Six years ago, what I considered the rookie-of-the-year-type book for sports bettors was "Sharp Sports Betting" by Stanford Wong. It's still a best-seller for anyone betting sports, especiallyHoward Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," is the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he has held since 1979. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry. Howard's website is www.gamblersbook.com football. Now from the same publisher comes "Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting" by King Yao (he also penned "Weighing the Odds in Hold'em Poker" two years ago). This remarkable 254-page paperbound ($19.95) devotes more than half its content to football wagering, the rest to baseball, basketball (March Madness in particular), futures bets, the Kentucky Derby and proposition bets.
With football beginning in less than a month, the book is extremely timely, for it discusses some of the most vital areas old pros ponder and beginners often misunderstand: why lines move; scalping and middling; hedging and hedge mistakes; parlay cards; first half betting; and the ever popular Super Bowl props.
With input from "Fezzik," Don Peszynski ("Win More, Lose Less" author), former co-workers at Susquehanna Partners, Trace Fields and a host of others, Yao underscores the concept that sports betting "can be attacked intelligently ... with supporting logic and/or research." His purpose was to show readers how to look at sports betting "from an analytical perspective" and to produce a "guideline to sports betting rather than (offering) a blueprint."
The book is indexed, contains a glossary of terms used in the industry and consists of 23 chapters, many tables and a minimum of mathematical equations. Included in Yao's discussions are material on money lines; removing pushes; the half-point and push percentage; money management; parlays; teasers; market value in sports bets; estimating the expected value of a hedge; avoiding hedge mistakes; hedging the second half. The discussion on betting NFL team wins and what to look for in parlay cards is valuable; those interested in office pools will find an edge as well. There are about 15 pages on basketball betting; eight on betting NFL totals.
Packed with advice that examine the impact of returning starters in college football for example and the best time to bet, plus avoiding traps, the book never seems to lose momentum. There's something for everyone here, including what to look for in finding a line service and the good and bad side of Internet sports betting forums and who's got value in the print or electronic media. This is quite a book-I knew about it a year ago-it was worth waiting for. You will be a smarter player after reading it.
Phil Steele's "Pro Football Scorebook" (332 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $34.95) could keep every human being on earth in action 24/7 with all the angles, facts and statistics it offers. Pro results? The book goes back to the 1985 season. (Totals histories begin in 1987.) Want to keep records? There's plenty of room.
There are angles for Sunday night, Monday night, post-Monday night, Thursday night, Saturday night games; playoff games; totals plays; the week after bye week; Super Bowl history; by the month; by the coach. For those who need action during the exhibition season, there are schedules; angles including head coach exhibition records; a pre-season quarterback rotation guide (from first to fourth string).
Also, Arena Football scores for the last three years with spreads and totals for 2007 only and a look at how every NFL team did in 2006 game by game with a short description/summary. From page 311 on, there's a package of material for Fantasy League play including rules; top predicted players; auction guidelines. Research guru and angle compiler supreme Steele and his staff have another winner-if you bet the pros, it's a gotta-have book.
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