What is Expected Value, Closing Line and Variance in Sports Betting?

Unlock Sports Betting Success: Expected Value, Closing Line, Variance

There are different types of cricket formats available worldwide today. Most sports bettors relied their bets based on what they perceive – whether a potential outcome will happen or not in a sports game. It may do for temporary success, how the true winning on sports betting lies in utilizing the concept of expected value, variance, and closing line. This trinity has built-in advantages once applied, the expected value helps us to identify profitable bets, the closing line is the gold standard and variance helps us to navigate the ups and downs on the path of long success. By mastering these three concepts, you will transform into a sports betting strategist, and can now make informed betting decisions to unlock sustainable success. Therefore, buckle up as we unveil the secrets behind consistent winning in the world of sports betting by incorporating expected value, closing line, and variance. 

What Is Expected Value in Sports Betting?

Expected Value or EV in short, is a common term associated with sports betting. To give you a brief definition of this sports term, this is the common description for EV. The expected value measures the average expected profit or loss per wager over the long run. It is useful to produce informative bets based on analysis and probability. Since it considers both the odds listed by the sportsbook platforms, instead of choosing wagers based on emotions.

However, the effectiveness of EV depends on your accurate assessment of the likelihood of a sports outcome. The more accurate your estimations are, the more unfailing your EV calculations. By using the EV calculations in your sports betting strategy, you can hope for wins due to data-driven decisions that improve your long-term chance of profitability.

EV Formula:

EV = (Win Amount * Probability of Winning) + (Loss Amount * Probability of Losing)


Let us say you are betting on a basketball game, and you think your team winning is 60%. The sportsbook platform is offering odds at -140. So it means you can win $140 for every $80 bet that you place. 

To compute the EV, below is the sample computation that you can refer to once you use the formula given above.

EV = (0.6 x $140) – (0.4 x $80) = $84 – $32 = $52

What does variance mean in Sports Betting?

Variance measures the level of uncertainty to a particular bet and is a major contributing factor in getting wins and losses. Moreover, the variance evaluates the likelihood of receiving a different outcome than the probability predicts and how much the outcome differs from predicted results. The high variance indicates there is a broad range of possible outcomes and the winning and losing possibilities are less predictable. However, the low variance has fewer possible outcomes, and the winning and losing probabilities are more predictable. 

Getting to know the use of variance and understanding this sports term allows its users to approach sports betting with realistic expectations. It helps you to be ready for the possible ups and downs of sports betting. It guides you to focus on making well-informed bets for long-term success. In the end, the variance gives us the guide that short-term success is unpredictable. Even more so for long-term aspects. Ultimately, the variance is all about a measure of how distant something is from its expected value. Thus, implying the average outcome.

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What does Closing Line mean in Sports Betting?

The closing line in sports betting refers to the final odds set by the sportsbook before a certain sports game begins. It represents the sportsbook’s detailed estimation of the possible outcomes of each of the sports games they offered. Therefore, all sports bettors should utilize their betting skills to check where they bet according to the current closing lines. By analyzing the closing line of a sports game, you can identify the potential value of available bets. Therefore, in case you think that a sports team has a bigger chance of succeeding than the closing line suggests, you can have a better chance to capitalize on this sports bet, favoring you this time. 

However, if the sportsbook platform already sets the closing line. Then, it is less possible to change drastically unless there are major last-minute changes like players getting injured. Nevertheless, the closing line allows you to bet wisely by referring to these final odds. Giving you a higher degree of certainty about the odds you chose to bet on.

Overall, keep in mind that closing the line does not guarantee the outcome of a sports game. There are still some changes along the way. However, understanding this sports term has an impact and influences your sports betting decisions. Still, it allows you to make informed betting on sports. Thus, it potentially improves your long-term success in the world of sports betting. 

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Relationship between Expected Value, Closing Line, and Variance in Sports Betting

In the world of sports betting, the expected value, closing line, and variance have close interactions with each other. These three sports concepts or terminologies will guide you towards informed and potentially inclined wagers to sports betting. To give you more in-depth support for this statement, let us know some of its impact on sports betting. 

The EV guides you toward sports wagers with a statistical advantage. It can be computed by using its underlying formula, which is given above. On the other hand, the closing line provides a market-driven assessment of the sports game’s possible results. While the variance gives us real check reality, reminding us of the innate uncertainty in betting on sports.

Understanding these three concepts, and how they work closely is a must. It will lead you to a more educated, and potentially inclined sports wagers and better sound sports betting approach. However, there is no quick solution when it comes to betting on sports. In short, you need to have massive patience, determination, and a strong mindset to navigate the challenging yet exciting world of betting on sports. 

Overall, that sums up the brief relationship of these three concepts when we talk about the sports betting world.

Using the Expected Value, Closing Line, and Variance to Sports Betting

In this section, we aim to give you some great tips to utilize better the functionality of expected value, closing, and variance in sports betting. Make sure you stay tuned as these recommendations are not long to grasp.

Expected Value:

In EV, we advise that you focus on bets with positive EVs. Through this approach, you can enter the sports betting scene with an optimistic start. Since you can expect that the average profit you would be getting per bet is already positive due to a positive EV outcome. Also, we highly encourage that you use the given formula above to calculate the EV before you place any sports bets to determine prior the profit or loss of a certain bet.

Closing Lines:

In closing lines, it is wise if you compare the closing lines on your probability estimations. We do not imply that sportsbook platforms’ final odds are not accurate. However, we only give you an idea that sometimes a sports team has a higher chance of succeeding in the game than the closing line may suggest. This time you can use that opportunity to place a bet since your probable estimation may have a better impact on your sports betting journey.


In variance, the fewer bets you place, the variance impact is more evident. To reduce the impact of variance and even out the fluctuations, you must place more sports bets. As more bets are placed, it will produce profits that you least expect. This results in a positive profit result. Another thing, it is also best if you can place sports bets at lower odds. Since it has a higher chance of its outcome winning. It can reduce the variance in sports betting by betting on lower odds. 

These are all the tips you can utilize once you pursue the concepts of Expected Value (EV), Closing Lines, and Variance in sports betting. Hopefully, you get some ideas and insights on how to leverage the functionalities of these three sports concepts used in betting sports.


Unveiling the powerful trio in sports betting: expected value, closing, and variance, make the difference. Mastering these concepts transforms you from being a generic gambler to a strategic sports bettor. You now give importance to the positive expected value, leveraging the closing line as a benchmark and acknowledging the ups and downs of variance to sports betting. 

Now that you have an understanding of how to use these three sports concepts.  You can now assess the odds, distinguish the value bets, and navigate the variabilities of sports results with preparation and confidence. To end this post, remember that sports betting is not a race. It takes persistence and fortitude to succeed in this activity. Also, remember responsible betting must be well exercised. This is to conquer the world of sports betting with informed bets successfully and so it led us to success.

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