Iron Bowl Auburn at Alabama Against The Spread Betting PickJosh Bailey
For the seventy-ninth time Auburn faces Alabama in the Iron Bowl this Saturday. When this college football season started, many football handicappers wondered if Auburn versus Alabama, like it was last season, would be the most important game of the season.
The number one team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 9.5 point home favorites over the visiting Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl during Rivalry Week. Click here for more college football Rivalry Week betting odds.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 23, 2014
For the most part, those handicappers are not wrong. Alabama has to beat their bitterest rival in order to continue atop the Selection Committee’s College Football Playoff rankings. Without a victory, Alabama no doubt will drop out of the rankings and will have no shot at the National Championship.
No. 16 Auburn Tigers at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
When: Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7:45 pm ET
Where: Bryant-Denney Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Betting Line: Alabama -9.5
Analyzing My Iron Bowl Auburn at Alabama Against The Spread Betting Pick
It makes no sense why the Auburn Tigers are even ranked. After dropping a game to Texas A&M 41 to 38, Auburn traveled to Georgia and got the stripes knocked off of them. The Tigers imploded on their way to a 7 to 34 loss. Then, in the game after the Georgia debacle, the Tigers could only beat Samford 31 to 7 as a -38 point favorite.
Auburn is a terrible 4 and 7 against the spread this season. They’ve gone 1 and 3 against the spread in their away games in 2014. As bad as Auburn has looked lately, they’ve lost 3 out of their last 6 games, it’s a miracle, or a bit of the good old SEC bias, that they are even ranked, let alone ranked in the Top 20.
The Tigers’ offense doesn’t appear to be as effective as it was earlier in the season. The total yards per game have dropped below 480 to 476.8. The Tigers are now only scoring 35 points per game on average. That wouldn’t be an issue if Auburn’s defense wasn’t so bad. Based on stats, the D doesn’t look that bad. Teams average 375.6 yards and Auburn only gives up 23.5 points per game. But Auburn has allowed Texas A&M, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Georgia to all score 30 or more points against it.
Alabama’s offense could easily approach the 30 point threshold because the Crimson Tide is averaging 482 yards and 35 points per game. Defensively, Alabama could make life very difficult for Auburn QB Nick Marshall and the Auburn offense. Alabama’s defense remains one of the best in the nation. It allows only 283.5 yards and 14.5 points per game. Alabama ranks second versus the rush with 84.9 yards allowed per contest.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) November 26, 2014
The ATS betting trends don’t give an edge to either team. Alabama is just as bad against the spread as Auburn. The most meaningful trend is that the home team is 5 and 2 against the spread in the last 7 meetings between these two.
What this comes down to is motivation. Alabama should still be smarting from the miracle failed field goal run back for a touchdown that Auburn pulled on them in last year’s Iron Bowl. Alabama is also playing to keep its number one ranking in the College Football Playoff Top 4.
Auburn really has nothing to play for except pride and that won’t be enough for the Tigers to hide their deficiencies. The Tigers will put up a fight for at least the first quarter in this game before Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon run all over the Auburn defense and lead Alabama to a comfortable 10 points or more victory.