Basketball stat books reveal trends and angles

Nov 3, 2009 5:01 PM
Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

Get set for college hoops

Wondering how a pro or college team did as a favorite, dog, as a 20-point favorite on a Wednesday? No worries. Stat Attack’s software (it works on both Windows and Macintosh) should save you hours of time.

The Stat Attack Pro Basketball database of games goes as far back as the 1990-91 season and allows researchers to do "team-specific" or even league-wide, conference-wide or divisional searches.

How did the Lakers do as a small road favorite against Western Conference teams or how Western Conference teams did as home dogs against the Eastern Conference? The program will tell you. Regular season or playoff results, angles are included in the program.

The creators of the item offer support and you don’t have to worry about a thick manual of instructions.

Totals bettors will find joy here too. You may want to know what the over-unders were in a variety of situations, say game by game, between conferences and divisions and how teams did against certain numerical ranges like 180 to 225.

The pro and college version sell for $49.95 each.

For the colleges, a bettor can look for home, away and neutral court records; look back anywhere from a year back to 12 years; the day of the week; as heavy favorite of 20 or more points down to 20-point underdog. Meanwhile you can research a team by conference; time of the season, from regular season to NCAA tourney or overall post-season play. Scores and totals are listed for colleges—a rare source nowadays for that statistic.

In the area of books on basketball betting, one unique approach was prepared by Alan Jay Zaremba. His book, The Madness of March – Bonding and Betting With the Boys in Las Vegas (228 pages, paperbound, $19.95) is both entertaining and educational. Zaremba captures the approaches to handicapping basketball he managed to snare and record during the 2007 season while in Las Vegas. While hob-nobbing, inter-acting and absorbing the ideas from wannabe wise guys and the absolutely naïve, Zaremba manages to capture the madness and flavor of betting college hoops during the craziness of March Madness. Why and how people bet college basketball, their thought processes—both logical and thought out versus the illogical out-of-control players looking for an edge and hoping foir the best.

The book will prepare even the most hardened bettor for what to expect if they plan on being in Las Vegas for that special weekend of craziness called March Madness.

Finally, the Gold Sheet has conveniently compiled its annual Basketball Record (28 pages, 8x11, stapled, $10) for anyone seeking the scores, spreads and totals (for the pros only) for the 2008-09 season, and it’s arrival is just in time for the beginning of the new hoops season. From Air Force to Youngstown in the colleges, you can see winning and losing streaks, and if a team covered or not-- at home or on the road and on what date. For the pros, similar information is listed including the totals.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler’s Book Shop. The store’s website is You can order there using your major credit or debit card or by phoning the store Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at 1-800-522-1777. The store, opened in 1964, is located at 1550 E. Tropicana Suite #4, between Maryland Parkway and Spencer Avenue, just a couple of miles from the famous Strip.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Howard Schwartz