Unraveling the Impact of Fan Absence on Odds and Home Advantage

Home Advantage
Home Advantage

For those unaware, spectators significantly influence odds, especially when a team is playing on their home turf. This became glaringly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when the absence of fans affected the home advantage in soccer matches.

In fact, on June 15, 2020, Thomson Reuters published an article showcasing a drastic drop in the win percentage of the German Bundesliga. It plummeted from 43% to a mere 21% during the lockdown period.

Isn’t it intriguing? This presents an opportune moment to examine the effects of spectators on odds made by online casinos in the Philippines, as well as home advantage.

Why Home Advantage Matters

If we delve into history, home teams have consistently outperformed away teams, even considering division differences. Although there’s evidence that this advantage has diminished in recent years, half of the home teams still secure victories, while they face defeat only a quarter of the time.

According to various articles and research, several reasons make playing on the home court advantageous:

Familiarity with the Venue

Researchers discovered that familiarity with the field encourages players to perform better. They’ve adjusted to the territory and lighting over time. Home teams also tend to have lower stress levels than away teams.

Travel Fatigue

Away teams are at a disadvantage when traveling. Studies show that travel fatigue affects players’ performance. In comparison, home teams have the edge in rest, as they don’t need to travel far to reach the venue.

Referee Bias

While not conclusively proven, it’s plausible to assume that referees may show bias toward the home team to avoid embarrassment. Some questionable calls may favor the home team, resulting in fewer penalties.

Support from the Home Crowd

Home team supporters play a crucial role, applying pressure on the opposing team and creating distractions during critical moments. On the flip side, this affects the mentality of the home team, as they strive not to disappoint on their home turf. The effort and prowess displayed are notably different.

What Happens When Fans Are Absent? Does it Impact Odds and Home Advantage?

Research on this topic reveals valuable insights—having fans is crucial for odds and home advantage.

Based on the study, referees make more calls in favor of the home team when no fans are present. Using data from the Bundesliga during the pandemic, the average violations increased from 13.4 to 14.3.

Furthermore, the home team’s shot attempts decreased. The average shot attempt, which was 13.1, dropped to 12.0 without supporters. In contrast, the away team showed no significant change in their shot attempts.

With the decrease in the average shot attempts of the home team, their goal-scoring also declined. According to Gracenote, from 1.48 goals, it decreased to 1.38. Additionally, there’s a 5% probability of a player’s shot successfully going in.

Impact on the Betting Market

The absence of fans also affects the Philippine sports betting industry. Due to the decline in the home team’s win percentage, their odds decreased. This presents a golden opportunity for bettors to place their bets on the opposing team.

According to Pinnacle, the actual home win frequency dropped to 38.8%, lower than the pre-COVID games at 44.7%.

Aside from other factors, the odds of the home team decrease, especially without supporters on the sidelines.

Significant or Insignificant?

Analyzing the effect of fan absence, particularly in football, reveals it as a notable factor contributing to the decline in the home team’s percentage. 

However, it seems they anticipated this regarding bookmakers, as the absence of fans doesn’t significantly impact scoring goals. Betting markets offer more than just predicting the winner; bets can also be placed on the number of goals or baskets. Judging by scores, the absence of supporters doesn’t heavily influence scoring, but it negatively impacts home advantage.


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