Road-field advantage continues in the NFL, with home teams now 65-70 in 2021

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
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There is no home-field advantage in the NFL.

Home teams are now 65-70 in the 2021 season, after going 5-7 on Sunday. It’s the second consecutive season that road teams have had a better record than home teams; for the full 2020 regular season, home teams went 127-128-1.

The 2020 season was the first time in NFL history that road teams won more games than home teams, but the trend toward home-field advantage disappearing began before 2020. In 2019, home teams went just 132-123-1, which was the worst cumulative record for home teams since the advent of the 16-game schedule — until home teams did even worse in 2020 and are now on pace to do worse still in 2021.

Gamblers and sports books were among the first to notice the decline in home-field advantage. For decades, the rule of thumb was that home-field advantage was worth about three points on the Vegas line. In the last couple years, that shifted to two points. It’s now around one point.

During the 2020 season, some blamed the disappearance of home-field advantage on empty stadiums in the pandemic. But that’s not the reason, as the trend toward road teams doing better began before the pandemic and has continued this season, with stadiums full again.

NFL teams seem to be getting better at silent counts to negate crowd noise, and better at finding ways to travel comfortably and achieve peak performance whether they’re at home or on the road. In today’s NFL, there’s no real difference to playing at home.