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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Killer Sports NFL Annual; Amazing Forsythe Bettor's Guide; Platinum Sheet Geared for Players

11 June 2003

Three excellent resources for betting football this season have arrived at Gambler's Book Shop and for those of you who like to do your homework before the action begins in August, now's the perfect time to relax and prepare, as basketball and hockey seasons end and baseball reaches the mid-season point.

Ed Meyer and his MTi crew in Cleveland have done a great job with their newly-formatted 2003 edition of the Killer Sports NFL annual (276 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $24.95).

Packed with more than 1,000 trends against the spread and another 1,000 for betting Totals and 1,000 for betting teasers, plus some fascinating, in-depth essay-articles on betting teasers; betting the money line; betting parlays and some excellent advice on halftime wagering. Many of the systems Meyer and crew have compiled through their SportsDataBase.com and will be updated through access to that web site during the season are what they call Virgins‹they are perfect going into this season. For those who believe history repeats automatically or for strange reasons, the systems may be better than good sex.

Is there great benefit to buying a half point? To some bettors, having the half-point can be of benefit psychologically or be supported from a mathematical standpoint. ³To correctly estimate the value of buying a half point for any particular line we have to know the probability that the result of the game will be within a half point of the line in question,² Meyer emphasizes. He goes on to estimate those probabilities by using results from that last 10 NFL seasons. It's a key section all serious handicappers should read.

The book also contains major sections for each NFL team. Looking at the Arizona Cardinals, we see three years of results. For each season, game by game, we can find the line, the Total, the final score, see if the team covered or went Over or Under the Total and by what margin, and what the quarter scores were. There's room to keep records on every 2003 game, the starting times for all games including the exhibition season, with 40 spread trends and 40 Totals trends. A following page shows Teaser trends when the Cardinals getting or giving six, then 10 points.

Overall, one of the best buys of the year for the price.

Patrick Forsythe's Las Vegas Pro Football Bettor's Guide & Workbook (2003 Edition) (56 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $19.95) is now in its third edition. Last year he predicted eight of the 12 playoff teams. He computer-simulates each scheduled game 1,000 times, recording the number of times each team won or lost. This gives him an average team score and average number of total points for each game. He also looks back two years for teams in historical matchups and evaluates the starting players for all teams, using only those 22 starters from each team with no backups.

Meanwhile, he's also looked at how teams have performed at home or away, in back to-back home and road games among other factors and what the book offers are projections and predictions on how each team should do, week by week, what the line and Totals should be and the final score. You can see his projections for each week of the season for all teams, then see the team game by game and overall for the entire season.

The Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings will make it very easy for the Green Bay Packers to dominate the NFC North Division. The author says each of the first three teams will win four games each and the Packers should coast in at 11-5 overall. He's predicting the New York Giants, Miami Dolphin, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos to have great seasons, and shows you who the Wild Card teams, the Divisional Championship and Conference Championship teams will be, plus the predicted Super Bowl winner, the spread, Total and final score. To support his predictions, the author has already purchased a $100 Future ticket on who he predicts the winner will be‹and got 17-1 odds!

If you like to dream a bit, enjoy hoping the unpredictable becomes a bit more predictable and enjoy seeing knowing sometimes miracles happen, especially with the help of a computer, this book should capture your fancy. As the saying goers‹if he's right, I'll make a profit‹if he's wrong, I'm only out $19.95‹but let's see what happens....

For those who like to see if the wise guys were right or wrong when there was a significant line move, the pre-season issue of The Platinum Sheet (133 pages, paperbound, magazine format, $7.99) is an excellent choice. From pages 118 to 133, it shows every college and pro game played from Aug. 22 to Jan. 26, with opening line, closing line, opening and closing Totals and in between, how the line moved from Tuesday through Saturday.

The magazine has final college and pro team power ratings for last season along with the HT (home team) edge in the power rating. This is followed by the predicted 2003 power ratings and home team rating for virtually every major college team and all pro teams.

Which college teams do well in September‹straight up or against the spread? There's a special section showing it all. The magazine has a football schedule week by week beginning with the first two college games Aug. 23 to those being played Sept. 13. This is followed by the first two weeks of the regular NFL schedule. Regular season play begins Thursday Sept. 4.

The season spread record, game by game, with Totals are listed for most major college teams and all pro teams, with dates game was played, plus power ratings for each team, game by game. There is a prediction or forecast for each major college team and all pro teams.

There's value in this little package‹lots of time-saving information‹a handy, dandy reference source if you buy no other. It'll fit in your jacket pocket or glove compartment with ease.

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