The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide host the No. 15 Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, November 29th. This will be a rematch of last year’s thrilling 34-28 victory by the Tigers as they returned a missed field goal for a touchdown on the game’s final play.
Alabama (10-1) won its sixth straight game last Saturday as it dismantled FCS foe Western Carolina 48-14. Auburn (8-3) also played host to FCS member Samford and came away with a 31-7 victory last week.
Kickoff inside Bryant-Denny Stadium is scheduled for 7:45 EST Saturday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. If you are looking to wager on this game, you’ll find Alabama as a 9.5-point favorite over Auburn.
My Early Lean: Alabama -9.5
The Crimson Tide have been waiting for this game since last year. They want revenge on the Tigers from that crushing defeat that sent Auburn to the SEC Championship. Now, a spot in the title game is at stake for the Crimson Tide this week, while the Tigers have no shot of playing in it. So, from a motivational perspective, there’s no question that the Crimson Tide have the edge heading into this one.
More importantly, Alabama is the better team. In fact, I believe it is the most complete team in the country. This is easily one of the best offenses in school history. The Crimson Tide are averaging 35.0 points and 482.4 yards per game against teams that give up 25.4 points and 393 yards per game. Defensively, the Crimson Tide have been dominant again this year. They are allowing just 14.5 points and 283.1 yards per game against teams that average 29.5 points and 411 yards per game.
Auburn once again has an explosive offense that puts up 35.1 points and 476.8 yards per game. However, this is a terrible matchup for them because they rely primarily on the run to move the football. Alabama only gives up 85 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry against teams that average 163 rushing yards per game and 4.2 per carry. Alabama’s ability to stop the run will be the difference in this one.
While the Tigers have a decent defense, it is nowhere near up to the caliber of Alabama’s stop unit. The Tigers are giving up 23.5 points and 375.6 yards per game on the season. They allowed 41 points to Texas A&M, 38 to Mississippi State, 35 to South Carolina, 34 to Georgia and 31 to Ole Miss. They lost three of those five games. Alabama is sure to hang a big number on this vulnerable Auburn defense as well.
Sure, Auburn has won two of the last six meetings in this series, but they shouldn’t have won either of those as they needed some late-game heroics to do so. Alabama outgained Auburn by 102 yards last year, by 320 yards in 2012, by 257 yards in 2011, by 119 yards in 2010, was outgained by 41 yards in 2009, and outgained the Tigers by 242 yards in 2008. As you can see, this really has been a one-sided series over the past six years.
Alabama is 6-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 33.3 points per game.
Alabama is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games off two home no-covers where it won straight up as a favorite. That’s another reason why this line is smaller than it should be because the Crimson Tide failed to cover the spread in their last two games. The Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings. Alabama is 6-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 33.3 points per game.