I always get annoyed when someone walks in on me watching the footie on the telly and they ask me “Which of these two teams is playing at home?” I mean really, the order of the teams as displayed on the score-line always lists the home team first, but I guess that’s just one of the many things a lot of people who claim to be sports enthusiasts still have to learn. Anyway, speaking of home teams and away teams, as a sports fanatic who also loves to travel, I truly believe I’ve now witnessed with my own two eyes exactly what it means to enjoy home ground advantage.
Sure, there’s always the numbers element in which any home team naturally gets allocated lots more tickets to fill up the stadium with and the fans duly oblige to make the environment a very hostile one for the visiting team and even for their fans. But even in the case of the away team known to have many travelling supporters who go a long way in neutralising the numbers element, there are just many other aspects of what home ground advantage can do for the team which is hosting the match.
You watch a team like Barcelona FC visiting the Emirates and you expect the Catalans to run away with the tie with a score line that’s closer to a tennis score and yet somehow the Gunners manage to get one over their rivals (although they usually lose the second leg of the tie by a bigger score). That’s because of home ground advantage, but that home ground advantage still needs to be used properly in order for it to yield whatever advantage the hosting team can get over their visitors.
Everything has to be within the confines of the fair play code of the game however, but even what can be described to as the best bookmaker for football betting, William Hill, knows all too well that every little detail counts. Thus they work home ground advantage into the odds they offer on their sports betting platform.
Simple things like how the town is painted with the home team’s colours can throw the visiting team off and instil a bit of nervousness in them, enough to affect their performance on the field and you see this particularly with continental football ties like those which form part of the Uefa Champtions League or even the Ueft Europa League.
However, it is as a travelling fan when you truly experience what home ground advantage means for a sports team in that while you’re made to feel welcome in the city you and your team are visiting, there’s always a lingering air of hostility looming up above. You might even be made to use an entrance to the stadium which will have you along with your fellow travelling support-base filing into the stadium so slowly that you miss the kick-off, with the annoyance resulting from that translating into your frustration for your team.
Home ground advantage definitely plays a huge role in determining the outcome of a match and so it should probably be incorporated into any sports betting strategy.