The Trend: Playing in Their Backyard
Cancel your plans, pick up your beer early, and make sure no one else is using your couch this weekend because it’s primed to be another incredible NFL Saturday and Sunday with the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs taking place as eight teams are left in the action.
The Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Brown (it isn’t a joke), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (also not a joke), New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills (seriously, stop the laughter), Los Angeles Rams, and Green Bay Packers are all still hunting the Lombardi Trophy. We have our skilled sharp-shooters in the Chiefs and the Packers, the guys that occasionally go hunting in the Ravens, Saints, and Rams, and then the guys who don’t know which way the rifle should be aimed in the Bucs, Browns, and Bills.
After crunching the numbers on these teams and looking at different trends, we here at Sports Gambling Guides found one that really tickles us in a way that should make us all some money. It’s that the home teams in this divisional round are extremely successful this season. In fact, the home teams (Saints, Chiefs, Packers, Bills) are so good that not a single one of them lost more than two games at home this whole season. The combined record of those four teams is 28-6 while playing on their own turf in 2020.
Home-field advantage really can’t be overstated enough in playoff games. And yes, there are no fans or minimal fans at these games which takes away a bit of the advantage but there are a lot of other things to factor in. The home team doesn’t have to travel, doesn’t have to put their 6’6, 320 pound lineman in a coach seat on a team plane for four hours, and doesn’t have to be surprised when they show up to the game and it’s snowing.
Some of these games will have fans and that’s going to put the home teams at even more of an advantage but for right now, just focus on the things we previously listed. The away teams aren’t atrocious on the road, but they are 25-11 which isn’t remotely as good as 28-6. Some teams are going to get even more out of playing at home than others.
The Green Bay Packers are a team who play in the cold weather every single year and for many months out of the year. The Los Angeles Rams are a team who do just about the opposite of that. The Packers will play in 29 degree weather on Saturday with a 40 percent chance of precipitation. Are you taking Jared Goff who can barely grip a ball in the freezing cold or the guy who basically looks like he belongs in a North Face advertisement in Aaron Rodgers?
The Saints are another team that will benefit from playing at home. They get to face their rival in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night at the Superdome, a place where Tampa has won just three times since 2010. Tom Brady has played in New Orleans just three times but holds a below-par 1-2 record in the Dome.
The Chiefs wouldn’t want to play anywhere other than Kansas City on Sunday when they take on the Browns. KC is 13-2 in their last 15 games when playing at home, one of those losses came in Week 17 of this season when they benched all their starters. In their last seven games on the road against the Chiefs, the Browns are a team that has gone just 2-5.
There is something about playing at home that already gives a team a sigh of relief and a huge lead before the game has even started. Since 2015, home playoff teams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs are a combined 20-4. That means that they are winning in this round over 83 percent of the time over the last half decade.
On top of that, these specific quarterbacks love playing at home in the playoffs. Rodgers is 5-2 at Lambeau Field, Mahomes is 4-1 at Arrowhead, Brees is 7-3 at the Superdome, and Allen is just 1-0, but that counts for something.
If you aren’t getting the gist of this article and if these stats aren’t obvious enough for you, here’s this: LOOK INTO BETTING THE HOME TEAM THIS WEEKEND.
Should you bet all four games and solely bet the home team based on this one article? Probably not. Drew Brees would have to beat Tom Brady three times in one season to win at home Sunday and the Bills would have to get through the red-hot Ravens to win at home this weekend, but I love these other two matchups. The Browns at Arrowhead don’t give me a ton of hope and Rodgers is electric in the month of January and the Rams have a ton of injury concerns in this one.
Those are our two games that most benefit from the home-field advantage and if you were going to parlay a couple of money-lines or throw a couple of teasers around, you know which games I would lean towards.