Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz | Jim Feist’s Football Workbook ($39.95, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, 317 pages) and Phil Steele’s Northcoast Sports Pro Football Scorebook ($34.95, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, 320 pages) are two of the chunkiest books that serious angle-shooting, record-keeping, statistical-minded bettors will find this year.
And, each is unique.
Feist’s book is for both college and pro football bettors, with 10 years of results, spreads and totals (for pros only). The book immediately isolates how, for example, Hawaii did against all its 2008 opponents in the past. This year Hawaii meets Weber State for the first time ever.
In the case of Cincinnati, another 2008 opponent of Hawaii’s, you can quickly see they met in 2002 with Hawaii winning 20-19 but not covering a three-point spread. On summary format, the book shows you how teams did overall for the past 10 years straight up, against the line, as a favorite or dog against each 2008 opponent.
The book is probably most valuable as a complete place to keep records each week. There’s a spot for notes and an indication of which games are conference battles for the college and which are vital division confrontations for the pros.
Steele’s Northcoast book has 22 years of results, spreads and totals, 12 pages of preseason statistics, angles and room to keep records. It is a handy reference guide to quarterbacks, listing first to fourth stringers should a key player get carried off the field.
With Brett Favre a question at Green Bay for example, the book shows that Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn back up Aaron Rodgers in case of injury. Sure, things can change quickly, so the book helps answer key questions.
Cleveland with coach Romeo Crennel is 9-3 against the spread in preseason and the 49ers’ Mike Nolan is 8-3-1.
The book contains thousands of angles, room for keeping regular and preseason records; offers a projected depth chart (excellent for fantasy league players) and a chart showing each team’s top draft choices.
There are angles for betting totals; postseason and Super Bowl angles; a small section on Arena football including rules and final standings; scores; spreads; totals and a look at the NFL season with a thumbnail description of each game played.
There are angles for pro games played Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Thus, two more valuable tools for the serious or occasional bettor who likes to chronicle his or her action for the next six months.
The store’s website is www.gamblersbook.com. You may order there using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning (1-800-522-1777) any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT 1-800-522-1777.
Orders are usually shipped the next working day. The store, now in its 44th year, is a block west of Maryland Pkwy, just off Charleston Blvd at 630 S. 11th St.