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The Home factor is even more important on elimination matches

The Home factor is even more important on elimination matches

When you are analyzing elimination matches, take into account the advantage of playing at home!

On this article we will analyze the statistics of the 2013 and 2014 Copa Libertadores, as well as some real examples!

On this post, I want to share with you something that I have been observing for a while and that has netted me money already.

When you are analysing an elimination match, take into account the advantage of playing at home!

This aspect is much more important on elimination matches than on normal (point based) championships. Even when the away team is the favourite, think twice before placing a bet backing them.

On elimination matches, the teams who play away tend to close up on their mid-field to better cover their defences with the objective of not conceding goals leaving everything to be decided at home, with their fans backing them.

Even more, the home team players on a knock out match tend to play beyond their abilities, they play harder and they run longer trough the 90 minutes without worrying about their physical condition.

The Copa Libertadores example:

The Copa Libertadores changed its format in 2013, so we will start our analysis from there!

On the 2013 edition we had 54% of home team wins, which accounts for 74 of all the 138 played matches. On the 2014 edition however we had 58% home wins, 80 of all the 138 matches played.

We can easily find these statistics using the Academy Advanced Statistics page.


If we want to refine our research excluding the "2nd round” matches, which consist of 4 team groups of which only the top 2 advance, no longer elimination matches then, the stats further reinforce the idea that the home factor is very important!

  American Copa Libertadores 2013
  nº matches % nº matches % nº matches %
1st Round 7 58% 4 33% 1 8%
2nd Round group matches (non elimination)
Top 16 10 63% 2 13% 4 25%
Top 8 2 25% 5 63% 1 13%
Semi-finals 4 100% 0 0% 0 0%
Finals 2 100% 0 0% 0 0%
total elimination matches 25 60% 11 26% 6 14%

  American Copa Libertadores 2014
  nº matches % nº matches % nº matches %
1st Round 10 83% 0 0% 2 17%
2nd Round group matches (non elimination)
Top 16 7 44% 6 38% 3 19%
Top 8 4 50% 3 38% 1 13%
Semi-finals 4 100% 0 0% 0 0%
Finals 1 50% 1 50% 0 0%
total elimination matches 26 62% 10 24% 6 14%

Note: The above data only considers wins within the 90 minutes of regular play because only those count to normal 1x2 bets. Extra time or penalty shoot out wins were considered draws on the above results.

I'm sure you remember some great South American elimination matches?

2013/2014 were especially exciting 2013/2014. On 23/01/2013, São Paulo beats Bolivar 5x0 at home, and a week later loses 3x4 away. On a top 16 match, Tigre 2 Olímpia 1 and two weeks later, Olímpia 2 Tigre 0.


And this is only the beginning.

Who of us doesn’t remember the thrilling Atletico Mineiro matches on the 2013 Libertadores cup? We surely remember their game against Tijuana! The first encounter ended 2x2 and the Atletico fan base thought: it’s easy now, we just have to fill the stands and celebrate passing into the semi-finals, football however, has a tendency to ruin plans, the match turns south for the home team and at the 90 minute mark the games was tied 1x1 and Tijuana only needed one more goal to advance. On the final minutes of the game a miracle happens Tijuana is awarded a penalty and all of their players go crazy, they were one small step away from reaching the semis, they just had to convert the penalty and the open spot would be theirs. On the other side the greatest of disappointments, all their effort had been in vain, they surely forgot that there was at least one person who had not given up, just as the striker Riascos was sure that he would score, Victor believed he could stop him, surely enough he did and the home team’s fans got more hyped on that save than any of the goals scored so far.

My theories about the home team being the favourite on elimination matches only got stronger with the 2014 Copa Brasil.

First match, Corinthians 2 Atlético 0 and another great spectacle is expected at Minas Gerais. A packed stadium hoping for a miracle 3x0 Atletico win, total disappointment, at the 5 minute mark Guerreiro opens the score board and completely silences the venue, the home team does not give up though and ends up drawing 24 minutes into the game going on to win it 4x1.

After that it’s Flamengo’s turn to win at home 2x0 putting Atletico once again on the back foot saving the big plays for their home ground. And what happens? Flamengo opens the hostilities 34 minutes in silencing the Independencia stadium. Some higher force was protecting that Atletico team though and once again they turn it around after the break winning it 4-1 going on to the final where they would defeat Cruzeiro and grab the Cup.

Taking into account these examples and many other I followed, I am convinced that elimination matches have a totally different mystic, something that runs through the player's veins and makes them run like madmen.

Hoping to have contributed to our knowledge I say goodbye.

Big hugs to everyone!


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