Sunday, 3 November 2013

No Place Like Home

NBA teams win approximately 60% of their home games, but in the early days of this season, that percentage has shot up to 77.5%. Early days of course, and home openers can motivate teams to heights that may not be attainable once the season is under way and reality has set in, but even so it is notable. Miami Heat has been the road team for two such openers, and lost them both, having not lost back-to-back games since January. 

Added to the fact that Miami are the current champions and the team to beat was the return of Derrick Rose in the Chicago Bulls game after a year out. In Philadelphia, the game at the 76ers saw the official retirement of Allen 'practice' Iversen which was followed by the home team scoring 19 consecutive points and going on to win the game. 

These unusual situations are likely part of the reason for the high number of home wins, as studies have shown that referees, albeit subconsciously, favour home teams, and when a crowd is pumped up, it is reasonable to assume that this influence would only be enhanced. (Between 2003 and 2011, referees called an average of 22.15 fouls on away teams per game and only 21.13 fouls on home teams). When all teams have played two or three games and their home openers out of the way, it is certain that the home win percentage will drop down to that long-term 60%, and normality will be restored. Just a few reasons why early season betting can be troublesome.

RandomMan asked:
So major European football leagues offer value (sometimes) but NBA doesn't. Why is this? Surely all statistics are as readily publicly available on both sports.
As I mentioned in the previous post, analytics in the NBA is far more advanced and arguably relevant than in football. SportVu for example uses "six cameras installed in the catwalks of every arena, and constantly tracks the movements of every player on the court and the ball. The data collected provides new stats based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession". Having only five players and the absence of 'midfield' play makes this data a lot more relevant, and isn't publicly available, and I suspect that as a result of the higher relevance of inside information, the money betting pre-game in the NBA is for the most part a lot 'sharper' than the money sloshing around in the big football markets. There are relatively few players whose presence or absence will significantly move football markets, but this is not true in the NBA. Fortunately, the game still has to be played, and this is where value can be found, but in my opinion, tipping pre-game in the NBA is an exercise in futility.

3 comments:

Emp said...

I am impressed you've done your homework and know why home-field exists in almost every sport. It's also worth noting that this is most pronounced in basketball, because more than any other sport, refereeing is highly subjective. Very large numbers of fouls, many of which are close/either way calls, not to mention that superstars at home can go from the locker room to the court without being called for travelling.

Emp said...

I am impressed you've done your homework and know why home-field exists in almost every sport. It's also worth noting that this is most pronounced in basketball, because more than any other sport, refereeing is highly subjective. Very large numbers of fouls, many of which are close/either way calls, not to mention that superstars at home can go from the locker room to the court without being called for travelling.

tyttetrading said...

Hi, also, i think Cassini did explain it in and earlier post. The difference is also in the difference between trading/betting using knowledge about the sport or if trading/betting using knowledge of the markets. As mentioned in many posts, one of the reasons for the value that often appears on the draw in soccermatches, has nothing to do with the sport. Its because the bookmakers adjusts there odds to level their risk. Most bettors want to bet on a team, meaning that not much money will go on the draw. To attract money to the draw, and thereby level risk, the bookmaker can offer higher odds on that outcome. I hope you understand my point, my english not being perfect (sure that Cassini will point that out:-)).