Home Advantage In English Football

Guest post written by Ricky Dowling

We have now passed the half way point of the 2011/2012 English season which provides a nice opportunity to compare the season so far with last season in terms of the percentage of games won by home teams, and look at how some teams are performing in their own right.

You would generally expect a team to win more games at home than away from home, there are a number of reasons for this including…

  • Familiarity with the pitch
  • Home support (or hostility toward the away team) adding a psychological edge.

Here are the home win rates for the top 4 tiers of English football for last season and this season (so far).

English Premier league 2010/2011 – 47%

English Premier league 2011/2012 – 41%

English Championship 2010/2011 – 45%

English Championship 2011/2012 – 46%

English League One 2010/2011 – 45%

English League One 2011/2012 – 38%

English League Two 2010/2011 – 41%

English League Two 2011/2012 – 42%

The first point to note is that the average home win rate for the top 3 tiers of English football was around the 46% mark for the 2010/2011 season, with the 4th tier (League Two) slightly lower at 41%.

The next thing that stands out is that in both the Premier League and League One the percentages are substantially lower this season that they were at the end of last season, 6 and 7 percent respectively.

These figures are important as they are relevant to both bet selections and available odds.

  • When picking a team to back you shouldn’t place too great an emphasis on the advantage of playing at home when across the tournament that advantage is significantly diminished.
  • When evaluating reasonable odds you will often find that leagues with high home advantage have odds that reflect this. It’s worth considering if the home team warrants any reduction in odds due to the trend of the league as a whole.

For these reasons you should also evaluate the team you are betting on and their home advantage (or lack thereof).

At the time of writing, Southampton are sitting at the top of the Championship on 50 points.  They have won 11 of their 13 home games but only 4 of their 13 away games (with 5 losses and 4 draws).

West Ham are in second spot (also on 50 points) with 7 wins from 12 at home and 8 wins from 14 away.  Their home win rates are 84 and 58 percent respectively.

Both teams have won the same number of games but Southampton have performed dramatically better at home than on the road, whereas West Ham have been fairly consistent regardless of venue.

Bearing in mind that this is Southampton’s first season back in Championship, they have performed extremely well, surpassing early expectations.  With some foresight you could have made a good profit from Southampton in the early part of the season when their home win odds were more generous.

On the other hand you could also have profited from betting against Southampton (or at least a double chance X2 bet) when they were playing away from home – they recently lost away to Brighton (0-3) with odds of 7/2 available for the home team and a few weeks before that to Doncaster with 4/1 available for the home win.

If you have relied on last seasons home advantage statistics when selecting your bets, then you may have found yourself not doing as well as anticipated on your Premier League or League One bets.

That said, if the averages were to even out between last season the current season (as they often do over the whole term), then we would be due a fairly steep increase in the number of games won by the home team throughout the remainder of the season.

This reduction in the rate of home wins in the Premier League is not true of all teams however!

Last season Man United were the team to back, they won 95% of their home games and would have returned a tidy profit if you had backed them to win each home game.  This season Man City have so far taken that crown with a 100% win rate at home which will have resulted in some nice payouts for anyone backing them repeatedly.

Ricky relies on facts and figures to find his selections using a knowledge of player, team and league statistics. Having had to visit multiple websites to get the information he started to compile his own statistics which led to the creation of his website

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.

One Comment

  1. I think one of he reasons why a home team has the advantage is that the home team can use “ stadium furniture “ ie the floodlights, parts of the stands, the dug outs ,the burger van etc as reference points/distance markers and they will be more familiar with them than the visiting team, there fore when they pass as ball, play a free kick take a corner etc, they will have a better chance that it will be more accurate.

    just a thought

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