Get set for college hoops with stat, guide books

Nov 10, 2009 5:05 PM
Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

Tracking stats can produce winning plays

Basketball bettors who are disciplined, who manage their money, keep careful records and anticipate when a team might be fresher or fatigued based on scheduling or travel, are likely to survive and flourish financially. Following a team’s surprisingly good road performance or anticipating a key conference battle is part of the discipline. Two new arrivals for the 2009-10 season, Marc Lawrence’s Playbook Basketball Stat & Log Workbook (320 pages, plastic spiralbound, $34.95) and the RME NCAA Men’s Basketball Workbook (242 pages, plastic spiralbound, $26) fit the bill for bettors who want to look back or ahead as the season progresses. Both books are 8x11 in size.

Lawrence’s Playbook has both pro and college material. For the pros it provides three years of past performance including lines and totals with room to record the results of every game to be played this season. The recordkeeping section includes the date, day and location, score, whether the team covered, won straight up or against the line and if the game went over or under the number.

There are also summaries of how for teams did in the past in certain situations. For example, how Cleveland did for the past four years against conference foes as favorite or dog, home and away or in totals and how Cleveland did off a win or off an underdog win or back-to-back win or loss are indicated.

A chart also shows how a team did straight up or against the line each month last season.

For the colleges, you can see the team’s schedule, day, date and location of games including tournaments and there’s a two-year pointspread history (no totals); with each college’s website, name of the coach and number of returning starters.

The RME basketball workbook is for colleges only with room to keep records, a summary of how a team did last year as road or home dog, home or road favorite and how often the team went over or under, plus how a team did after a win or loss or after covering or failing to cover. There are no pointspread histories, game by game from previous years.

The team’s website is listed, with the coach.

Do remember because of television commitments, weather and other factors, schedules are subject to change.

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. Orders usually shipped the next working day. 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. 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 1550 E. Tropicana Suite #4, Las Vegas NV 89119.

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