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Football angle books; NFL fact book; prospectus arrive

16 August 2007

For those who want a quick, logical, sometimes illogical way of handicapping football, there are always angle books -- also called trend compilations. These books are treasured by those who believe or hope past patterns continue and because they don't want to burden themselves with power rating analysis; offensive vs. defense or even shopping for a good number. They are, in essence, a quick fix for the player who likes action.

Among recent arrivals at Gambler's Book Shop that serve to help this kind of bettor are Bob Frederick's College Football Trend Notebook (140 pages, paperbound, $34.95); and two from Football Trends -- the College Trend & Schedule Book (108 pages, paperbound, $32.95) and the NFL Trend & Schedule Book (80 pages, paperbound, $32.95).

Also arriving and covering different territory altogether are the 2007 NFL Record & Fact Book (784 pages, paperbound, $17.95) and Pro Football Prospectus (512 pages, paperbound, $19.95), the first packed with history, records, scores from every game ever played in the NFL, the second focusing on essays and statistics to preview the upcoming season.

First, the trend books. Frederick's college notebook -- his 19th annual edition -- has 259 winning trends which have hit on a 70 percent efficiency level. The book is simple to use. Look up a team, say, Texas Tech. They are 12-2 at home against Texas A&M since 1979 against the spread. Their next match-up is Oct. 13 at Texas Tech. The book shows Texas Tech winning the last six times versus the line and that only in 1991 and 1993 did the system fail to produce a winner.

The College Trend & Schedule book by Football Trends shows the angles a different way and allows people to keep records and see the schedule. Example: On Sept. 22 the book tells you to "Play on Maryland versus Wake Forest" and that the angle has produced winners seven times in eight match-ups against the spread. The book lists trends by date and trends by situation during the season. "Play against Oklahoma State at home the game after Oklahoma State loses two consecutive games against the spread." The angle has Oklahoma State 2-6 in that situation. The book also lists current coaching records against the spread along with bowl game records straight up and against the spread.

Football Trends' NFL Trend & Schedule Book also includes totals angles for each of the 32 pro teams. This book also offers space to keep records and see the schedule as the team progresses. Angle example: "Play on Miami their first road game of the season." The team is 14-4 against the spread in that situation.

The book also includes five pages of preseason angles against the line and for totals wagering. Included are angles for Sunday and Monday night games; before and after the bye week trends and career coaching records straight up and against the line.

The NFL Record & Fact Book is popular because it goes back to the game's early years (1930s) and tells you the score of every match-up. There is biographical material about the coach and his staff; diagrams of each stadium; Super Bowl summaries; a history of all overtime games; all-time individual and team records; season and game records; how tie-breakers are established for playoffs; a roster of officials and their numbers and a short digest of rules governing the game. All in all, it's an excellent book to settle arguments or create trivia questions.

Pro Football Prospectus is a tremendous compilation of essays and analysis for looking at each team's strengths and weaknesses, for fantasy leaguers looking for an edge, and for those who need one source to prepare them for the whole season -- potential flops, fast-starters or on-charging finishers at season's end.

Each team is analyzed, each position is examined and then the essayists offer extra ideas on sacks, defenses; the two-point conversion; quarterbacks' career progression; a look at rookie quarterbacks; and some focus on the top 25 NFL prospects.

The book is for the fan or fantasy-leaguer first, but bettors can get a good "feel" for teams going nowhere because of poor drafting, trading or coaching changes.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler's Book Shop (Gambler's Book Club). The store's web site is www.gamblersbook.com . You may order there using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning the store any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at 1-800-522-1777. Orders usually shipped the next working day. The store, now in its 40th year, is located a mile from downtown Las Vegas, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard at South 11th Street. You may view the store's complete array of books, videos and software via the Web site or request a hard copy of the catalog be mailed free and first class. The store's address is 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101.

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