The Importance Of The Closing Line

Importance of the closing line

The outcome of a sporting event doesn’t always give y0u the full picture when it comes to sports betting. Sports investing is more than just winning or losing; it’s about finding value in the markets.

All sharp bettors know this and will often compare their wagers to the bookmakers’ closing line.

This article is going to go into further detail and discuss the importance of the closing line in sports betting and how you can use it to your advantage.

What Is The Closing Line?

When you browse a bookmaker’s website, you will see the betting lines based on what they believe best represents the value of both teams playing. However, these lines are always subject to change based on new information provided to the bookmakers.

Things that can have an effect on their betting lines include injuries, the weather, a change in officials or umpires and even the amount of money that is being placed on a certain team.

The betting lines will continue to change up until the match starts. The final betting line is known as the closing line.

Take a look at these lines from the NFL:

Closing Lines in NFL

If this was the closing line, the spread for the Bears to win is -5.5. If you managed to place a bet on the Bears at -6, you would have made a good bet as you beat the line by half a point.

Of course, it can be very difficult to always beat the closing line because sport can be unpredictable.

Using just the above examples: a player can suffer an injury at any time during training throughout the week or even at home. The weather can also change in the blink of an eye which is something satellites can’t always predict.

Why Is The Closing Line Important For Sports Betting?

Let’s also assume that you are beating the moneyline by just 1% per investment.

Even though this seems like such a tiny, unnoticeable amount per play, it really adds up over the course of the month.

Betting the favourite when they lose will save you money while betting the underdog when they win will earn you more money.

In terms of point spread betting, the closing line attempts to get the lines as close to 50/50 as possible. Therefore, the further away from this split you can get, the more value you get from your investment.

Check out this example.

Imagine you and your friend Mike both love betting on the NHL and will bet moneyline throughout the season.

Mike ends up winning 54% of his bets at average odds of -110 with $100 units over 500 games. You also bet the moneyline over the same 500 games with the same unit sizes, but you get out of work a little later than Mike so can only get odds of -120.

Even though you will both have bet the same games and finish the season with the results (270-230), your money won will look a little different. See the table below:

Bettor Win % Total Bets Wins Losses Average Odds Bet Size To Win Profit/(Loss)
Mike 54 500 270 230 -110 $110 $100 $1,700
You 54 500 270 230 -120 $120 $100 -$600

At the time of betting, the difference between -110 and -120 doesn’t seem too much of a big deal.

As you can see, after 500 games, Mike can afford to go abroad for a few weeks whereas you need to sacrifice living money to cover the losses.

How Often Do You Need To Beat The Closing Line To Make A Profit?

See this graph from Pinnacle:


As you can see, to make a profit from the closing price, you must be beating the closing line almost 75% of the time to make profits.

How To Beat The Closing Line

All the information above, especially that last graph, makes it look difficult to consistently beat the closing line and make money. The only way to consistently beat the closing line is to create betting strategies that give you a good indication of the best time to make a move.

However, here at Ghost Betting Tips, we are developing a series of betting systems across a number of sports to increase the chance of getting the best value for your bets. We have access to historical data to backtest our strategies, making the results more accurate and reliable.

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