Iron Bowl Pick: Auburn vs. Alabama Betting Prediction
Auburn Tigers (7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0 SU, 7-4 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday November 24th, 2018. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
Point Spread:AUB +24/ALA -24
Over/Under Total: 53
The greatest rivalry in college football will be renewed this Saturday with the 2018 edition of the Iron Bowl between the Auburn Tigers and top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide when both teams meet inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. For Alabama, the Crimson Tide have already booked their ticket to Atlanta for a shot at the SEC Championship against Georgia and are among just two remaining teams that are still unbeaten at the FBS level. As Alabama looks to remain unbeaten, they will have to defend their home turf against their biggest rival which has been in a difficult task in recent years. For Auburn, there would be nothing better than derailing Alabama’s national championship campaign. Still, Auburn faces a tall task against an Alabama team that has downright dominated teams this year. The question for Auburn: can they remain competitive for a full 60 minutes to keep this game within reach?
Alabama looking to cap off one of the best seasons in school history
When people look back on this 2018 season, it will likely go down as one of the best in Alabama history. Sure, there is unfinished business. The Crimson Tide will be favorites in the SEC Championship Game and will be favorites to win the National Championship as well. If they seal the deal or not, it has still been an incredible season. In previous years under Head Coach Nick Saban, Alabama dominated mainly by being incredible on the defensive side of the ball. Sure they found ways to score points most notably by numerous dynamic rushing campaigns. However, this year’s team has truly been incredible on both sides of the ball.
The defense continues to put up average Nick Saban type numbers allowing just 282 yards per game as the 7th best overall defense in college football. The same defense ranks 3rd in scoring allowing only 13.1 points per game including shutouts in their last two games against SEC opponents. On the other side of the ball, the offense has been given life by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who has my vote for this year’s Heisman Trophy. Not that I have an actual vote, but he has clearly been the best player in the country. Tagovailoa has completed nearly 70% of his passes with 31 touchdowns and just 2 picks totaling 2,865 yards.
Tagovailoa has propelled the offense to new heights with the resurgence of the passing game combined with a healthy rushing attack behind Damien and Najee Harris. Collectively, Alabama has produced 48.7 points per game on offense which ranks 3rd in all of college football. That puts the offense and defense in the top 3 on both sides of the football. The end result has been pure domination. The Crimson Tide is unbeaten and largely unchallenged. For those wondering about the 24 point spread in a rivalry game, consider this fact; Alabama has beaten 6 out of 7 SEC opponents this year by 24 points or more including shutouts over no. 3 LSU (29-0) and no. 16 Mississippi State (24-0) in their last two games.
Auburn looking for magic again in Iron Bowl
The Tigers are the last team to beat Alabama stemming from last year’s 26-14 upset on The Plains. Of course, Alabama went on to win the National Championship and has won every game since. So what will it take for Alabama to find some magic again in this year’s Iron Bowl? In my opinion, it comes down the Auburn offense and their ability to score. The Tigers have had tons of issues this year on the offensive side of the ball that has caused many to call for coach Gus Malzahn’s end. This week, Auburn will need a brilliant gameplan from their offensive minded Head Coach.
This Auburn team has not been nearly as potent running the football in 2018, and the Crimson Tide defend the run extremely well allowing just 112 yards per game (17th in FBS). The Alabama defense is also known for putting a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks which will put junior Jarrett Stidham in a tough situation. Stidham is a solid quarterback, but I have always questioned if he was in the right system to highlight his abilities. Stidham is more of the drop back prototypical quarterback in an offense that uses a ton of RPOs. It just does not jive well for whatever reason. Therefore, I am really looking to see if Malzahn can come up with some wrinkles, new formations, or simply bring something new to the table this week. Because if this offense struggles, it will be a very long day.
Iron Bowl facts and betting trends
This Saturday’s game between Auburn and Alabama will mark the 83rd meeting of this historic rivalry. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series 45-36-1 SU. On the season, Auburn has found some late-season momentum after a tough mid-year stretch winning 3 of their last 4 games. Still, the Tigers are just 2-3-1 ATS in their last 6 road trips and have just one victory in Tuscaloosa in the last decade. Auburn did overcome a 5 point underdog margin last year to score the upset, but again that was on The Plains. Alabama currently owns the nation’s longest home winning streak at 25 straight wins. The Crimson Tide have been pretty solid this year for bettors at 7-4 ATS including covers in 4 of their last 5 games. This week’s 24.5 point betting line is the biggest spread by margin since Alabama was a 34 point favorite over Auburn back in 2012. The Crimson Tide went on to win that game 49-0.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I could explain to you 100 different reasons why I like Alabama in this game. I will save you the time. Trust me, take the Crimson Tide -24! Did you know? You can tease this game down up to 20 points playing Bama at -4 and get the best teaser payout odds by playing at these sportsbooks?