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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

'Blue Ribbon' hoops book mandatory reading for college bettors

16 October 2009

Like the swallows returning annually to Capistrano, the lue Ribbon College Basketball Book has arrived on time for the 29th year in a row. The book serves to inform smart, researching bettors who the iron-men, sleepers and most-improved teams might be in the 2009-20l0 season.

Now operating out of new digs in Chattanooga, TN, editor Chris Dortch and crew have produced this 387-page paperbound ($23), which does an unparalleled job of preparing bettors, fans, coaches, scouts and sports talk hosts for what to expect from Player of the Year to Newcomer of the Year to projected All-American teams. The book examines coaching philosophies, offenses, defenses, recruiting, projected starters, who the backup might be if a star is injured, key losses, how the bench looks overall and very importantly, lists the season schedule including pre-season and regular-season tournaments.

What has made this book a standout for more than two decades is the research Dortch's scouts and editors have done during the off-season. It appears they listened to every interview, scouring the statements made in print or on the air by coaches and team personnel and then created a deep pool of intelligent information for the reader.

You'll be circling names, keeping notes, watching for key games, number of days rest, preparing for vengeance situations as well as being alert to how many returning starters there are for pre-conference games when the numbers the linemakers hang are most vulnerable.

Dortch's material is fresher than stuff found in most magazines since he went far beyond just using materials that the sports information directors of the colleges send. There's a treasure trove of facts, predictions and intangibles — but no pointspreads or gambling information (if you were expecting some — it's never been included).

Truly, in the 30 years I've been reviewing materials for sports bettors, this is the one item that stands out among all others as a must-have for college basketball.

The book many pro hoops bettors will find valuable for record-keeping is RME's NBA Workbook (95 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound). That's what pro bettors need — room to track streaks, wins, losses, the ability to look ahead — plus, as a bonus you get more than a dozen angles or trends keyed to sides or totals.

Indexed, with plenty of room to keep records like opening and closing lines and how a team did straight up or against the line and total, it's basically what most bettors need and it does its job well for the price ($16).
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com