down cross right results icon premium content video video hollow icon audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner arrow-down
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo betfair logo tote logo 888sport logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers:
  • View offer
    £10 welcome offer
    Claim this offer
    UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we'll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleaware.org
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/?10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/?15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
  • View offer
    £50 in free bets, when you place a £10 bet
    Claim this offer
    New customers only. First single & e/w bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 5 x £10 bet token. available till 16:40 19/06. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets for horse racing only. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
  • View offer
    £20 risk free first bet
    Claim this offer
    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. 18+ T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim this offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. This sports promotion cannot be used in conjunction with another Ladbrokes.com sports or gaming promotion. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets & a £10 Casino Bonus
    Claim this offer
    Bet £10, get £30 in free bets PLUS another £10 casino bonus. New customers only ? Min deposit £10 ? A qualifying bet is a 'real money' stake of at least £10 ? Min odds 1/2 (1.5) ? Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days ? £30 free bets + £10 casino bonus ? Free Bet stakes not included in returns ? Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time ? Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Get up to £100 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. This sports promotion cannot be used in conjunction with another Coral.co.uk sports or gaming promotion. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. This sports promotion cannot be used in conjunction with another Coral.co.uk sports or gaming promotion. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £50 in sports free bets
    Claim this offer
    Place a single £/?10 Sportsbook bet and get money back as a free bet if it loses. There are x5 Free Bets available. Max refund per qualifying bet is £/?10. Only deposits made via Credit/Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. This sports promotion cannot be used in conjunction with another Ladbrokes.com sports or gaming promotion. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/?10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/?15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £50 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Place a single £10 Sportsbook bet and get money back as a free bet if it loses. There are x5 Free Bets available. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10. Only deposits made via Credit/Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. 18+ T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim this offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Get £30 in free bets when you place a £5 bet
    Claim this offer
    New customers only. First single & e/w bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 6 x £5 bet token. free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets redeemable on horse racing only. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further t&cs apply. 18+. begambleaware.org.

What has happened to ground advantage without fans in Premier League and beyond?

Figures vary across the divisions

Visitors to Old Trafford have been greeted by empty stands
1 of 1

Cast your mind back to the days before coronavirus. There were spectators in football grounds. For many games the impact on the win/draw/loss odds of the difference in ability between the teams should have been smaller than the impact of the venue.

How many games? It varied from competition to competition and from season to season. Typically? Maybe a third of games. So the venue should have been a significant consideration for football bettors.

Then coronavirus came along. Fans were banned. How has playing games in empty stadiums affected ground advantage? It is not a simple question to answer.

Let us start with the Premier League.

This season there have been 103 home wins and 108 away wins. Home teams have scored 366 goals, away teams have scored 357 goals. Ground advantage seems to have disappeared.

Last season, though, the relationship between home and away wins and the relationship between home and away goals was the same without fans as it had been with fans.

How can we explain this? You might say that playing without spectators was a novelty last season and teams did not know what to make of it but this season they have got used to it. You might be right. But then, how can we reconcile the stats from the Premier League with the completely opposite stats from the Championship?

There are different ways of contrasting scores by venue. Nearly always they tell a similar story. I am going to use home goals percentage – home goals as a percentage of all goals. And I am going to round it to the nearest whole number.

In the Premier League this season home teams have scored 51 per cent of all goals. Without fans last season home teams scored 57 per cent of all goals, the same as in the previous ten seasons.

In the Championship this season home teams have scored 55 per cent of all goals. Without fans last season they scored 51 per cent. Across the previous ten seasons they scored 56 per cent.

So the evidence from the Championship is the other way round to the evidence from the Premier League.

What has happened elsewhere in the EFL? League One and League Two did not finish last season. They stopped before the first lockdown and did not resume. In the ten seasons before last season home teams scored 55 per cent of all goals in League One and in League Two. This season they have scored 51 per cent in League One and 54 per cent in League Two.

So the Premier League has been different from the Championship, which has been different from League One, which has been different from League Two.

This is why science is so often wrong, especially social science. Drawing right conclusions about human behaviour is not easy. A social scientist can ask a question and try to answer it by gathering data on a group of people. Their research methods might conform to current best practice. Their maths might be flawless. But if they had studied another group of people they could have found something else.

You might point out that League Two is a lower level than League One, which is a lower level than the Championship, which is a lower level than the Premier League. The Premier League, you might think, is better compared with the top division in other big countries in western Europe. You might be right.

What has happened in Spain in La Liga, in Italy in Serie A, in Germany in the Bundesliga and in France in Ligue 1?

In La Liga in the ten seasons from 2009-10 to 2018-19 the home goals percentage was 58 per cent. Without fans last season it was 54 per cent and this season it has been 54 per cent. So this season has been the same as last season. Ground advantage seems to have halved.

In Serie A in the ten seasons 2009-10 to 2018-19 home goals percentage was 57 per cent. Without fans last season it was 54 per cent and this season it has been 54 per cent. Again this season has been the same as last season. Ground advantage seems to have almost halved.

Ligue 1 did not finish last season. Like the bottom two divisions of the EFL in England, it stopped and did not return. In the ten seasons before last season home goals percentage was 58 per cent. This season it has been 51 per cent. There ground advantage seems to have all but disappeared.

The Bundesliga was the first major league to restart last season. In the ten seasons 2009-10 to 2018-19 home goals percentage was 56 per cent. Without fans last season it was 46 per cent. Away teams scored more goals than home teams. This season home goals percentage has been 53 per cent. Home teams have scored more goals than away teams, though not as many more as they did before.

Why has the experience of playing in empty stadiums differed from time to time, from competition to competition and from country to country?

This is my best guess. It is only a guess. Anyone who tells you they know is deceiving themselves or you, maybe both. My best guess is that when football at a high level has been played without fans ground advantage has been reduced but not eliminated – reduced by an amount we cannot quantify accurately, around which there has been a lot of noisesome variation.

To be safe, I suggest you still make some allowance for ground advantage if you are thinking of backing an away team, but not if you are thinking of backing a home team.

Crowds cannot influence results directly. Only players and officials can do this. Crowds probably can influence results indirectly by encouraging or intimidating players and officials.

Players were conditioned into performing differently home and away. They may still be doing so to a smaller extent, in some places getting less than they deserve and in other places more. Whether they would carry on doing so if stadiums remained empty for a really long time we do not know. Hopefully we will not have to find out. Let us cast our minds forward now to better days that may lie ahead.


Sign up to Sky Bet and get £30 in free bets when you place a £5 bet

First single & EW bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org

CLAIM OFFER HERE


MORE FREE BETS


Sign up to emails from Racing Post Sport and get all the latest news and tips

Today's top sports betting stories

Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport

I suggest you make some allowance for ground advantage if you are thinking of backing an away team, but not if you are thinking of backing a home team
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Boylesport
888sport