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Feist, Steele Football Betting Books Packed With Stats, History

2 August 2006


Annually, two football betting resources get much of the attention from those handicappers who wish to check past history and for the specialists who look for streaks, patterns or trends. They are Jim Feist's Football Workbook (317 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $39.95) and the Pro Football Scorebook from Northcoast Sports / Phil Steele (332 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $34.95). Looking at them individually for similarities and differences, here's what the football bettor will find:

Feist's book has both pro and college betting material, in a unique format. For example, let's look at New England -- a perennial NFL powerhouse who this year has quite a diverse schedule. For instance the Patriots play several teams they've rarely matched up against over past years, Houston (they last met in '03); Detroit (only two games against them since 00); Chicago (they last met in '02); Minnesota (last game was in '02) and Cincinnati (last matchup was in '04). Instead of having to check each year's results here and there, Feist has extracted each of this season's matchups as far back as a decade, so you can see all their meetings and results since, along with whether the team won, covered and if the game went over or under the total.

On another page, are 10 years of spreads and totals by season plus playoffs and Super Bowl games.

There is adequate room to keep records for each game in 2006 and summaries showing how a team performed as a favorite, dog, home, away, against certain pointspreads as a favorite or dog, and that includes looking at those trends for anywhere from one to 10 years back.

The same pattern of information is available for the college teams and you'll be able to spot which are conference games. There is no data indicating totals for past college games. (There is also no listing of number of returnees or lettermen for college teams.)

Steele's Pro Football Scorebook has a lot of bang for the buck, with a marvelous offering of angles, including how teams did Monday nights; Thursdays; Saturdays; in pre-season games; before their Monday night games; after Sunday night games.

For those wondering who the two or three backups are for starting quarterbacks, there's a dandy chart to guide you should a big name go down in pre-season or early season play; there are five years of results, spreads and totals for the pre-season bettor; how teams performed with certain numbers of days rest and even a small section on NFL Europe for 2006 -- including top performers (should some make the NFL squads).

One section offers a quick look at coaching changes; who's been with what team how many years and what their records are; angles for early season or late season play; ratings for each offensive position for each team; plus, should it be needed, an explanation of the NFL's tie-breaking procedures for the playoffs.

It's a little early to need them but there's a nice history of Super Bowl results; game by game Super Bowl summaries by quarters as well.

The book contains a massive section for totals bettors; analyzing trends for five years; off a straight up win or loss; a look at the key totals numbers; how teams performed off a bye week; how teams did by the month since 1989; how teams did after winning or losing close game or being blasted big time.

Interested in how a team did each year statistically (could indicate improvements in specific categories)? Steele lists how teams did in, for example, third down efficiency situations; on fourth down attempts; in their rushing or passing, against each opponent for the past three years.

Which teams play the weakest or toughest schedules; who does Steele predict will end up in the Super Bowl or playoffs? It's here.

Steele also provides pointspreads for each team since 1984 in the book and a Totals history since 1987 for each. If you missed any games in 2005, there's a short descriptive summary of the action available, and from page 312 on, a fine bonus in the form of a Fantasy Football Guide, breaking each position down in seven levels (the best to the marginal).

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