New NBA guide packedwith winning tips, trends

Nov 22, 2005 3:59 AM

The pro basketball season began in earnest earlier this month and will continue until next June. It’s a long season with many potential bets and many others that should be passed. Smart players know that unless there’s a very good reason to bet a game, they shouldn’t wager.

The question is, what constitutes a "good bet?"

Jim Catello, a first-time author-compiler, has produced a surprise "rookie-of-the-year" winner titled, The Complete Guide to the 2005-06 NBA Schedule, in which he outlines then details 20 scheduling issues that directly affect the quality of play of pro basketball teams.

These, he contends, are weaknesses that a bettor can take advantage of so he identifies and flags them in a unique format.

Among those factors impacting team performance as the season goes evolves are the first and second games of back-to-back contests; playing three games in four days or four in five days; getting four or more days off between games; the last home game before leaving on a trip; mismatch games; non-conference games; the second match-up of the season; and playing a day game following a night game.

Catello evaluates team schedules from most favorable to least favorable then lists team with those situations highlighted. Obviously teams with proper rest perform better — tired legs, high altitude games, "home cooking" — all can impact performance.

Key rivalries, whether the game is on national television, looking ahead (sandwich games), playing the champion and how healthy key players are also have impact.

Catello has examined the entire pro schedule carefully and has much to say, plenty to alert you to. Some samples:

"Feb. 27 — the Sacramento Kings: last home game before leaving on a long East Coast trip," and for the Lakers — "Dec. 26: Lakers must be considered vulnerable in this game (at the Wizards). It’s the last game of a trip — the third game of a 3 in 4 nights thing on the road ... there has to be some very serious emotional lag after playing the Heat yesterday."

A major section of the book allows you to list all the scores, totals, how the team did straight up or against the spread.

The book is available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s web site is www.gamblersbook.com; the phone number is 1-800-522-1777.