Sometimes the best idea is to steal an idea.

I love hearing serious bettors discuss various strategies about speculating on the outcome of sporting events.

I steal the best material from the sharpest gambling minds and then incorporate the acquired knowledge with personal experience to formulate a plan of attack that best fits my style and comfort level.

I actively wager on pro and college basketball with a special emphasis on the WNBA, college football and Major League Baseball.

If I hear something good from a trusted source, I’ve been known to occasionally place a wager on areas outside my fields of expertise (NFL, NHL or the late double at Santa Anita).

Professional sports investor Mike Greene texted me yesterday about a wager he made in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

His text message follows: “Expect plenty of field goals on a muddy field at Candlestick. Heavy rain expected. Inclement weather NOT built into the opener.”

Greene is a lifetime winner by applying equal parts art and science to the gambling equation with a large heaping of self-discipline.

The professional bettor, based in San Diego, is an “artist” who relies on feel and instinct when it comes to handicapping and a “scientist” concerned with odds and probabilities when it comes to wagering.

For the NFC Championship Game, Greene grabbed “under” 43, not the best price in the market (Pinnacle opened 44), but a price he predicts will beat the closing number significantly.

Greene feels the Candlestick Park total could close as low as 40, if the expected rain and high winds forecast for today and tomorrow linger through the weekend.

THE RIGHT SIDE…..It’s a beautiful thing when a game follows your script.

Such was the case in last night’s Northwestern-Wisconsin contest when the Badgers bombed the Wildcats, 77-57.

I bet “OVER” 116.5 and the Big Ten game in Madison sailed beyond the total with ease.

Wisconsin hit a trio of three-pointers in the game’s first 90 seconds, one more than the Badgers recorded in 18 attempts from beyond the arc in last Sunday’s home game against Nebraska.

I assumed Wisconsin, led by heady point guard Jordan Taylor, would find plenty of opportunities for good looks beyond the three-point line against Northwestern’s soft 1-3-1 zone.

Wisky finished 12-of-23 from three-point range with 10 of the 12 trifectas featuring an assist from a selfless teammate.

THURSDAY’S BEST BET…..Play 593 UCLA +2 over Oregon State. The Bruins exit a dominating 66-47 win over crosstown rival USC in a game that should set them up well, physically and mentally, for a victory over Oregon State. The Wear twins, sophomores Travis and David, played outstanding last Sunday at the Galen Center and the senior backcourt of Laz Jones and Jerime Anderson should relish the Beavers’ fast-paced style. Oregon State lost its fifth game in six tries when losing 76-66 to Arizona State last Saturday. OSU was the beneficiary of 21 ASU turnovers yet still lost by double digits. Yuk!

COMING FRIDAY…..Sports speculator and market trader John Netto previews the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

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