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Gaming Guru

 

Point spread playbook arrives

21 June 2007

For almost three decades, the first book ready for the pro football season has been Al O'Donnell's Point Spread Playbook (111 pages, 8x11 paperbound, $19.95). It's been a bettor's favorite each year because it's accurate, reasonably priced and not only goes back three years for spreads and totals, but also offers suggested betting angles for the 2007 season.

O'Donnell, who lives in the Chicago area, makes it easy to look back on previous seasons, while offering an easy way to keep records on the upcoming season. He doesn't say "Bet on" or "Bet against" any team; instead he summarizes past trends overs and unders at home and away, as a dog or favorite.

For examples, let's look at the way O'Donnell analyzes the New England Patriots:

"Continued to flourish as a visitor on artificial turf covering in four of five (in 2006) and 18 of the last 23. Also on the plus side was their performance as a road favorite where they have rewarded their backers in four of five last year and 13 of the most recent 18."

"New England as a visitor on artificial turf has gone over in 10 of the last 14."

You'll be able to see how any team did game by game on grass or artificial turf, what the spread was and the total since 2004.

In the schedule section, with room to record performance, O'Donnell tells you if a game is divisional, conference, inter-conference, where the Open Date is and what kind of surface each game will be played on, and of course where the game will be played and on what date.

For those who have a question about how the spread equates to the money line, O'Donnell shows you from one to 10 points. In addition he summarizes five years of totals in the entire NFL, indicating how many games went over or under at home, away, on grass or turf.

There's a short, but valuable section summarizing Monday night play and the Monday team's performance on the following Sunday; how teams performed a week after the midseason break; how underdogs did since 2002 and the scores, spreads and totals of every Super Bowl played.

If you've wondering how Super Bowl winners performed the following season (O'Donnell calls it the Super Bowl "hangover"), it's included in the book. For the handicapper who wants to get a head start on his or her homework early or the occasional bettor who wants one simple resource at a reasonable price, Point Spread Playbook is an excellent choice.

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