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DEGENERATES: GIVE THANKS

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Gambling is about what's happening now, not what happened last week. If you're into history, go read a book. If you choose to follow the way of the degenerate, then you came to the right place. In the spirit of the holiday, I'm giving you (don't worry, I won't be swaddling you in smallpox dipped blankets) picks -- awesome ones! Let us eat.

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USC @ Arizona State (+2.5)

The season began with USC being heralded as one of the greatest college teams of all time. It ends with them facing elimination from the Pac-10 title hunt at the hands of Arizona State on Thanksgiving night in this year's Tryptophan Bowl. What the Sun Devils are doing here is beyond me. They're like Lingering Uncle Larry at Thanksgiving Dinner. He gets invited because he has nowhere else to go but no one wants him there. He shows up early, reeking of dingy strippers, hugs your sisters a little too long, makes lewd remarks about your mom's boobs, and leaves last, but not before he cries about how lonely he is. Which is actually a prophetic description of Dennis Erickson. You did good, Dennis, really. But we know you're always looking for the BBD and none of this really matters to you anyway. It is a big deal to Pete, so stop harshing his vibe and git. USC by a TD.

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Texas @ Texas A & M (+5)

For one day, every year, stuffing is king. When else would you reach into a turkey's poop shoot for your dinner? I don't see you wrist deep in a bird's ass in April, but it's Thanksgiving, so it's cool. Nothing says Happy Holidays like scooping grub out of a dirty bird's sweet spot for your beatifically smiling family. That's what this game is: It's stuffing. It's the only time this year when you can bear to watch these teams. The Longhorns' fanbase has been driven mad by inconsistentency all year. Some of the natives are even turning against Mack Brown who brought them a National Championship just 2 years ago. And then there's Coach Fran. Dear, sweet, misguided, Coach Fran. He may not be the worst coach in America, but he has to be the stupidest. And that's what this comes down to, for me. With a win, Coach Fran will be bowl eligible and he can leave with back to back wins over Texas, which is why I'm so sure Texas is going to roll here. Despite what you hear, Texas is not a bad team and their offense is coming around. They've been averaging 43 points a game over the last five, which is the number I see here: Texas, 43-10.
Bye, Coach Fran!

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Alabama @ Auburn (-6)

This game is like the Thanksgiving cranberry sauce to me. I don't want to smell it, hear about it, or see it, yet year after year this shit is crammed down my throat. It's tart, slimy, and the crimson hue gives me the dry heaves. So does this game. I hear these teams don't care for each other. Based on the amount of vitriol I hear from both sides, I wish they'd both lose. The Tide are "led" by the erstwhile Napolean, Nick Saban who spent more time this week discovering new ways to become more loathsome than he did preparing for Tubs & The Gang. Tubs spent the week... honestly, who knows what he does? Doesn't matter. Auburn's just better. Tubs has never lost to Bama at home and the Tigers have won 5 in a row overall in the series. They make it 6 this year. Don't let the line scare you, take Auburn to cover.

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Connecticut @ West Virginia (-17.5)

I checked 3 different sports books to confirm that this spread was accurate, and it is. This line put a smile on my face like a pumpkin pie in a vat of Cool Whip. The Huskies are third nationally in scoring defense and fifth in turnover margin. They're also 7-1 against the spread in their last 8. Couple that with Pat White's peculiar predilection for fumbling (and minor head injuries) and the fact that Steve Slaton is wearing down (he's averaged less than 4.5 YPC in 5 of 6 games) -- I see this as a dogfight down to the wire. West Virginia may win, but they're not walking away from UConn. Take the Huskies and the points. As a bonus in this game, the Total is set at 50.5. Don't know if that's points or couches ignited; regardless, take the Over.

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Missouri @ Kansas (-2)

And now we come to the game of the week and the second oldest rivalry in college football. They call it the Border War, which is awesome, because it's been a pillow fight since its inception. This game hasn't meant anything since Mangino was an A-Cup ('twas the fall of '68). This year it's different with both teams competing for a Big 12 title and a shot at a National Championship. I prefer to call it the Crystal Meth War since both states are more famous for the copious cache of crank they gleefully (and toothlessly) produce. This year, that description is particularly apt since both teams are on a binge of revenge across the Big 12, leaving behind beaten bullies, body odor, and empty ammonia canisters. Both offenses average 42+ pts a game and boast two of the top QB's in the country. Since Missouri lost in Norman, they've rolled off 5 straight, topping 40 points in each. Regardless of what happens next, they are for real. Mount Mangino has done an amazing job with the Jayhawks. He's built a deadly offense (ranked #7 nationally) and a solid defense (ranked #8 nationally). The difference here is a matter of perspective. Kansas is going to play with fear, not of Missouri, but of losing and ruining a perfect season. This makes a team tight and I see them turning the ball over in critical situations. Missouri already lost and I see them playing without fear like they've got nothing to lose. Go with the Tigers here, in the game of the weekend.