Research is key to handicapping success

Aug 19, 2003 1:16 AM

With football season nearly upon us, serious bettors are scrambling to collect information that they can use in handicapping games, especially the first few games in both the NFL and colleges.

"Your best chance to beat the line is in the early part of the season," says Larry Rosadalia, a regular sports bettor The Orleans Casino. "There are a lot of unknowns at the start of the season, and you can sometimes find point spreads that are not quite right."

Rosadalia said he prepares for the season by researching as much as possible. And he finds most of his information at the Gambler’s Book Shop (630 S. 11th Street, 382-7555), which contains the largest selection of gambling-related publications in the world.

During football season, the selection of football publications swells to about 70 different books, magazines, videos and computer software, says book shop owner/manager Howard Schwartz.

Publications range from preseason magazines that preview teams (college and pro) to compilations of statistics and betting trends, and everything in between.

Schwartz said some of the best sellers are Al O’Donnell’s "Pointspread Playbook," the Gold Sheet’s "College and Pro Football Annual," Phil Steele’s college and pro football magazines and Scorebooks, Marc Lawrence’s series of annuals and playbooks, and Jim Feist’s college and pro annuals and his 2003 Workbook, and Andy Iskoe’s cutting edge reports, to name a few.

There are also about a dozen mainstream preview magazines such as Street & Smith’s, The Sporting News, Athlon, Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly and Lindy’s.

Schwartz says the most popular publications with sports bettors are the ones that have meaningful trends, statistics and angles.

Most of the team information ”” personnel, records, coaching, etc. ”” is chronicled by all the good sports magazines, but the ability to identify usable trends is key to winning, Schwartz said.

Among the best services and authors at extracting trends, Schwartz says, are Andy Iskoe, Phil Steele, Marc Lawrence, Jim Feist, the Gold Sheet, Al O’Donnell, Davler Sports, Patrick James Forsythe and MTI Sports.

In addition to its walk-in location, Gambler’s Book Store (sometimes called Gambler’s Book Club), has a massive mail order business. For information, call them or visit their web site,