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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Like betting angles; Pointspread facts? Books by Fredericks, Iskoe right on target

16 July 2004

Many people who enter football contests in Nevada (and often elsewhere) just want facts--past history of who beats who regularly (and covers the spread) in the pros and what are the situations where one college historically dominates others.

Annually, there are two distinct, timely publications to fill those needs. They are Bob Frederick's 2004 NFL Football Notebook (Trends, Sides and Totals) (75 pages, 8x11 paperbound, $32.95) and Andy Iskoe's Pointspread Encyclopedia College Football (141 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $29.95).

Frederick's book is now in its 18th edition. It's perfect for those who enter contests (like the weekly battle royals where thousands of entries try for a 14-0 record) or for the office pool or for parlay card enthusiasts. The book isolates 146 winning trends that have a minimum of 70 percent efficiency. Here are some examples so you can get a feel for the book's format:

First, book is divided by conferences, with divisions and teams. We look at Tampa Bay. "Since 1991 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers show a record of 11 unders and 2 overs in the season opener." That trend hits at an 84.6 percent win rate. Next you can see how every one of the 13 games were decided--what the total was for every game, what the final score was. In recent years (2000 and 2002) the Bucs went over--but all other years the team went under. Throughout the book, you'll be able to see the trend, see a "workout" of the trend for all past years and be able to isolate the next meeting for the teams for a possible repeat of the trend.

For sides there's the example of the Pittsburgh Steelers going 5-0 against Buffalo since 1993 and their next meeting Jan. 2 at Buffalo.

I have little doubt some sports services which neglect basic research will buy this book to "act" knowledgeable, but someone has done all the work for them--Bob Frederick.

Iskoe (Logical Approach) has his vital , 14-year study on time and it's as valuable as ever to trend searchers. His book looks at more than 30 different situations, year by year since 1998, for three years and for six years. Take Georgia for example. They are 12-3 against the spread as road favorites since 1998. In 2003 they were 4-0 against the spread as a home team against conference foes. One fantastic spread coverer in 2003 was Rutgers, covering in 10 of 11 games; while Alabama has disappointed backers in conference home games in the past three seasons with only two covers in 12 contests.

You can see how college teams did on grass; as home dogs or road dogs; in their opening or closing games; against conference teams or after they've scored or allowed 30 points in their previous game; or against quality teams or non-conference teams.

For the truly curious who want to know if betting early or late would have made a difference in games since 1994, Iskoe looks at the "smart money" angle (there must have been a difference of 1-1/2 point or more between the opening and closing line--with Las Vegas' Stardust Hotel line applied in this book). Was the smart money move properly directed? That's the question the special section in this book answers. He looks at 14 seasons and the results are fascinating regarding "steam games."

Decades ago, dedicated individuals dug these facts out by the hour and the day--and with computers and hard-workers like Iskoe, it's here at your fingertips for instant reference.

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