Fri 14/04/2017 - 09:07 EDT

NBA Playoffs: How Much Does Home Court Advantage Matter

NBA Playoffs: How Much Does Home Court Advantage Matter

By Liam Davis

Philosophically, home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs is a big deal. Teams scrap and claw to get the best postseason seed possible so that they can play more at home, in front of their own fans, where they are presumably most comfortable.

This logic tracks. Teams play better at home. Not a single squad posted more wins on the road than they did at home during the 2016-17 regular season. It's the same deal across all sports. 


According to, in fact, teams who host Game 1s at home, meaning they have home-court advantage, go on to win the series more than 67  percent of the time. Two-thirds of all postseason samples.

And let's take it one step further, looking only at teams that win Game 1. 

In the NBA specifically, teams that have taken Game 1 go on to win the series almost 77 percent of the time. More than three-quarters of the entire sample

Some of these teams, of course, might have won Game 1 on the road. So let's narrow it down even further, looking only at teams who hosted Game 1 at home. These squads win those initial tilts 68 percent of the time, and then they go on to win the entire series 85 percent of the time.

That's just absurd. And it highlights the importance playing on your own turf. Setting the tone of a series is important, and you're more likely to do that in a positive fashion while playing on familiar grounds.

Failing that, you just want to make sure the most high-stakes games are played where you are most comfortable—i.e. Game 7s. 

And yet, there is a dwindling level of dominance in home-court situations overall. We don't see NBA teams gunning for positioning as much as we did in years past. They are more likely to rest players down the stretch than chase an extra jump. That's what the Cleveland Cavaliers did this year, essentially ceding first place in the Eastern Conference to the Boston Celtics.

On many levels, it's a confidence thing.

The Cavaliers, for example, won't have qualms about playing a potential Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals on the Celtics' home court. They are experienced enough not to care. They erased a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in last year's NBA Finals, which included winning a decisive Game 7 on the road.

But it's not just the Cavaliers, Warriors and San Antonio Spurs of the world showing a burgeoning disregard for home-court advantage. It's most of the league.

Consider this stat from's Tom Haberstroh: Back in the 1987-88, home teams won nearly 68 percent of all their games. Fast forward to now, roughly 30 years later, and home squads emerge victorious slightly more than 57 percent of the time—an all-time low.

So yes, home-court advantage still matters, and it counts for more when you are in a win-or-go-home situation. But it doesn't carry the cachet it once did. Not in the age of modern-day travel and rest. Players are fresher, regardless of where they are playing. They aren't only getting more time off in between games, but many of them, like those on the Spurs' roster, have been receiving off nights throughout the regular season.

Don't misinterpret this to mean it's meaningless. Again, home teams are dominant in Game 1 throughout history. And after winning Game 1, home teams are 68 percent more likely to win Game 2 as well, per

And that 2-0 hole is important, often insurmountable. Road teams who fall behind in a series 2-0 typically win Game 3, when they've moved to their own court, but they end up dropping the best-of-seven series 94 percent of the time.

Keep all this in mind as you're watching the 2017 NBA playoffs unfold. The best teams won't fear playing away from home, on foreign hardhood, in front of enemy fans. But they're not going to enjoy it, either.

Results / FixturesNBA

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : 2017 NBA Playoffs , cleveland cavaliers , Golden State Warriors , nba

More articles...
Betting Picks - 18/01/22
Australian Open 2022 Betting Picks - Mens & Women's Winners 
Australian Open 2022 Betting Picks - Mens & Women's Winners

The first Grand Slam tournament of 2022 is upon us and without the world's number one Novak Djokovic, it's a wide-open field for the men's game.

It's also the first Grand Slam for Naomi Osaka since her troubles last year, and with no Serena Williams either all the women will feel they have a chance to secure the first major of the season.

We'll take a look at the best bets for the Australian Open tournament that ends next weekend and see if we can earn you some extra cash from the tournament.

Betting Picks - 12/01/22
NFL Wildcard Playoffs 2022 Betting Picks 
NFL Wildcard Playoffs 2022 Betting Picks

We're into the business end of the season now as the NFL Wildcard round is upon us with some high-stakes games to be played this weekend.

Those games include a huge game between the San Francisco 49ers as they take on the Dallas Cowboys, while the New England Patriots will look to overcome the odds and reach the playoffs by beating Buffalo Bills.

Let's take a look at the best betting picks for these two games and see if we can earn you some cash from these exciting football games.

Betting Picks - 07/01/22
UFC 270 Betting Picks - Ciryl Gane Slight Favourite to Beat Francis Ngannou 
UFC 270 Betting Picks - Ciryl Gane Slight Favourite to Beat Francis Ngannou

The UFC is back for 2022 and the first numbered card of the year is headlined by the top two heavyweights in the world as undisputed champion Francis Ngannou takes on interim champion Ciryl Gane.

Live from the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California on January 20th, the two most feared men in the organization will go head-to-head in a five-round war to crown the undisputed best heavyweight in the world right now.

We'll take a look at the betting odds for the bout and see what picks we can find to earn you some bonus cash for the new year.

Betting Picks - 07/01/22
NFL 2021 Week 18 Betting Picks 
NFL 2021 Week 18 Betting Picks

The NFL is back once again for Week 18 and there are some stellar matchups for fans to sink their teeth into at the start of the new year.

Among them will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, without Antonio Brown after last week's walk-out, take on the Carolina Panthers, while we'll also see Washington go head-to-head with the New York Giants.

Let's take a look at the best bets for those big games and see if we can get you some extra cash for the new year after the holidays.