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Tide Expected to Roll Over Auburn in Iron Bowl

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Najee Harris (22) during an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.

Alabama (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) seeks revenge for last year’s loss to Auburn (5-2, 4-3) when the teams meet Saturday in the 82nd edition of the Iron Bowl. Home teams have won the last four meetings and seven of the last eight, while Auburn hasn’t won in Tuscaloosa since 2010. Alabama opened as a 24-point favorite.

Auburn Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Date/Time: November 28, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Bryant-Denny Stadium
  • TV Coverage: CBS
  • Opening Odds: Alabama -24 | O/U 60.5 (Line History)
  • Auburn vs Alabama Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

It’s nothing new to see the Crimson Tide favored by this many points at home in the Iron Bowl. Alabama has laid at least 20 points in three of the last four meetings in Tuscaloosa, going 3-1 ATS during that span. However, the total of 61 is the highest we’ve seen in this in-state rivalry in at least 25 years.

Auburn News & Notes

Star running back Tank Bigsby left last week’s 30-17 win over Tennessee in the second quarter with a hip injury. The freshman, who averaged more than 100 yards and scored five touchdowns in Auburn’s previous four games, carried the rock just three times for 24 yards before hitting the showers and was in street clothes for the second half. Veterans Shaun Shivers and D.J. Williams combined to run for 131 yards on 25 carries in place of Bigsby, whose status for this week was uncertain at the time of writing.

Maybe it was the rust of not having played in three weeks (due to a bye and a postponed game against Mississippi State), but Auburn’s defense was not very sharp against the Volunteers. The Tigers allowed Tennessee to go 9-for-15 on third down and gave up 464 total yards, including 173 on the ground to Vols running back Eric Gray.

However, Auburn’s defense dug in when it mattered most, ending two long drives with sacks and returning an interception 100 yards to give the Tigers a 10-point lead in the third quarter.

That bend-but-don’t-break defense helped Auburn go UNDER the total for the fourth straight game, even though those contests have seen an average of 55.3 points scored. The Tigers have also gone UNDER in four straight on the road and in nine of their last 11 SEC games.

Alabama News & Notes

Although Alabama tied a season high last week with 63 points against Kentucky, quarterback Mac Jones is coming off arguably his poorest showing of the season. Jones’ 166.3 rating was his lowest of the campaign and he threw an interception in the end zone, had another pick overturned by a defensive penalty and might have thrown yet another INT if the defender hadn’t dropped it. In the thick of the Heisman Trophy race, Jones should be motivated to put up some big numbers in the Iron Bowl.

Other than that, there’s not much to criticize about a Crimson Tide squad that has covered five of its last six outings by nine points or more. Like Auburn, Alabama was rusty early last week after having the previous two weeks off, but picked up steam as the game went along.

The Tide allowed just 60 yards in the final three quarters of the game and scored touchdowns on eight of their 11 possessions. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith also set an SEC record with his 32nd and 33rd career touchdown catches.

Betting Pick: Auburn +24

Home-field advantage shouldn’t matter as much in this year’s meeting with attendance capped at 20 percent of capacity due to COVID-19. Alabama is certainly motivated to blow the Tigers off the field after losing last year’s meeting, but Auburn has lost by more than 24 points just once in the last six years.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Auburn’s last 11 SEC games.
  • Alabama is 36-0 SU in its last 36 home games.
  • The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.