The Portland Trail Blazers have long been known for their loud arena and passionate fans. A statistical comparison is showing that the support may make a difference too. Michael Lopez and the folks at StatsbyLopez have compiled data from the four major American sports leagues, and it turns out the Blazers rank 5th overall in Estimated Homecourt Advantage among all professional teams.
The methodology and full chart of professional teams can be found through the link. Blazers fans will want to note the following:
- NBA homecourt advantage outstrips all other leagues. Though MLB, the NFL, and NHL were also charted, NBA franchises occupy the top 30 spots on the list.
- Homecourt advantage is not automatically an indicator of overall success. The Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Golden State Warriors all ranked above the Blazers, but so did the Sacramento Kings.
- The Western Conference appears to have the edge over the Eastern in homecourt advantage. 7 of the top 10 “advantage” teams came from the West. 8 of the lowest 10 teams play in the East.
The article points out that homecourt advantage can make an out-sized difference.
Take the NBA, where the difference between the best home advantage (Denver, Utah) and the worst (Brooklyn) is enormous. The estimates above average out to be roughly 2.5 extra wins per year, in expectation, that Denver and Utah get that Brooklyn doesn’t, just by virtue of where the teams play. Using back-of-envelope calculations with respect to the value of a win in the NBA, the home advantage for Denver and Utah is worth about $5 million annually.
Go ahead and read the article, then cheer louder, Blazers fans!