Missouri is pretty bad. How bad? The controversy-plagued program has fallen to new lows in 2017, giving up 42 points to FCS opponent Missouri State before losing to South Carolina and Purdue by a combined 50 points.
Lack of outstanding talent is an issue. But the Tigers haven’t really changed their approach to offensive football in 15 years. 4 or 5 wide receivers, an OL and a QB fending for themselves in a lonely backfield. When you’ve got Blaine Gabbert throwing to Jeremy Maclin, that works out okay. When team speed and execution aren’t up to par…you get one dismal campaign after another.
Auburn, meanwhile, is off to as shaky of a start as a 2-1 record could indicate. A gut-wrenching 14-6 loss to Clemson was followed by a 5-turnover debacle against the Mercer Bears…ending in a 24-10 win credited exclusively to the War Eagle defense.
The point spread for Saturday evening’s SEC battle presents an age-old dilemma, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Who: Auburn Tigers at Missouri Tigers
When: Saturday, September 23rd, 7:30 PM EST
Where: Memorial Stadium, Columbia, MO
Lines: Auburn (-19) at Missouri (+19) / O/U Total: (56)
Bettors are leaning ever-so-slightly toward Mizzou, but the question posed by the point spread isn’t changing. A 3-touchdown win covers for Auburn, while almost anything else covers for Missouri. Put simply – are the heartland’s SEC “Tigers” anywhere near the same class as their southern counterparts? Or is this an extremely uneven match-up in which Auburn will blow Mizzou and its pass-happy, woeful offense away?
Missouri’s offense was hapless against Purdue in Week 3. QB Drew Lock was 12-of-28 with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, while the Tigers’ leading rusher was somebody named Ish Witter with 25 yards. The Boilermakers did not record a sack, but that has more to do with Lock’s jitters in the pocket than good pass-protection.
Auburn added by subtracting this week, dismissing troubled backup QB Sean White from the program. Starter Jerrett Stidham is not playing spectacular football, but he’s not the focus of our bet recommendation.
Auburn skipper Gus Malzahn is a former High School coach, using a version of a High School offense (the Wing-T) in the SEC. We’re going to take that motif a bit further and predict that this is going to be a prep-football style beat-down. No contest. A laugher.
A defense that gives up 14 points to the Clemson Tigers is not going to give up more than a touchdown (if that) to a Missouri squad that looks like it has given up on its coaches, and is already packing it in after 3 games.
Take Auburn to cover and roll over Mizzou in a rout.