Auburn Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Odds & Free Pick
The 85th rendition of the prestigious Iron Bowl will take place this weekend at Bryant-Denny Stadium with the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide host the no. 22 Auburn Tigers. In recent weeks, Alabama has clearly proved they are the best team in college football, outscoring opponents 193-44 over the last four games against the likes of Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and previously 3rd ranked Georgia. On Tuesday, the 1st College Football Playoff committee rankings will be released, which is expected to have Alabama at the top of the rankings.
While the path to college football's biggest stage is a realistic one for the unbeaten Crimson Tide, Alabama also needs no reminder of the importance of this Saturday's meeting with Auburn. The rivalry is enough motivation in itself as the Iron Bowl has historically been one of college football's greatest showdowns. However, also consider that the Tigers' ended Alabama's hopes of reaching the playoffs with a 48-45 upset on the plains last season. Can the Tigers compile another run towards upsetting the Crimson Tide? I'm not sure if another upset is realistic, but the 24 point betting spread leaves a lot of room for debate.
2020 Iron Bowl Betting Analysis
The reason I doubt Auburn's realistic opportunity at scoring the upset this weekend is simply because they do not have enough firepower on offense. The Tigers have a subpar passing threat in quarterback Bo Nix that has completed 60% of his passes on the season with ten touchdowns and five picks. Like most of Head Coach Gus Malzahn's offenses, the Tigers' biggest threat is in the running game. Running back, Tank Bigsby has been solid with 527 yards and five touchdowns through 7 games; meanwhile, Nix is 2nd on the team in rushing with 284 yards and three scores. Obviously, these are not jaw dropping numbers, and Auburn has not been a big-play threat on the offensive side of the ball this season. The offense has been effective against equal and inferior talent. However, they have struggled significantly at times against tougher competition, as we witnessed in the 27-6 loss to Georgia earlier this year.
- Get more details: Auburn at Alabama Match-up Stats 11/28/20
Meanwhile, Alabama has been truly impressive on the offensive side of the football. Before the year began, I thought QB Mac Jones would play a game manager role as Saban reverted his offense back to the power running approach that led Alabama to their early success in the Saban era. The Crimson Tide have one of the best running backs in college football in Najee Harris, who has compiled 797 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns on the season. The 16 touchdowns on the ground are the most in the FBS. While the running game lived up to my personal expectations, the passing game and Mac Jones far exceeded what many expected.
Far from a game manager, Jones has been absolutely phenomenal, hitting 77% of his passes for 2,426 yards with 18 touchdowns and just three picks on the season. Not only has Jones' been impressive statistically, but his best performances of the season were produced in Alabama's biggest games against Georgia, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. Simply put, the passing attack has thrived in the wake of Tua Tagovailoa's departure to the NFL, and we need to give serious credit to Alabama's junior quarterback who has spearheaded an offense that is averaging nearly 50 points per game. As a result, I standby the notion that despite the understanding that anything can happen in a rivalry game, we should not expect another Auburn upset even if they have won 2 of the last three over the Crimson Tide. The real question is can Auburn keep it within the 24 point spread, and what are the realistic chances that happen?
Auburn vs. Alabama Betting Trends
- The Tigers are 13-7 ATS in the last 20 games.
- The Tigers have hit the "under" in six of the last seven games.
- The Tigers are 1-5 SU in their last six games on the road against Alabama.
- The Crimson Tide are 5-1 ATS in the last six games.
- The Crimson Tide has hit the "over" in five of the last seven games.
- The Crimson Tide are 6-0 in their last six games at home.
- The "over" has cashed in six of the last 9 Iron Bowl meetings.
Auburn vs. Alabama Prediction 11/28/20
Personally, I think the 25 point betting spread is slightly risky because it will be heavily influenced by Auburn's production on offense. The Tigers looked awful against a comparable Georgia defense but traditionally manufacture scoring opportunities through efficient design. I could see Auburn being held to a low 14-17 point scoring total, and I can also see other opportunities where they get into a shootout with Alabama, given the Crimson Tide will be clearly ahead in both scenarios. Therefore, I think the best bet in this game is the "over" 60.5 point total. Even in a situation where Auburn's offense flops, it should only drive up Alabama's scoring potential. Heck, the Crimson Tide are nearly averaging 50 points per game. I personally believe this is a sweet spot for Jones to attack Auburn's pass defense, but honestly, Alabama will probably have success on the ground as well. In this revenge spot, I don't expect Alabama to show mercy nor have trouble towards creating scoring opportunities. If we get just a little help from Auburn's offense, this will be an easy total to hit.