Alabama Auburn Odds
The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 SEC) travel to face the No. 4 Auburn Tigers (10-1, 6-1 SEC) on Saturday, November 30 in arguably the biggest game of the entire 2013 college football season. The Crimson Tide have won four of the past five meetings in the Iron Bowl, including a 49-0 home victory in 2012.
Kickoff at Jordan Hare Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 EST Saturday afternoon with CBS providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find Alabama installed as an 11-point favorite at Auburn with a total set of 54.5 points.
Why Alabama Covers
The Crimson Tide have been blowing out the opposition all season. Ten of their 11 victories have come by 13 points or more, and they are outscoring opponents by an average of 30.4 points per game this year. This has certainly been the best team in the country when you consider the tests it has had to go through in the brutal SEC, and this is just the next step for Alabama to win a third consecutive national title.
Alabama is putting up 39.7 points and 444.7 yards per game this season in a solid year for quarterback A.J. McCarron and the offense. However, it has been the defense that has been carrying this team. Alabama is giving up just 9.3 points and 263.9 yards per game to rank 1st in the country in scoring defense and 3rd in total defense. Auburn’s biggest weakness is its stop unit, which gives up 406.9 yards per game to rank 67th in the country in total defense.
The Tigers rely almost exclusively on the run to move the football. They are averaging 320 yards on the ground and just 180 through the air. The bad news for them is that they will be up against the best run defense they have faced all season. Alabama is allowing just 91.3 yards per game and 3.0 per carry to rank 4th in the country in rushing defense. In back-to-back blowout victories over Auburn, the Tide have held the Tigers to 92 rushing yards in a 49-0 triumph in 2012, and 78 rushing yards in a 42-14 road win in 2011.
Plays on a road team (ALABAMA) – after allowing 14 points or less in two straight games against opponent after allowing 37 points or more last game are 36-11 (76.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Alabama is 9-1 against the spread after gaining 7.25 or more yards per play in its previous game over the past three seasons. The Crimson Tide are 11-5 against the number in their last 16 road games. The favorite is 6-2 against the spread in the last eight meetings in this series.
Why Auburn Covers
The Tigers have had two full weeks to prepare for Alabama since beating Georgia by a final of 43-38 at home on November 16. That extra rest and preparation will be a huge advantage for them leading up to their biggest game of the season, which is for the SEC West Title. That win over the Bulldogs improved the Tigers to a perfect 7-0 straight up and 5-2 against the spread at home this season. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 21.0 points per game at Jordan Hare Stadium.
First-year head coach Gus Malzahn has done a tremendous job with this team. Remember, he was the offensive coordinator here back in 2010 when the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 28-27 on their way to winning the National Championship. Malzahn has put together one of the best offenses in the land at Auburn once again in 2013. The Tigers are putting up 39.0 points and 500.1 yards per game to rank 13th in the country in total offense.
Auburn has proven that it can run on anyone. It is averaging 320.3 yards per game and 6.4 per carry this season to rank 3rd in the country in rushing offense. It has rushed for 282 yards on Ole Miss, 379 on Texas A&M, 444 on Tennessee and 323 on Georgia in four of its toughest SEC games this season. Tre Mason (1,153 yards, 17 TD) has led the way, but dual-threat quarterback Nick Marshall (1,530 passing yards, 823 rushing yards, 18 total TD) has been the catalyst. Alabama has struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks in the past like Johnny Manziel, who ripped its defense for 628 total yards in a 42-49 home loss on November 14.
Plays against road favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (ALABAMA) – dominant team – outgaining their opponents by 125 or more yards/game, after outgaining opp by 175 or more total yards in 2 consecutive games are 36-10 (78.3%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Auburn is 6-0 ATS versus good rushing teams that average 4.75 or more yards per carry this season. The Tigers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. good defensive teams who give up 14 or less points per game. Auburn is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games overall. Alabama is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
The Tigers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. good defensive teams who give up 14 or less points per game.
My Early Lean: Auburn +11