Does CLV Matter??

The following was originally a topic in TSP Live Insider and has been expanded here for

A lot of professional bettors throw around the acronym “CLV”. What is CLV? For those unfamiliar, CLV stands for Closing Line Value and it means getting a better price on your wager than the closing price for that wager. Many professional bettors looking for attention will flex on the amount of CLV that they get, as though that is the ultimate measure of how good a bettor is at their craft.

Of course, getting +CLV is good because it means you beat the book to the move. It’s always better to get +8 when the line closes +5…thereby securing 3 points of “CLV” on the wager you targeted. Pretty straight forward, but is CLV the end and all be all when it comes to sports betting?

The only three letters I give a damn about when it comes to gambling is not “CLV”, but “ROI” (Return On Investment)! I don’t care whether you can get 75 points of CLV a week…if your ROI is -3%…who cares?!?!

Now, in theory if you are beating the book to the closing number then there has been shown to be positive correlation in your ROI. Which is why people like to bring up CLV all the time. However, studies have also shown that +CLV does not automatically translate into +ROI. So, you could get a decent amount of CLV and statistically lose money. Once again, the ultimate measure of performance as a professional sports bettor is the bettor’s ROI on their wagers. If a pro would rather talk about their CLV without equally discussing and highlighting their ROI, clearly we know where they are under performing.

So, the next time a handicapper or pro bettor comes out and flaunts the CLV they get on their wagers…cool…but ask them for the ROI that they have over those same wagers. Any handicapper who would rather tout the amount of CLV they get and not the amount of ROI they get is likely hiding something in their performance.

Bottom line…do your best to get CLV, and avoid chasing bad numbers, but don’t be so clouded that getting CLV is the magic answer to all your prayers…you still have to win those bets. If you want a little exercise, go through the lines for the previous day. Look at the line moves and see the performance of the wagers where the line moved. So, if you see Team A opened -8 and ended -10….did they cover the -8? If you see a total open 150 and end 145…did it stay under 150? Track the wins and losses and you might be surprised. Do it for any random day here or there and check the results. You will see that CLV surely helps, but it isn’t the Holy Grail of sports betting that it is made out to be.

That’ll do it for me today. I hope you have a wonderful day and good luck in your action!