Sports Betting Explained – How to Calculate Closing Line Value

Closing line value is one of the most important topics in sports betting communities and it needs to be explained how to calculate it. There is a lot of talk about it, many try to calculate it, many understand the importance of it, but it needs to be explained further. With practical video and actual formulas, so that sports bettors can use it.

Video how to track clv

In this video, I show you step by step process how to calculate and track the closing line in betting.

Scroll down o find the template and download it. It is made for both US odds bettors and decimal odds bettors.

Serious sports bettors talk about clv

Sports betting is a huge industry and the betting community is growing fast. With so much information it is hard to filter which information is good. One good filter when it comes to serious betting sites, bet forums, sports handicappers, betting experts, and all others who are involved in this industry is closing line value talk.

Every sports bettor that I respect talk about closing line value and track it.

I would go even further. Never take any sports betting expert seriously if he has no clue what closing line value is. There is room for discussion about the importance, about fully and not fully efficient markets, but there is no room for not knowing what closing line value.

Why closing line value is so important?

When it comes to sports betting and sports bettors, we always ask ourselves does our betting even makes sense. In other words, are we good at it or it is just luck. At least this is something every bettor should ask himself.

The problem is that the whole betting community is focused on hype, a small sample size of bets, and profit. Sometimes yield (ROI) and that’s it.

Yield and ROI is not enough

But yield (or ROI) and the profit is usually not enough to make a conclusion about your betting performance. We all know that 97% of all bettors lose in the long run and only a few make a profit and what is even more important, only a few are skilled and beat the market.

Bookmakers who accept sharp bettors have a big sample size of bets

And if we check Twitter, betting portals, monitoring sites, etc… they all win. It looks like a much bigger percentage than only 3%. This is where common sense comes into play.

The only real source that has a big sample size of bets are bookmakers. One of such bookmakers is Pinnacle and they have a huge sample size of bets from real players and they openly say, that this is the most important indicator (yes, even more crucial than profit or yield or ROI).

From the article (How to solve a problem like an efficiency):

“Pinnacle’s Head of Trading Marco Blume has made it clear that a reliable indicator of whether a bettor holds long term profitable expected value – that is to say they are sharp – is whether they can beat the closing line.”

Quick Theory of CLV

  • The betting market will open (Stage 1), bettors will bet (Stage 2) and it will close with the last minute odds (Stage 3)
  • Bettors will bet and the price (the odds) will start to form from the time of opening till the kickoff
  • The odds just before the game starts will include all the information about the market and because of this, the last price is the most efficient.
  • You can not beat efficient markets once all information is already included in the current odds (price). This happens at closing time, just before the game will start.
  • In other words, if you bet just before the game, you’ll lose in the long run (margins will eat you alive) and because of this, you must compare your taken odds vs closing odds.
  • You should track your taken bets versus closing bets to see if you get a better price than they are at closing time

CLV and xCLV

There are two ways how to calculate the closing line value and most betting sites and bettors calculate only CLV. This is simply comparing your taken odds versus closing odds.

But not many track their taken odds versus pinnacle (or other sharp bookmakers) no-margin (no vig) odds. In very efficient markets like NFL for example you must beat the line (excluding vig).

As you will see, once you start tracking closing line value, having xCLV is much harder than CLV.

But the very first step into the next level of betting is to start tracking your closing line value.

After this video and downloadable template below, there is no reason anymore not to track it.

Calculating closing line in excel or google sheets (Formulas and Download Template)

  • Taken odds – A
  • Closing odds (your bet) – B
  • Closing odds (of other outcomes) – C
  • Margin – D
  • CLV – closing line value
  • xCLV – closing line value no vig (margin excluded)
  • Fair close odds – E


  • Margin = iferror((1/B+1/C),””)
  • Fair close odds (1/((1/B)/D),””)
  • CLV = iferror((A/B)-1,””)
  • xCLV = iferror((A/E)-1,””)

Calculate Decimal odds and US odds (convert with formulas)

  • A – decimal odds
  • B – US odds

Convert US odds into decimal odds:

  • =IFS(B<100,(abs(100/B))+1,B>100,(B/100)+1,B=100, 2, B=-100, 2)

Convert decimal odds into US odds:

  • =ifs(A>2, ((A-1)*100), A<2, (-100)/(A-1), A=2,”+100″ )

Download Template Here and check the video above for more info and step by step guide.

Do you want to learn more about how to use betting spreadsheets?