The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide have to overcome one final hurdle to get to the SEC Championship Game when they travel to face the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, November 28 in the Iron Bowl. The Crimson Tide have won three of the last four meetings, including a 55-44 thriller last year as these teams combined for 1,169 yards of total offense.
Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC) is pretty much coming off a bye week with a 56-6 home win over Charleston Southern. Derrick Henry padded his stats with a couple rushing touchdowns on only nine carries before getting replaced.
Auburn (6-5, 2-5 SEC) secured a bowl berth with a 56-34 trouncing of Idaho last week. The Tigers rushed for 297 yards as a team, and Jeremy Johnson threw for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Kickoff inside Jordan-Hare Stadium is set for 3:30 EST Saturday afternoon with CBS providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the lines in Las Vegas, I find Alabama as a 14-point favorite over Auburn with a total set of 48.5 points.
My Early Lean: Auburn +14
Records can almost be thrown out the window when Alabama and Auburn get together for one of the biggest rivalries in all of college football, known as the Iron Bowl. The betting public is going to be all over the Crimson Tide in this one, which the oddsmakers know and thus have to shade the line in their favor. That’s why I believe we are getting some pretty solid value here in backing the Tigers as two-touchdown underdogs.
It certainly hasn’t been the type of season that Auburn expected coming into the year. The Tigers were a popular pick to win the SEC this season, but they just haven’t lived up to the hype. It’s not like they’ve been that far off, though. They have been very competitive in almost all their losses. In fact, only one of the Tigers’ five losses this year came by more than 8 points, which was a 21-45 setback at LSU in their SEC opener.
Auburn has played some good SEC teams very tough this year. It lost 9-17 to Mississippi State, beat Kentucky on the road, lost 46-54 on the road to Arkansas in four overtimes, lost 19-27 to Ole Miss, beat Texas A&M 26-10 on the road, and lost 13-20 at home to Georgia. Keep in mind that the Tigers actually outgianed both Georgia and Mississippi State in two losses, and they outgained Texas A&M by 140 yards in their 16-point road win.
Alabama is clearly overvalued right now due to covering three straight games against the spread. But statistically, this team hasn’t been all that dominant. The Crimson Tide only outgained Tennessee by 61 yards in a 19-14 win, they only outgained Texas A&M by 80 yards, outgained Georgia by 80 yards, and outgained Ole Miss by 17 yards. They were actually outgained by 14 yards in their last road game at Mississippi State, which was a lot closer than the final score would indicate.
The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings, and Auburn is 4-1 ATS in its last five home meetings with Alabama.
The home team is 3-0 in the last three meetings in this series. The last two have gone right down to the wire. Auburn pulled the 34-28 upset as 10-point home dogs in 2013. The Tigers arguably outplayed Alabama last year in a 44-55 road loss. They actually outgained the Crimson Tide 630-539 for the game, or by 91 total yards. The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings, and Auburn is 4-1 ATS in its last five home meetings with Alabama.
Auburn is 23-8 ATS in its last 31 home games vs. good defensive teams that allow 310 or fewer yards per game. The Tigers are also 10-2 ATS in their last 12 home games versus good defensive teams that allow 4.25 yards per play or less. The Crimson Tide are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win. The Tigers are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
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