In college football, home teams outscore away teams by 3-3.5 points per game according to analysis by Matt Mills at SB Nation.

But is the advantage due to the home crowd or something else?

It's likely a combination of factors (familiarity with the stadium, girlfriend in the crowd, a good night's rest in your own bed), but I'm particularly curious about crowd effect.

Tonight Ohio State faces Oregon on neutral territory in Arlington, Texas. Ohio State fans in attendance supposedly outnumber Oregon fans 7:3. Is there any evidence this attendance disparity actually confers an advantage?

  • 2
    I think this depends and I doubt there is anything other than circumstantial evidence out there. First it really only affects teams that rely heavily on communication (like Oregon in their blur offense) and then it also matters where the game is. Traveling distance has been proven to be a huge factor for outcomes. Then the last thing is the most obvious. A team expected to win will almost certainly have more fans traveling. You don't go spend 2K for weekend of your team getting blown out expectations. So that is a little chicken/egg thing.
    – Coach-D
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 5:31
  • Hmm. I can't think of a source i've run into to identify percentage of fans for one team or another; I suppose the only way I can think of would be to run an analysis on the apparent home field advantage in specific games that have a fairly well known travelling fan base versus a team that's not very well represented at home (think CHI@ARI and situations like that where there are likely more Bears fans at the game than Cardinals fans). But I think you'd be hamstrung by a combination of insufficient specificity and better teams -> more fans -> hard to say.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 16:53
  • This is tagged american-football so this isn't necessarily an answer, but this write-up by The Arc shows every single team in the AFL gets a large increase in umpiring decisions going their way when playing at home (something that clearly isn't a "ground" advantage). Notably, the only team+venue combination that has a notable negative correlation is Geelong playing a "home" game at the MCG, a stadium in a different city where the "home" fans will almost always be outnumbered. I expect that this holds up for almost any sport.
    – Sellyme
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 11:46


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