Free Listings

Discount Travel


In the News


CATELLO'S NBA GUIDE PACKED WITH BETTING ANGLES, ROOM FOR RECORDS, Book reviews by Howard Schwartz (Manager of the Gambler's Book Shop in Las Vegas)

The pro basketball season begins in November and ends many months later. It’s a long season with many potential bets and many others you must pass on. Smart players know that unless there’s a very good reason to bet a game, you shouldn’t wager.

The question is, what constitutes a “good bet?”

For many punters finding the "right number" or "right total" or the right situation provides enough reason to bet. Using patience, discipline and a lot of hard work along with money management, they isolate the best and toss the rest.

Jim Catello, a first-time author-compiler has produced a surprise "rookie-of-the-year" winner titled The Complete Guide to the 2005-06 NBA Schedule (170 pages, 8x11 workbook/guidebook combination in which he outlines, then details 20 scheduling issues that directly affect the quality of play of pro basketball teams. These, he contends, are weaknesses that a player can take advantage of so he identifies and "flags" them in a unique format.

Among those factors impacting team performance as the season goes on are the first and second games of a back-to-back; playing three games in four days or four in five days; getting four or more days off between games; the last home game before leaving on a trip; mismatch games; non-conference games; the second matchup of the season; playing a day game following a night game.

Catello evaluates team schedules from most favorable to least favorable then lists team with those situations highlighted. (Obviously teams with proper rest perform better--tired legs, high altitude games, "home cooking" impact performance.)

The sharpest handicappers over the past decades have noted those special games where a team is strongest or weakest and they patiently wait for the opportunity to wager, depending on the number listed.

Key rivalries, whether the game is on national television, looking ahead (sandwich games), playing the champion and how healthy a key player also have impact.

Catello has examined the entire pro schedule carefully and has much to say, plenty to alert you to. Some samples:

"Feb. 27--the Sacramento Kings: last home game before leaving on a long East Coast trip," and for the Lakers: "Dec. 26: Lakers must be considered vulnerable in this game (at the Wizards). It's the last game of a trip--the third game of a 3 in 4 nights thing on the road...there has to be some very serious emotional lag after playing the Heat yesterday..."

A major section of the book allows you to list all the scores, totals, how the team did straight up or against the spread and see the rest of the schedule, month by month.

The amazing thing about this book is that Catello sent us a little more than a dozen copies without notice, the store placed it on the counter without any review or ballyhoo and on the web site with a brief description and they sold out immediately without a customer asking any question about the format. Instant popularity is rare--but it happened with Catello's work.

Note: The books mentioned here are available from Gambler's Book Shop, 630 South 11th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Call l-800-522-1777 from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday Pacific time to order, using only MasterCard, VISA or Discover card (no Amex accepted). You may order through the store web site at and view the store's 1,000 books, videos and computer software. You may also call or write and ask for the free 80-page catalog to be sent to you. The store, founded in 1964 by John and Edna Luckman, is located about two miles from Downtown Las Vegas, and the same distance from where the Strip begins, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard.