The Top 5 Sports Books of All Time

There have been thousands of sports books written throughout the years. Some have been absolute crap and most are mediocre at best, but there are that select few that remain deep-seated in our memories as classics. Below is my Top 5 of all time. There are some popular books missing – either because I don’t think it is as good as everyone else, or because I haven’t read it.

5. Foul Ball, By Jim Bouton – Bouton gives a candid look at a corrupt sports town. All he wants to do is keep a classic stadium alive, but local businesses and politicians oppose him for selfish reasons. They will do what’s right for their businesses regardless of the effects on the community. Beyond sports, their actions also are detrimental to the health and well being of those who live there. It’s amazing how greedy and selfish some people can be…and Bouton exposes them ALL.

4. Eight Men Out, By Eliot Asinof – This was a very, very interesting read and that is why I rate it so high. I am absolutely obsessed with the perplexing depth of this scandal. However Asinof presents a TON of evidence about the scandal, so much so that it can be a bit overwhelming. I probably need to go back and read it again to get the whole story down. It reads a lot like a really good history book about the Black Sox.

3. Friday Night Lights, By H.G. Bissinger – One of the things that drives me nuts about Odessa is that H.G. Bissinger wrote a very fair observation of the current state of their town and they treat him like he’s the devil to this day. Rather than acknowledge that maybe they shouldn’t put so much pressure on their young athletes and that maybe they needed to re-evaluate what is truly important to them, they chose to shoot the messenger. Maybe people shouldn’t be taught that the most important thing in the world is a high-school football game. I applaud Bissinger for his efforts.

2. Moneyball, By Michael Lewis – This is an absolutely amazing story about success. The book is far more than baseball – it shows the value of statistical analysis in equalizing and unequal playing field. Like the cover says, it teaches the ‘Art of Winning an Unfair Game’. I can’t stand narrow minded baseball purists that don’t see the value in what Billy Beane does. The man succeeds in spite of nearly insurmountable odds. Who couldn’t learn something from him?

1. Ball Four, By Jim Bouton – This is one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read. Who wouldn’t enjoy reading stories about Mickey Mantle and his crazy flings? Bouton’s stories were so controversial that he was banished from the Yankee community for a long time. He is so honest and down to earth that by the end of the book it feels like Bouton is one of your buddies. All sports fans NEED to read this.

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Why Do Sports Books Change the Point Spread?

This is an important concept to grasp. Point spread lines do not stay the same and they are not exactly the same at all the online casinos across the globe.

Think about the casino\sports book\bookie’s point of view for a minute. Their only goal is to take as many bets as possible while having an equal amount of action on each side of the bets. That way they make their percentage and do not risk losing money.

However, most of the time more money will come in on one side of the bet than on the other side of the bet. This puts the house at risk. If the team that has the most money bet on it wins, the bookie can be out a ton of money.

What should the sports books do if all the money is coming in on one side of the bet? This is where line moves come in. What the sports books do is adjust the line so that it is more attractive to bet on the other team. This way more people will bet on the other side of the bet and the sports book will end up more balanced. So that is why there is line moves.

When all the money is coming in on one side of the bet, the line will move to make the other side of the bet more attractive. This is also an indication of what the smart money is doing. There is some ultra-superstar bettors that everyone else tends to copy. When one of these superstars places a bet, often their bet will be imitated across the globe and it causes the line to shift.

So, that is often the hidden reason for those line changes.

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