NFL Home Field Advantage By Team

Sports teams have an edge when playing at home versus on the road.  It’s an indisputable fact.  Professional handicappers make a living at knowing the odds, and they incorporate home field advantage into their point spreads.  The rule of thumb I’d always heard in NFL football was to count on the offense to score an additional three points when playing at home.  But is that really the case?  I decided to find out for myself.

To solve the question, I pored over the game results from the last 10 years of NFL regular season games – 2003-2012.  When the numbers were crunched, and the smoke had cleared, I found my answer: In the last ten years, NFL teams scored an average of 2.58 more points at home than they do on the road.

As is often the case when researching something like this, more questions arose.  How did each individual NFL team fare when playing at home versus on the road?  Which NFL team enjoyed the greatest home field advantage?  Which NFL team had the worst?  Had any teams actually scored more points on the road than at home?

After some deeper digging, I answered those questions as well.  The results are very interesting.  Over the last 10 years, the Baltimore Ravens have scored a whopping 7.10 more points at home than on the road.  The St. Louis Rams, too, enjoyed a huge boost at home — nearly 5 points.  On the other end of the spectrum, the New England Patriots, and especially the Carolina Panthers, actually scored fewer points at home than on the road.

There are surprises too.  Some teams that I’d expect to have a large home field advantage – the Broncos, for example, in their high-altitude stadium, or the Packer’s hallowed Lambeau Field – really didn’t show much of a bonus.  Both reflect just average home field advantages at best.  It would be an interesting discussion on the reasons why some teams enjoy a bigger home field advantage than others.  Nonetheless, here is a listing of all current NFL teams ranked by the edge they’ve enjoyed when playing at home.

As always, run to daylight.

NFL home field advantage by team (2003-2012)

  1. 7.10 Baltimore Ravens
  2. 4.99  St. Louis Rams
  3. 4.65  Seattle Seahawks
  4. 4.63  San Francisco 49ers
  5. 4.61  Arizona Cardinals
  6. 4.34  Kansas City Chiefs
  7. 4.20  Atlanta Falcons
  8. 4.06  Chicago Bears
  9. 4.00  Pittsburgh Steelers
  10. 3.89  Houston Texans
  11. 3.74  Dallas Cowboys
  12. 3.34  Minnesota Vikings
  13. 2.99  Detroit Lions
  14. 2.84  San Diego Chargers
  15. 2.49  Tennessee Titans
  16. 2.45  New York Jets
  17. 2.34  Green Bay Packers
  18. 2.30  Buffalo Bills
  19. 2.28  Denver Broncos
  20. 1.76  Jacksonville Jaguars
  21. 1.64  Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  22. 1.60  Miami Dolphins
  23. 1.58  Philadelphia Eagles
  24. 1.53  New York Giants
  25. 1.53  Oakland Raiders
  26. 1.38  New Orleans Saints
  27. 1.31  Indianapolis Colts
  28. 1.20  Cincinnati Bengals
  29. 0.73  Washington Redskins
  30. 0.30  Cleveland Browns
  31. –0.96  New England Patriots
  32. –2.28  Carolina Panthers

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