Host has won 18 of 27 matchups while western team has won 19 of 27. When hosting the western team has won 14 of 19 games. Two of those out of the ordinary western home losses were close games played by a bad San Diego Chargers team. Another was 3 point San Francisco loss to an 11-5 Saints team. Twelve of these Monday night games were won by 14 or more points with ten of those lopsided victories going in the west’s direction.
The home team has won 23 of 35 contests while the western team has won 21 of 35. When hosting, the western team has won 15/21. Eight of the 11 blowout (14 or more point differential) wins were celebrated by the western team The only 3 times the eastern team won in a blowout they were heavy favorites (2007 16-0 Patriots at home against the Chargers, 13-3 Bears at home against 9-7 Seahawks and 14-2 Colts at 10-6 Cardinals).
While the three eastern blowouts were won by heavy favorites, the western blowouts came from a variety of situations. In separate 8-8 seasons, the San Diego Chargers had blowouts against tough opponents (2008 30-10 against 11-5 New England) (2010 36-14 over Indianapolis).
Ahhhh, the night game which no player, team or fan seems to be thrilled with. While it’s been pointed out in the past that the home team has an even greater home field advantage on Thursday Night games than any other game of the week, it gets even more extreme when you throw in the time zone factor.
Looking at the Thursday Night games, I found that overall the home team won 8 of 10 games while the western team has also won 8-10. If you want to pick a winner for a Thursday Night game, then I’d go with picking a western host. Why is that? When hosting and having at least a two time zone advantage, the western team is a perfect 6-0
Five of the ten games were won by 14 or more points. Four of those victories were by the home team and four of those were by the western team.
In order to put the above numbers in perspective, I’ll give you a statistic from sportingcharts.com. In 2015 they wrote that if you were to look at the overall impact of home field advantage in the NFL, you would see that the home team has won 58.04% of the time. If you look at the west home team advantage for these time zone affected games, you can see it’s definitely better than that.
The game with the greatest advantage seems to be the dreaded Thursday Night game. Somehow, Denver, a mountain team with no league opponents who are two times zones away, has managed to play 3 Thursday night games and host 2 of them. For those who are curious, the Broncos are a perfect 3-0 in those games
EXTRA: While researching this time zone effect, I had to pull out all of the Thursday Night Football games which were really Saturday Night Football games. In doing so I realized that of the 16 regular season Saturday Night Football games since 2006, the guest has won 87.5 of the time. That nugget of intel may serve useful in the upcoming weeks. It could also make for a fruitful Christmas Eve if it’s actually just a Saturday thing and not a Saturday Night thing with twelve games on the 24th.
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