Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz | For more than two decades, GamingToday columnist Andy Iskoe has been studying pro and college football performances and results to find factors that reflect why teams cover the spread.
For the pros, Iskoe has looked at more than 5,000 games. In his college study, he used data covering 12,000 games. He then publishes the conclusions annually.
The studies are unique and updated. I continue to review and recommend them as they arrive both for the information and the price, a remarkable value.
The pro version, titled the 2008 Pro Football Statistical Pattern Report (17 pages, 8x11 stapled format) is followed by the 2008 College Football Statistical Pattern Report (16 pages, 8x11 stapled format). Each sells for $10.
Iskoe offers charts, tables, situations, statistics and a methodology that ties them all together. (The disciplined, numbers-oriented player will benefit most by this). He shows you year-by-year, in summary format (since 1988) how all teams in his study did straight up and against the spread.
Iskoe then quickly moves to what he calls "the statistics that matter." One of the strongest situations (which has won money at an 80.4 percent clip) is "Teams that are able to rush for at least twice as many yards as they allow their opponents have a record vs. the line of l,451-354-50 in the past 20 years."
Iskoe shows the bettor how his "weighted system" of points is to be considered. Sometimes the "frequency of occurrence" is rare. For example "Teams that rush for more than 200 yards and pass for more than 200 yards in the same game have a record vs. the line of 164-25-4 (86.8 percent).
He does point out that this stat occurs has occurred in less than four percent of games played since 1988.
The college version has 17 angles, one more than the pro report. A sample: "Teams that commit at least three fewer turnovers in a game have a record vs. the line of 2,379-491-34 (or 82.9 percent)."
Some of Iskoe’s analysis on this angle concludes: "There is much more than random luck when looking at turnovers. The good teams are able to create them on defense and avoid them on offense. Poor teams do the opposite."
For those who want a head start on beating the game year-round, you’ve got more than a solid month to study Iskoe’s material and consider incorporating it into your present methodology.
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