- With the NBA continuing their season from the bubble in Orlando, many might be surprised to learn that the ‘home’ team is winning at a higher clip than they do on their actual home courts.
- Reasons for this anomaly are unsure, but bettors looking for an edge could note the impressive work by the league to enact a home-court environment.
ORLANDO, Fla. – With every team playing in the same stadium, sleeping in the same hotels, and enduring the same commute, one would think that home-field advantage effectively has no meaning on play in the NBA bubble.
Surprisingly, new data has shown that this has not been the case.
According to a new article drafted by Matt Moore of the NY Daily News, the “home” team in the NBA bubble has been winning at a higher percentage than when playing in their actual home cities, pre-bubble.
These stats are extremely baffling to some experts, who can’t seem to find a reason that teams with no fans to support, no locker room familiarity, and no comforts of home would be winning at a higher rate.
Bubble home teams have won 56.2% of their games, compared to 55.1% outside of the bubble.
While that 1% doesn’t seem like much to some, the number jumps up significantly when two teams with over 60% win percentage face off.
Bubble home teams with over 60% win percentage against other teams also with at least a 60% win percentage are winning 60.7% of their games, compared to only 56.6% in standard home arenas.
The trend is also apparent to those betting NBA point spreads who will be looking for action in the playoffs.
Bubble home teams are winning 56.2% of their games against the spread, compared to 55.1% in their standard home court settings.
So is this just an NBA thing, or does it extend outside of the Association to the other leagues playing in a bubble format?
The MLS saw the rise of Orlando City in their technical home city during their MLS is Back tournament, but that is more likely due to a comfort level with the Central Florida heat since soccer is played outdoors.
The MLS home teams went 21-30 during the MLS is Back tournament.
Unfortunately, the same sort of success has not extended to the Orlando Magic, who fell to the No. 8 seed in the bubble after losing star forward Jonathan Isaac to injury.
The NHL is playing in a bubble of their own in Canada but has not seen the same results. So far, the home team in the NHL has gone 12-13 in the Playoffs.
So what is the NBA doing that could be causing this?
Well, one reason could be the extensive work being done by the media and fan experience crews at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The NBA brought in some of the best media teams in the country from multiple NBA teams to create a beautiful and unique digital environment for each team that plays a “home” game.
This includes the same graphics, sound cues, and PA voices that the teams are familiar with in their home arenas.
When the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler scores a basket, he is celebrated with his name in flames flashing across the arena.
The same is true when the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George nails a three-pointer and the “ka-ching” of a cash register is heard, just like at Staples Center.
While these little add-ins could be just fluff, the numbers are hard to deny.
As any online sportsbook bettor knows, any advantage is worth investigation. Bettors now might have one more edge to factor in heading into the NBA playoffs.
Bettors looking for an edge in their spread bets should consider the 4% margin that benefits the home team against the spread.
While this might not win the biggest bet outright, volume bettors would be remiss to ignore this information.
Jimmy began his journalistic journey as a stat recorder and PA announcer for his middle school baseball team. Full of experience across print, broadcast, and sports radio, he brings his knowledge and toolkit to the LegalSportsBetting team. You can find him watching sports, making parlays, and listening to music on any day ending in Y.