Home Court Advantage (HCA)

The home-court advantage (HCA) is the net effect of several factors that may have a generally positive effect on the play of the home team and a generally negative effect on the play of the road team.

Possible Sources of Home Court Advantage in Basketball:

  • Psychological support of the fans,
  • Comfort of being at home, rather than traveling,
  • Referees give home teams the benefit of the doubt,
  • Teams are familiar with particulars/eccentricities of their home court,
  • Different distributions of rest between home and road teams.

Calculating The Home Court Advantage:
Subtracting one team’s power rating from another can help to predict point differential between the two teams. Unless the game is being played at a neutral site the “home court advantage” factor needs to be incorporated for more accurately predicting the point differential of a game.

Knowing the distribution of the teams’ home and road performances provides predictive information on estimating home-court advantage. The probability of a “random point is picked in the home team’s point distribution being greater than the random point picked in road team’s point distribution” gives an estimate of the home-court advantage. Home Court Advantage is usually valued at 3-5 points.

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