rare, but most pleasing to see the arrival of two new “how to” handicapping
books for football bettors. To have both arrive within a few days
of each others and before the season opens is advantageous for those
who need time to devour new ideas or modify present techniques.
The books are Sharp Sports Betting (378 pages, paperbound,
$19.95) by Stanford Wong, and Beat the Sports Books (162
pages, paperbound, $29.95) by Dan Gordon.
previously known for his expertise in blackjack, video poker, pai
gow poker and tournament play, (He’s written and published on all
these topics.) has made the transition to sports betting—primarily
football betting in this case, with emphasis on the NFL, with ease.
Clearly, he understands that sports betting is a popular form of
wagering—in casinos and on the Internet—and, in fact, he has been
quite visible himself in handicapping contests in recent years.
Now he’s put
his research and experience into printed format. He explains many
of his extremely sharp theories on money management; betting teasers,
totals and other props (such as season wins by an NFL team); while
comparing the money line vs. the spread and thoroughly examining
the home field advantage.
There’s a major
chapter on betting sports on the Internet, but he’s still not convinced
it’s the way to go. “As for me personally. ... I still prefer Las
Vegas and its sportsbooks,” he says. Before he gets to that point
of rejection, he covers a lot of territory, including the subjects
of bonuses; use of Western Union and wire transfers; withdrawing
funds and possible problems; the potential for credit card fraud;
cheating; name confusion (similar sounding sports books’ names);
inadequate capital on the part of the books; owners as gamblers;
cancellation of bets; over-limit betting; the “mistreatment” factor;
being pegged as “undesirable” and being pegged as a winner.
the book so it appeals to three distinct levels of readership.
will be able to grasp the basics. The language is clear, examples
are offered, the terms are explains (there’s a handy glossary at
the end of the book for further help) and the book is indexed by
bettor will get a diverse, fresh approach to betting football (there
are some sections on baseball as well) including segments on testing
specific theories, problems and solutions. (Remember Wong taught
at Stanford many years ago—and he’s still a teacher. He loves to
present situations and guide the student to a solution—only here
it’s done with money you’ll eventually be “investing” on a sports
who look for a mathematical edge will rejoice in Wong’s application
of Poisson (a specific mathematical distribution) and the Poisson
distribution (what the binomial distribution becomes when one of
the two outcomes is rare). The section on Poisson Props—in this
case, keyed to that wild and crazy Super Bowl parlay card--may be
one of the most interesting ever seen on the subject.
summary, this is a book keyed to helping the bettor find value;
to direct individuals away from the unwise wagers and to examine
where the edge may be. There are warnings; ideas; examples; situations;
plus a vital one-chapter section on basketball’s March Madness,
with a focus on over-under props.
Beat the Sports Books was a long time in the works. The man knows
his subject—betting football—he has such a vast knowledge of it
all. His book, written from the standpoint of a street-wise handicapper
who’s examined virtually every aspect of beating pro football, becomes
the second incredibly vital work to have for this and future betting
Gordon is the
nitty-gritty-type of handicapper-advisor. He doesn’t delve into