Since 2003, home teams in the regular season have gone 2029-1511 (57.3%) straight-up. In the playoffs, the team with home field advantage has won 62.1% of their games (87-53). Every team wants home field advantage in the playoffs.
The New England Patriots enjoyed a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs last year. The Pats are projected to finish with the best record in 2017. Once again, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxborough.
To create our projections, we simulated the 2017 NFL season 10,000 times using team projections and adjusting for Strength of Schedule.
The defending champions are twice as likely to earn home field advantage as any other team in football. The Pats have a 58.8% chance of playing two postseason games in Gillette Stadium. According to the simulations, there is an 80.2% chance Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have a 1st Round bye. Since 2003, the Patriots are 9-1 straight-up and 6-4 ATS after a playoff bye.
Chasing New England is the Pittsburgh Steelers who have a 38.9% chance of a bye and a 16.9% chance of earning the top seed in the AFC. The last time Big Ben had a bye the Steelers went to the Super Bowl in 2011. The Raiders might have earned a week off in the playoffs last season if it weren’t for Derek Carr’s leg injury in Week 16. Oakland has a 16.4% chance of getting a bye in 2017 and a 7.5% chance of home field advantage.
In the NFC, the Seahawks (28.4%) are the favorites to finish with the top seed. Russell Wilson is 5-0 straight-up at home in the playoffs. However, the Packers (19.5%) and Cowboys (12.4%) aren’t far behind. Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott are 3-3 straight-up playing in front of their fans in the postseason. There are six teams with double-digit odds to earn a first round bye.
Byes and home field advantage matter, here are each team’s chance of earning them in the playoffs.
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Home Field Advantage and 1st Round Bye Projections
|Team||1st Round Bye||Home Field Advantage|
|New England Patriots||80.2||58.8|
|Green Bay Packers||35.7||19.5|
|New York Giants||9.8||4.3|
|Kansas City Chiefs||10.4||3.4|
|New Orleans Saints||7.3||2.9|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||1.9|
|Los Angeles Chargers||3||0.8|
|Los Angeles Rams||0.7||0.3|
|San Francisco 49ers||0.2||0.03|
|New York Jets||0.1||0.03|