Outback Bowl: Minnesota vs. Auburn Pick
No. 18 Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. No. 12 Auburn Tigers (9-3 SU, 9-3 ATS)
Outback Bowl Prediction
Date/Time: Wednesday January 1st, 2020. 1:00PM (EST)
Where: Raymond James Stadium Tampa, F.L.
Point Spread: MINN +7.5/AUB -7.5 (5Dimes - Bet sides/totals at -105 here! HUGE SAVINGS!)
Over/Under Total: 52
In the final week of the regular season, the Auburn Tigers scored a huge victory over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Despite some criticism around Gus Malzahn earlier this year, the Tigers have beaten Alabama in 2 of the last three meetings and will also have the opportunity to reach ten wins for the 2nd time in the previous 3 years. In order to do so, Auburn will face the Cinderella Story of the Big 10 this season by way of the no. 18 Minnesota Golden Gophers in the notorious Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Gophers started the season with nine straight wins before losing two of their last three games. However, the season has been relatively remarkable for P.J Fleck’s Golden Gophers are they are just one win away from setting a single-season school record with 11 wins.
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Minnesota vs. Auburn betting analysis
On paper, these two teams have posted very similar stats. Both offenses are averaging exactly 34 points per game. Obviously, the Tigers offense surrounds their patented Malzahn spread rushing attack that is averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground. The Golden Gophers are pretty evenly balanced in their offensive attack averaging 175 yards on the ground and 251 yards through the air behind the arm of QB Tanner Morgan. On defense, the Tigers deserve the edge in terms of talent and skill, especially along the defensive front. However, the Golden Gophers are also very solid on the defensive side of the ball, with the 15th ranked defense yielding just 312 yards per game. Auburn’s defense has faced stiffer competition this year, in terms of opposing scoring offenses, to yield the 20th best defense in college football. So needless to say, on paper, these two teams are incredibly balanced.
From a betting standpoint, the Golden Gophers are an appealing option getting 7.5 points considering the success they have had this season combined with statistical similarities described above. If we dig deeper into the on-field match-ups, I think we can make a bigger case for taking the Golden Gophers and the points. Despite Auburn’s unique and efficient offense, they rarely post huge scoring numbers or put teams away. In fact, 4 of the Tigers wins this season were by 6 points or less, which includes numerous mediocre opponents like Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The Golden Gophers’ defense is physical and has enough speed to contend in this match-up against Auburn’s offense. There is nothing that Auburn presents that will be overly intimidating, and Tigers QB Bo Nix has struggled with consistency all season. If Minnesota can win on the early downs, they can have legitimate success on the defensive side of the ball by forcing Auburn into passing situations. If that happens, Minnesota has the talent in the secondary to really put the heat on.
More importantly, the match-up I really like is Minnesota’s opportunities they will have on the offensive side of the football. The Golden Gophers have a ton of talent at the skill positions. QB Tanner Morgan has tossed 28 touchdowns with just six picks, running back Rodney Smith has rushed for nearly 1,100 yards with eight scores, and receivers Rashod Batemen and Tyler Johnson each have 1,100 yards receiving with 11 touchdowns apiece. I expect this game to be close between Auburn and Minnesota, as described above. The Golden Gophers defense will keep them in this game, and as the minutes wind down, I like Minnesota’s ability to make plays in the passing game, which will be the biggest difference. I would not be surprised if Minnesota wins this game outright so I will gladly take the extra 7.5 points that are being offered!
Minnesota vs. Auburn Betting Trends
The Tigers have been one of the most profitable betting teams in college football throughout 2019 with a 9-3 record ATS. Auburn is 11-1 SU in the last 12 games as a favorite and has also hit the “under” in 4 of the previous five games. Meanwhile, Minnesota is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine games and 6-2 ATS during the last eight games as an underdog. The Golden Gophers have also hit the “over” in five of the previous six games. In terms of head to head meetings, this will be the first game between both programs.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Minnesota +7.5