What Is CLV In Betting? Closing Line Value Explained

You may have come across the abbreviation CLV in betting before and wondered what it meant. It is essentially one of the most important factors in determining whether a sports bettor is profitable over time or not.

Our experts will give you everything you need to know about CLV – Closing Line Value – and why it is so important, allowing you to make informed decisions during your betting experience.

What Does CLV In Betting Mean?

CLV stands for Closing Line Value, which refers to the gap between the odds when a bet is made and the odds when the event starts. It’s crucial because it accurately shows how successful a sports bettor is.

When sportsbook apps offer a game for betting, they set a line they think reflects both teams fairly. But this line can change.

Before the game starts, the oddsmakers consider the bets placed and any new information about players, weather, or other factors. They then adjust the line accordingly.

The final line before the game starts is called the closing line. Bettors should judge their betting skills by comparing their selected odds to this closing line.

For instance, if a bettor picks the Patriots -3 against the Steelers and the closing line becomes Patriots -3.5, it’s a good bet because it’s better than the final line by half a point.

It’s important to understand that CLV isn’t about whether you win or lose a bet. It just shows if the odds were better or worse when you placed your bet compared to when the event began.

In theory, professional punters and handicappers have said this is the oracle to sustaining long-term profits.

An Example Of a Positive Closing Line Value Bet (Beating the CLV)

Let’s use an NBA example. In a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, the Lakers are listed at -110 on a particular sportsbook, meaning you need to bet $110 to win $100.

But these odds can change before the game begins. Factors like player injuries or weather can influence this. If the odds shift in your favor, it’s called a Positive Closing Line Value.

For instance, if the Lakers’ odds improve to -105 before the game, meaning you only need to bet $105 to win $100, your CLV is +5. This indicates your bet has become more valuable since you placed it, and you have “beat” the CLV.

An Example Of a Negative CLV Bet 

On the flip side, using the same example as above, if the odds shift against you from -110 and rise to -115, you end up with a negative CLV of -5.

This indicates that your bet has lost value since you placed it, putting you at a disadvantage compared to bettors who secured better odds. This is an example of a negative CLV bet.

Why Is The CLV ‘Closing Line Value’ So Important?

CLV is crucial because it tells you how valuable your bet was. It helps you figure out if you made a good decision or not. By checking your CLV against your bets, you can see how well you did. You’ll be able to figure out if your betting plan is effective.

Consistently getting better odds than the closing line over a long period of time shows that your strategy is successful – you’re making wise bets that have been given a better chance of winning by the sportsbooks.

For example, backing a horse to win at 4/1 and the odds shorten to 2/1 before the race. This implies an increase from a 20% chance of winning to a 33.3% chance of winning. But obtaining the 4/1 odds means a bigger payout than a punter who is backing the same bet at 2/1.

What Does Vig and Juice Mean?

Juice, also known as vig, in sports betting, is the fee charged by a sportsbook when you place a bet. This fee ensures that the sportsbook makes a profit, regardless of whether you win or lose your bet.

The more the sportsbooks charge, the more bettors need to wager to make a profit.

It’s straightforward – in sports betting, less juice means better odds for you.

Well-established sportsbooks prefer not to favor one side over another in a game. Instead of risking it all on one team winning, they aim to balance the bets and make a profit regardless of the outcome. This is where the juice comes in.

For example, if the line is -110 for two competing teams and two bettors each wager $10 on opposite sides, the sportsbook ensures profit. Even if the bets have different outcomes, the sportsbook still wins. Why? Because a $10 bet at -110 earns the bettor only a $9.10 profit while risking $10. So, no matter what happens, the sportsbook pockets $0.90.

When you multiply this by every bet made throughout the year, the sportsbook’s profits grow quickly.

Tracking and Keeping Records On The Closing Line Value

To maximize your betting success, it’s crucial to monitor CLV and use it wisely. It’s much more effective than just going with your gut feeling.

In moneyline sports betting, players often track their CLV using a simple “dollars and cents” approach. For instance, if a bet on a team at -130 closes at -140, it’s considered to have generated “10 cents” of CLV. This quick method works for bettors seeking a straightforward calculation.

However, this method overlooks important factors. It doesn’t consider the vig, and not all “cents” are equal. For example, a shift from +120 to -170 represents a larger change in win probability than from -200 to -250.

Serious bettors can get a more accurate CLV by doing some extra calculations. First, they calculate the no-vig, or juice-free, line at close using online calculators. This eliminates the bookmaker’s take from the equation.

Then, they compare the price they bet with the no-vig closing price using the formula: [(X-Y)/Y]x100, where X is the implied probability at close, and Y is the implied probability of the bettor’s wager.

For spread betting, bettors can determine the price being charged for their line using half-point calculators online. The difference in these prices can then be used in the above formula to calculate the CLV.

Why Might Odds and Prices Move In Betting Markets?

Understanding why odds and prices move in betting markets starts with knowing how initial odds are determined. Bookmakers set these odds based on various factors, such as team performance, player injuries, and past matchups, reflecting their view of the game’s likely outcome.

Several factors contribute to the fluctuation of odds. Firstly, the volume and size of bets placed on a specific outcome play a significant role. If a large sum of money is wagered on the home team, their odds shorten, making them less lucrative for bettors.

Conversely, the odds for the away team lengthen, becoming more enticing. Even if statistics suggest otherwise, if many bettors believe in the underdog, the sheer volume of bets can move the odds.

Another reason for odds moving is team news. Take football, for example, which is a team sport. The availability of key players can sway a team’s chances. If a star player is injured or unavailable, odds may shift in favor of the opposing team.

Other factors, like tactical changes, team morale, or sudden developments, can also influence the game’s potential outcome and, thus, the odds. The timing of such news relative to the game’s start can impact its influence on odds.

Other events beyond the sport itself can also impact odds. Weather conditions, for example, might affect a team’s performance, especially if they’re not accustomed to certain conditions, in turn shifting the lines. Political, financial, or global events can indirectly influence odds as well.

Another reason bookmakers may adjust the odds is to balance their books. If they face a substantial potential loss from a particular outcome, they might tweak the odds to encourage betting on the other side.

How To Beat The Closing Line – Tips and Hints 

The simple formula for beating the closing line is to make winning bets. The line will shift in your favor, and you’ll surpass the closing odds.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Those who consistently make profitable bets and outsmart the market are often pros, and they’re not keen on sharing their strategies.

However, even casual bettors can boost their odds with a few simple tactics.

Place Bets Early

Firstly, it’s useful to place bets early rather than later. Unlike high rollers who wait for bigger limits, casual bettors can jump in early, avoiding chasing bets once values have dropped due to heavy betting.

But if you’re betting against the crowd, it’s often better to wait. Betting later may offer a chance to get the best possible odds, even if you don’t beat the closing line.

Remember, it’s not about betting on teams but on numbers. Sharp players prioritize getting the best odds, and so should you.

Explore Multiple Sportsbooks

Another important tip is to have accounts with multiple sportsbooks to compare lines.

While sportsbooks tend to follow each other’s lead, some may lag or adjust slowly, offering opportunities for better odds. By keeping an eye on various books, you can snag better deals before lines converge.

Learn About Arbs

Following a profitable stream of arbs or value bets is the simplest way to consistently beat the closing line. Arb and value bet finders offer a flow of odds that often shorten once identified. Over time, both arbs and value bets prove to outperform the closing line.

It’s important to understand that arbs usually occur when a bookmaker is slow to adjust their prices. Eventually, the bookmaker catches up with the industry standard, making the arbitrage bet on the bookmaker’s side a winner overall, even if the other side of the bet isn’t.

On the other hand, value bets, typically found through subscription services, identify less obvious discrepancies in odds. As these discrepancies are corrected over time, the odds tend to drop. This allows users to consistently beat the closing line.

Follow Team News & Other Useful Information

Lastly, keep an eye on changes in the betting landscape. Injuries and rule changes can create opportunities for value as the market adjusts. By staying ahead of the curve, you increase your chances of beating the closing line.

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