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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Never bet baseball? Get ready for 2005 with these excellent studies

20 January 2005

Now that football is finally down to the Super Bowl contenders and basketball has moved into conference play at the season mid-point, there's time to catch your breath and decide if you plan to bet baseball in 2005.

Here we're dealing with money lines and totals, not pointspreads so it's a whole different game.

For those who have never understood how to shop for prices or how important starting pitchers are or the impact of a strong bullpen or the home field advantage, here are some books to explain both the fundamentals and more advanced concepts of betting the Great American Pastime.

The late Mike Lee wrote a classic more than 25 years ago and it still stands the test of time. Titled Betting the Bases (71 pages, plastic spiralbound, $8.95), it explains the money line, how to take advantage of winning and losing streaks, how tough it is to win both ends of a double header, whether layoffs are a factor, the importance of money management and when to bet favorites or dogs.

Robert Ross' Betting to Win on Baseball (109 pages, plastic spiralbound, $29.95) examines the importance of keeping records, how to make your own line, betting totals (the over-under proposition), what to do when an unknown (rookie first-time starter) takes the mound, looking at lifetime records, betting early in the season compared to later.

Michael Murray's Betting Baseball--A New Approach (104 pages, plastic spiralbound, $39.95) is the newest book on baseball betting, first published in 1994. It discusses the money line, the run line, betting Totals, measuring offense, measuring consistency in starters, evaluating injuries, the impact of ballpark differences, creating the line. A good portion of Murray's book looks at the role umpires may play in the final score (strike zones seem to vary within leagues and among home plate umps).

There is an 18-page section on baseball betting in the classic Sports Book Management by Michael Roxy Roxborough and Mike Rhoden (114 pages plastic spiralbound, $35). This 1998 book was designed to teach future sports book personnel how to make a line, move numbers and what the house edge is for a variety of wagers. The book also contains major sections on basketball and football betting, plus smaller sections for hockey and boxing. There are illuminating sections on future, parlay cards and special promotions, along with sections on bookmaking myths and linemaking theory. Really a book for those who want to work within the industry, but a super resource for those who want to understand how the House makes a profit.

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