Sports Books – A Primer

We have all probably read numerous books on sports betting, but the ones listed on this website are some of our best sports books. While other popular books on the subject take more of a high-level/academic approach (like Stanford Wong’s “Sharp Sports Betting”), Rudinsky’s book takes a more practical/applied approach, which provides a wealth of information I hadn’t seen before. Notably, his “commandments” for recreational sports bettors are a great set of simple rules to remember and his discussion of common cognitive biases were helpful in understanding the psychological aspects of sports betting. He also sprinkles in a some humor, which makes for a good read. Finally, he provides his email address and offers to provide readers help at certain points in the book. Sure enough, I reached out to him with an inquiry and he got back to me.

This is the first book on Fantasy Football and I am proud to include it in my fantasy football library. Sure, there may have been one or two before, but in my opinion, Rob Zarzycki’s Drafting to Win: The Ultimate Guide to Fantasy Football is the first definitive book on fantasy football. Drafting to Win (DTW) goes beyond the basics and explains the “how” and “why” behind draft theory. For many readers it will be their first exposure to Value Based Drafting (VBD) and baselines. The introduction to these concepts is worth the price of this book ten times over. This book has the best explanation of Value Based Drafting that I have ever seen and as an added bonus; it explains how to apply VBD to your draft in a dynamic manner (i.e. reacting to other owners draft actions/needs). I find myself re-reading it ever year before the FF season starts. It is that good!

I utilized some of his strategies for two drafts this past year. First, I attempted the his dynamic value based drafting, until I found that the calculations took too long and/or were too complicated to do during the draft because of time pressures. I then used a few of the static VBD formulas, which I will say gave me a perceived edge on my competition. I came out of one of my drafts with what I saw as one of the top 3 teams (out of 10).

The major flaw of this sports book is that I found the author’s explanations confusing when he got into the meat of the calculations. I work as an analyst, so this stuff is not overly complex for me…. I did, however, find it difficult to absorb this material, and it was hard to go back and reference something because the sections of explanation of the formulas were not broken out in an easy-to-understand manner. The book could do with more helpful tables and figures.

The chapter on ranking players is really an inside look at the strategies of a “top ranked fantasy football player” since Rob finished second in 2002 and third in 2003 at the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF). However, DTW also discusses fantasy football’s history and the basics in detail, but the heart of this book is the extensive draft preparation knowledge and the demonstration of his techniques in how to draft a winning team based on your own rankings of players. Yes, there is math involved; but the good news is that it starts slowly and builds as the techniques become more advanced. I found myself using most of the techniques, but sidestepping some that are quite advanced mathematically.

If there is a downside to the great ranking system/draft advice he illustrates, it is that Rob does not provide as much of his wisdom into start/bench decisions or waiver wire pick-ups as many readers will have liked. Similarly, he does not discuss Auction drafts much but he hints at a future book devoted exclusively to that much-deserved subject. I am eagerly awaiting that book.

As a recreational sports gambler I enjoyed this book. The author makes it pretty clear that beating a sportsbook is very difficult, but also acknowledges that you can win over the long-term with some discipline and intelligent analysis. The book is filled with tons of methods to improve your sports betting skill. I especially liked the “17 Commandments of Sports Betting”. Reading the book alone won’t get you rich, but employing the ideas in the book and doing some additional work could certainly help anybody’s chances of winning. Very useful information in this book.

Excellent book for beginners who want to learn the basics and good habits when placing bets on sports. I wish I would have discovered this book earlier because I was guilty of a lot of bad habits which costed me money. This book will not ensure profits but it will ensure that you make smarter choices which can possibly lead you to making a profit. It’s extremely user friendly and the author seems like he is genuine with sharing his knowledge. I would greatly recommend this sports book, good luck in your future sports betting ventures. Really good. Helpful for beginners. Very thoughtful. Great starting point for the casual better to become a professional better.

This is by far the best book on sports gambling I’ve ever read, and I have read several. The authors clearly explain how to get leverage on the sports books. Many insights on how to gain the edge on bets from a most creative angle. I’ve already tried some of their ideas and have had more success than I could ever imagine. I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about winning money on sports betting.

If you have never bet on sports, and are wondering what type of work must be done to have a chance, this is the best introductory text on sports betting. The reading is full of good math tips for converting percentage into money lines and vise verse. The EV discussion is pretty basic and many advanced gamblers will be bored by this but really for me it was a nice re review of addressing basic probability theory into your bets and if you cannot mathematically define your advantage in a bet assume it is negative EV and don’t bother. Later in the book King has tables and graphs of NFL games from 1989 to 2006 (great sample size IMHO) and the advantage of half points and other tip bids are addressed (so even the advanced gambler will at least get utility out of this book.) Since basketball and other sports are out of season now I did not read those sections yet. The reality is that there are few great books on sports betting due to the fact that the computer teams see huge negative EV in writing about their ‘edge.’ The fact that King even bothers makes this book a steal for $13. Anyone that puts this book down, I would be very dubious of that review due to the price point of this book being pretty low.

Fantasy Football is as tough as it is fun, but if you’re looking to get into gambling on games, I recommend this book highly. Takes a realistic, non-flashy approach to choosing players, and allows a better to navigate possible options for draft day and for draft maintenance throughout the season. Includes graphs and charts which allows readers to follow theoretical lines. This sports book also avoids emotional allegiance to specific teams and popular players and approaches drafting more as a science, the way should be.

I’m a beginner and actually only got interested in football last year. I’ve always wanted to try Fantasy Football so I took last year to learn about the teams and some key players. I decided I wanted to try some Fantasy games this year so I bought this ebook to try and understand the how to play. I read this book in one sitting and thought it was excellent especially for me that has no clue how to play. I highlighted many parts to go back to the formula and try to understand it better but I’m ready to make some spreadsheets and start some Mock Drafts. I do know some of the popular players but the others I don’t know much about so the formula’s laid out in this sports book will so help me pick players I don’t know much about