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What Is Closing Line Value and Why It Matters for Sports Bettors

CLV betting metaphor

Closing line value (CLV) is a sports betting term that refers to the difference between the odds that a bettor takes and the odds that are available when the event starts. Put differently, the closing line value is the value margin between placement and the wager’s final price. 


Until the game begins, oddsmakers are continuously adjusting their lines to account for new information. They are weighing the bets they’ve received on the game up to that point, plus new information that comes out on players, officials, and even weather. There are a multitude of factors that can affect the outcome of a game, and the books are going to try to take all of them into account. 


CLV betting: What does it mean to beat the closing line value? 


If you place a bet at certain odds, but then the odds change in your favor by the time the game starts, then you beat the CLV and are said to have a positive closing line value. It is important to point out that beating the CLV is not the same as winning or losing a bet. It is just a measure of how much better or worse the odds were when you made your bet compared to when the event started.


When it comes to CLV betting, consistently beating the closing line value means that you are generally winning more than losing. In fact, with pre-game bets, the CLV is one of the most important factors for determining if a sports bettor will be profitable in the long run or not. 


But the question is, is there a downside to always beating the closing line value? 


Sportsbook limits: The dark side of CLV betting 


If you are always beating the closing line value with your pre-game bets, then it’s a sign that you are a very skilled sports bettor who is likely to win a lot. That’s bad news for the sportsbooks. They want you to win just enough to get the dopamine hit and keep coming back to try and get it again. They don’t want you to consistently win, because that’s bad for their business. 


With CLV betting, if you’re always getting better odds than the closing line, and you’re winning too much in the eyes of the sportsbook, then they are more likely to limit you. They will do this to try to slow your roll and protect their own profits. 


You need to find a way around this. A way to consistently win, but not beat the closing line value, so you can delay limits for as long as possible. That’s where live betting comes into play. 


Live betting vs. CLV betting 


Live betting means placing a wager on a game or event while it is ongoing. In other words, you’re placing your bets in real time, and the odds are constantly shifting as the advantage swings from one team or player to the other. The difference between live betting odds and pre-game betting odds is that live odds are always changing as the projected outcome of the game changes. 


With live betting you can’t beat the closing line value, because you didn’t place a bet before the line closed for pre-game bets. Because you can’t beat the CLV, we have found that live betting is the best method for consistently being profitable, but staying under the radar and putting off any sportsbook limits for as long as possible. You may eventually still get limited, but not as quickly as you would with pre-game CLV betting. 


Beating the closing line value is the sign of a profitable sports bettor, but only if you are doing pre-game bets. We recommend live betting, because you can still be consistently profitable, but you won’t beat the CLV, which will help delay limits longer. 


Join our discord to get access to the most up-to-date tips and best practices from our power users to maximize your profits. 


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