Ask the Oddsmakers: Does Home Field Advantage Still Matter in NFL Betting?

The Green Bay Packers are the lone undefeated team against the spread at home this season with a perfect 5-0-0 record.
The Green Bay Packers are the lone undefeated team against the spread at home this season with a perfect 5-0-0 record. / Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin /

For years, the narrative surrounding home field advantage points spread in the NFL was with all things even, the home team is worth roughly 3-points per game.

Oddsmakers initially had a number right around 2.8 points, and if both teams rated right around the same, the sportsbook would indicate Team A is favored by 3 because they're at home.

Now, with more information, data and advanced metrics at our disposal, does the theory of three still hold up?

Turns out, home field advantage is worth much less than ever before.

Road teams in 2021 have been dominant, going 99-91-1 straight up this season. Against the spread, visiting teams are hitting at a 57.4% clip

I reached out to WynnBET Sportsbook NFL Trader Sawyer Johnson to gauge how oddsmakers have factored in the strong season for road teams, and whether 13 weeks is enough of a sample size to make major adjustments.

“We make very slight adjustments to the home field advantage. I want to stress that the adjustment is slight. That figure isn’t a sizable enough difference to consider it statistically significant.”

NFL Home Team Records Against the Spread

Since 2018, home teams in the NFL have covered below 50% against the spread in every season, and are on pace to do it again at their lowest number in years in 2021.

  • 2018: 120-128-8 (48.3%)
  • 2019: 108-140-8 (43.5%)
  • 2020: 125-127-4 (49.6)
  • 2021 (through Week 13): 81-109-1 (42.6%)

Pro Football Focus' Timo Riske factors that in 2021, NFL home field advantage is only worth 1.3 points; a stark difference between the 2.8 given earlier.

Which NFL Teams Have Been Best/Worst at Home in 2021?

So far, two teams remain undefeated straight up at home this season in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers; each a perfect 5-0-0 on the season. Green Bay, however, is the only team left that's covered the spread in every game on their home turf. The Packers host the Bears as 12.5-point favorites, while the Buccaneers welcome the Buffalo Bills at -3 at WynnBET Sportsbook.

As for the worst teams to bet on at home this year? The Atlanta Falcons have been abysmal in Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the spread, going 0-5-0 so far this season, with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints only gaining a single win ATS. Atlanta travels to Carolina this week as 3-point road underdogs.

The Falcons are the only team not to cover as well as not win a game straight up at home this season; going 0-5 in both categories. Five other teams only have one win SU at home: Jacksonville, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and New Orleans.