Home field was no advantage, home teams went 127-128-1 in 2020 season

Los Angeles Chargers v Buffalo Bills
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There was no home-field advantage in the NFL in the 2020 season.

Home teams actually had an under .500 record in 2020: Via Nora Princiotti of TheRinger.com, home teams were 127-128-1, the worst cumulative record for home teams in NFL history.

What caused that decline? The obvious answer is the absence of fans, with many games played in empty stadiums and stadiums that had fans present at much less than capacity. But that may not be the only explanation.

It’s worth noting that in 2019, before the pandemic, when the crowds were as loud as ever, home teams went just 132-123-1, the worst cumulative record for home teams since 1972. The trend toward home-field advantage mattering less in the NFL began before the pandemic.

The Vegas oddsmakers noticed the decline in home-field advantage before this season. For decades, the rule of thumb was that home field was worth about three points on the Vegas line. In the last couple years, that shifted to two points. This year it was one point.

Teams around the NFL may be getting better at finding ways to travel comfortably and achieve peak performance whether they’re at home or on the road. And that won’t change when the fans come back.