The Importance of Home-Court Advantage

» March 25, 2009 10:21 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

From Steve Aschburner of

Teams with the home-court edge win NBA playoff series at a 77.2 percent clip, based on the results of the 373 matchups since 1984. That’s better than house odds in Vegas, better than the league’s free-throw percentage. It’s notably better than the current regular-season stats, too, in which home teams have won 60.2 percent of the time (637 victories in 1,058 games so far).

And while it’s one thing for first-round teams starting at home to win 78.2 percent of their series — the gaps between the first and eighth, or second and seventh, seeds should be considerable — it’s quite another for the pattern to hold in subsequent, presumably more balanced rounds. Seventy-nine of the 100 conference semifinals — in other words, 79 percent — have gone toward the team with more home games at its disposal, along with 70 percent (35 of 50) of conference finals. In the Finals, it’s 19 of 25, or 76 percent.

Last spring, the home team won 57 of 75 postseason games (76 percent), and the teams with the home court won 13 of the 15 series.

2 Responses to “The Importance of Home-Court Advantage”

  1. Basketballogy Says:

    This was pretty much stating the obvious. I take that back, this was CONFUSING the obvious.

    Home court advantage is basically another way of saying “the better team over the course of the last 84+ games,” so why would it surprise anyone that the better team wins the series more often?

    What would be helpful is to analyze the number of calls the home team gets compared to the away team.

    Or how much better star or role players play when playing before the home crowd? Are there stats on that?

    Of course the better team with the home court advantage wins more… how ’bout telling us why?

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Great points Tom.

    But do you really feel that the “better team” always owns homecourt advantage?

Leave Your Comment