What is Closing Line Value (CLV)

The world of sports betting is full of variety of options, and even experienced bettors may not know all the betting variants. One of the most interesting concepts in betting is the closing line, the method that may improve the quality of bets and increase the likelihood of profitable outcomes. In this article, we are to reveal the nature of the closing line, as well as disclose some tips on how to use it.

What is the Closing Line Value?

The Closing Line Value (or CLV) means a concept playing an important role in the world of sports betting. CLV reflects the difference between the initial odds set for an event, and the ones set by the bookmakers just before the start of the event. In other words, the closing line shows how well the bettor analyzed the event and calculated the prospects of the bet at an early stage.

CLV examples

Let's say a bettor decides to bet on a Arsenal vs Fulham football (soccer) match of the new Premier League season. Initially, the bookmaker has set the -225 odds for the Arsenal team's win. However, closer to the beginning of the match, this odds has dropped down to the -450 level. In the event of the bettor having wagered a bet on the home team win at the -225 odds, and the closing line has stopped at the -450 level, we get the bettor's analytics turning out to be better than the bookmaker's ones. In this case, the bettor's bet with CLV is to be considered more valuable and based.

The closing line serves as an important indicator of the effectiveness of the betting strategy and analytical skills of the bettor.

How to Calculate the CLV?

To calculate the closing line, one must be aware of 2 important points: the position of the line at the time of the bet, and the odds at the time the moneyline was closed. In this case, there are 3 approaches to the CLV analysis, each of them involving the use of different mathematical methods:

  1. "Dollars and pennies value".
  2. Probability of success in percentage.
  3. Estimated expected CLV.

Let's take a look at each of these methods one by one.

Important note: you will be able to get a good CLV by any of those methods, the main thing is to close the bet at a higher odds.

"Dollars and pennies value"

This method of calculation of the closing line is considered the simplest one, and it is most frequently used. However, it only applies to betting on the winner of the event. The essence of the method is how much money the bettor receives with the help of the CLV. Namely, a decrease in odds after wagering a bet goes "to the bettor's hands".

Let's take a bettor wagering a $1,000 betting stake at +250 odds, and by the time the line is closed, the quotes for the same event have dropped down to the +190 level. Now we have that the bettor is able to win $600 more than with the "last moment" betting.

Probability of success in percentage

This method of calculation of the CLV is based on comparing the percentage probability of success of two opposite lines.

Let's consider that a bettor place bet on the home team to win at -150 odds, which means 60% of probability. If before the start of the event the quotes decreased to -200, the probability of success is also to change. becoming 66.7%. Now we are able to calculate the percentage value of the closing line: 66.7% - 60% = 6.7%. As we can see, the bettor has gotten a 6.7% better probability value at the rate of -150, than it might have gotten at the real probability of the quote (60%).

A simple rule works in this method: decrease of odds leads to an increase in the probability of successful outcome of the event. But even with all things considered, an early bet allows the bettor to get the same probability of success at a higher odds.

Estimated expected CLV

This method shows an actual increase in the probability of success due to an early entry into the bet. It derives from the previous one, but goes just a little bit further. We have a 67% increase in the chances of winning. Now we are to divide it by the break-even point for the selected bet in order to get the expected CLV profit.

In our example, the following calculation is to be executed: 6.7% / 60% = 11.16%.

How to Calculate Closing Line Without the Vig?

How to Calculate Closing Line Without the Vig?

The closing line can also be easily calculated without the bookmaker's margin. There are lots of online calculators to use, but we will show you an example of calculation on a real match: let's take the Pittsburgh vs Columbus NHL match. At this moment, Pittsburgh has a +180 odds against -220 of Columbus'.

Now we need to convert the quotes to the probability of winning so we get to calculate the bookmaker's margin. To get a line without the bookie's margin, one needs to divide both probabilities by the total amount. We then convert said values into a "fair probability" to use to calculate the closing line.

Moneyline Probability incl. margin Probability excl. margin Fair quotes
+180 35.7% 34.16% 193
-220 68.8% 65.84% -193
Total probability 104.5%    




In our case, we may get a positive expected value (+EV) in case a bettor bets on the win of Pittsburgh at a 193 odds or more, as wel as in case it bets on the win of Columbus at quotes no less than -193. Both bets will be considered well-done.

How to Beat the Closing Line

An experienced bettor strives to get the most out of bets, and one of the key methods to achieve such goal is the ability to beat the closing line. This indicator represents the final quotes set by the bookies before the start of the event. So how one should operate the available data with more success, and secure an advantage in the betting market? There are several important points to consider:

  • analysis and anticipation: one way to get around the closing line is to carefully analyze the market before the odds reach their final value. By studying trends, statistics and other factors, the bettor will be able to predict how the line changes, and wager its bets up to that point.
  • speed and responsiveness: prompt reaction to price fluctuations is an important advantage in beating the closing line. You should use technological tools provided by the bookmakers, or use third-party services to quickly respond to odds changes.
  • traps and emotions: avoid "traps" set by the bookies, as well as any emotional decision when betting. This is especially true for bets wagered in the last minutes before the start of the event. It is of the most importance to stick to your strategies, and analyze the situation objectively.

Basically, winning over the closing line requires lability, analytical skills and quick reaction times. The effective use of the above methods is to help you wager more successful and profitable bets.

How to Track Closing Line Value

How to Track Closing Line Value

Tracking the closing line is considered an important aspect of success in sports betting, as it allows the bettor to assess the accuracy of the predictions and the timing of betting. We have prepared a simple guide for you to track the CLVs:

  1. Writing down initial values: start by noting down the odds and the line at the time the bet was wagered. Write down the bookmaker, the details of the event, and the specific line you've bet on.
  2. Writing down the closing line: As the event approaches, follow the changes in odds at different bookmakers. Write down the final closing odds for the most profitable line among all bookies available.
  3. Comparison: after the start of the event, compare the opening quotes with the closing ones. Calculate the difference in odds or line changes.
  4. Assessment: a positive CLV indicates that the odds chosen by the bettor are better than they were before the start of the event. A positive CLV indicates that your predictive skills are fine, and you have gotten the best quotes. A negative CLV means that you have not chosen the best time to bet.
  5. Regular tracking: track and record data from the line for various events to improve your knowledge of the odds fluctuation, and find the best time to bet.
  6. Use of metrics: you can use various metrics such as "CLV%" (percentage of bets with positive closing lines), "Average CLV" (average difference between your odds and quotes at the closing line), and "Total CLV" (the total amount of all values of the closing line) to assess your success.

Remember that a consistently positive CLV indicates that you have a good understanding of the betting market and are making sound bets. However, the closing line itself does not guarantee success while still being an important metric. In order to profit from betting in the long run, it is to be combined with wise management of your bankroll, along with working strategies.

Why Is CLV Important?

The value of the closing line is of great importance, it being considered an indication of how well a bettor manages its bets in the long run. A positive CLV indicates that the bettor is able to wager its bets in time, and at more favorable quotes.

CLV illustrates the effectiveness of a bettor's analysis of the market, its prediction of the changes in odds. The indicator helps to assess the tracking strategy, the ability to identify price gaps in the market. In case of a positive CLV, the bettor gets an advantage over the market, which, accordingly, may lead to higher profitability in the long run.

Following the closing line also allows the bettor to track its progress in betting, and adjust its active strategies. It is important to remember that the CLV is one of many metrics helping assess the overall betting success, and using it in conjunction with other analytical methods can provide a better overall image of a bettor's performance.

BetWasp, the Best Surebet Service

Clearly, tracking the closing line is an important factor in successful betting, but using third-party services for analysis and betting is a more effective solution in a long run.

One of the best betting services is the BetWasp, the scanner helping the bettors not only to control CLVs, but also to catch profitable surebets and value bets. If you intend to get the maximum benefit from your bets, you must surely use the BetWasp.

Oleg Borshchev
Having a huge wealth of knowledge and 11 years of betting proficiency, Oleg kindly shares his tips and experience in our blog. In his articles, you'll learn more about different strategies and bet types, as well as find a lot of useful advices and tips.
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