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Bettors bone-up with hoops guidebooks

Dec 23, 2008 5:07 PM
Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

As football winds down, sports bettors shift their attention to pro and college basketball. With that in mind, late arrivals at Gambler’s Book Shop include the 2008-09 NBA Power System Workbook (30 pages, 8x11 paperbound, $17.95) from Pro Info Sports of Daphne, Alabama, and Marc Lawrence’s Playbook Basketball Stat & Log Workbook (320 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $34.95). Each book fits a special need basketball bettors ask about.

Those who look for certain scenarios or situations they suspect might tend to repeat can’t wait to see what the computers analyze and churn out against the spread. Some examples from the Power System Workbook, (without giving away the farm) are:

Off three road losses, "home dogs are 12-0 versus the spread when…" or "off an underdog overtime win, favorites are 0-15 when…" or "home favorites of 2 plus points are 14-0 against the spread when…"

There’s some logic included with each angle (more than most books offered in the past), and you’re able to see the time frame of angles ("going back as far as 1995 …"). The price is right for those curious, value-conscious buyers and it may make betting the pros more fun if you believe patterns continue, for whatever reason.

Marc Lawrence’s book allows bettors to have two books in one – pros and colleges. The pro section contains three years of results, spreads and totals, results. You can also see a four-year situation chart, showing, for example, how a team did off back-to-back wins or off a dog win or how often a team went over or under the total against each team or in eight other situations. Also, for last season, there’s a month by month performance chart, straight up and versus the spread. Of course there is also a page to record all results for this season and the remaining schedule through April 2009.

On the college side, the complete schedule with room for record-keeping: a look at how teams did in summary form for a decade including home, away, as favorite or dog; performance in the conference or in a revenge situation or off a loss as a favorite.

In the two-year against the spread history, totals are not listed, should you ask.

Overall, a nice easy to use, easy to keep records package for the bettor who wishes to look back or ahead for the 2008-09 season.

These books and more are available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club) in Las Vegas. The store’s web site is Or you can call 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 44th 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 website 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, Nevada 89101.