched teams where the home team is favored by a field goal. But in recent years, the margin of advantage playing at home gives has shrunk. By how much? We'll cover that below, but the most important thing to realize is that not all home-field advantages are created equal.
While SoFi Stadium was under construction from 2017-19, the Los Angeles Chargers played their home games in a 27,000-seat soccer stadium that was regularly flooded by fans of their opponents. While they played much better at home than on the road in 2017, their home/away points splits were about even the following year, then the Chargers were much better on the road in 2019. In 2021 while playing in a new stadium in front of a growing fan base with one of the league's best young QBs under center, the Chargers scored nearly six points per game more at home than on the road, while the defense was about two points better at home. It's a small sample size, but if that strong play at home continues in 2022, it becomes a trend.
I've had consistent success picking NFL games against the spread, going 445-378-24 (+2542) on all NFL ATS picks in the regular season and playoffs on SportsLine since 2017. I've also recorded a 329-250-21 (56.8 percent) record since 2015 on ATS picks in the SuperContest, which requires you to enter your five best bets every week of the NFL season. One reason for my long-term success is the research I do heading into each NFL season that includes generating unique home-field advantage numbers for every team to help me be ahead of the books when it comes to projecting spreads for each game. This year, I'm sharing those home-field advantage ratings exclusively with SportsLine members below.
Which teams have the best home-field advantage in the league? And which teams should be worth fading when playing at home? ... Join SportsLine right now to see all of R.J. White's 2022 NFL home-field advantage ratings, all from the expert who has crushed his NFL picks over the last five years!
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