What is the home court advantage really worth in the NBA? If you’ve looked around, you’ve probably heard a lot of different answers. The problem with most of those answers is that they are taking a cumulative look at the advantage a team gets when playing at home (the league average is about three points). That simply is not helpful when handicapping NBA games. Are you telling me that the Lakers have the exact same home court edge as the Hornets? Of course not. The fact is that the advantage is markedly different for every team. I looked back at over 25,000 regular season NBA games to see what the actual advantage has been for each NBA team.
We’ll start by looking at how each team scores at home versus on the road, then look at the differences to find out just how good each team has been at home. There are a few things to remember. First, teams obviously change. The Miami Heat in the 1980s is not equal to the present-day Miami Heat and I am well aware of that, but it is simply something that can’t be factored in for these purposes.
Next, just because a team on this list shows a great home court advantage, it doesn’t mean their court is the toughest to play on. What it could mean is that some of these teams are just terrible on the road and average at home. On the other hand, teams with a “poor” home court advantage aren’t necessarily bad at home, it might just be that they are good both at home and on the road, so their margin at home versus away just isn’t as far apart.
Remember, this isn’t trying to show you who is the best team at home, rather, it should show which teams play significantly better at home than they do on the road. That is what we here are Boyds Bets use use to our benefit.
Home Court Advantage in the NBA