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Auburn Betting Odds Preview

The Tigers pulled off one of the great season-to-season turnarounds of recent memory last year, going from 3-9 in 2012 to within 13 seconds of another national championship.

Along the way they provided college football fandom with a couple of marvelous moments, including one of the most electrifying plays in college football history. But that was last year; what can the Tigers do for an encore? They were good last year, but also very fortunate. And the schedule was kind. That's not the case this year.

Auburn Odds to Win SEC: 5/1 at Bovada
Auburn Odds to Win College Football Championship: 10/1 at Bovada
Auburn Regular Season Win Total: 9 at Bovada
Auburn Betting Props: Nick Marshall to Win Heisman 10/1 at Bovada

The Tigers got to the national championship game last year, but they actually started somewhat slowly. They beat Washington State by seven points, Mississippi State by four, then lost by two touchdowns to LSU. It took Auburn seven weeks to break into the Top 25. Things began to get interesting, though, when the Tigers beat then-No. 7 Texas A&M.

Three weeks after that they shocked Georgia with help from the Immaculate Deflection. And a couple weeks later, in possibly the game of the year in college football, Auburn beat Alabama on that improbable return of a missed field goal for a touchdown with no time on the clock. The Tigers then topped Mizzou in the SEC championship game, and later led Florida State 21-3 in the national title game. But their good fortune ran out, as they allowed the Seminoles to rally for the victory.

In the end, Auburn was the best team in college football to bet on last year, going 12-2 ATS.

This year the Tigers return 14 starters. Eight are back on an offense that averaged 40 points and 500 yards per game last year, including QB Nick Marshall and four along the offensive line, and six starters return on defense.

This year's schedule is tough; the Tigers play at Kansas State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and  Alabama, and host LSU and South Carolina. Certainly no walk in the park. After the good fortune of last season might Auburn be considered a candidate to regress this season?

SEC Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Alabama 7/5
Auburn 5/1
South Carolina 5/1
Georgia 6/1
LSU 13/2
Florida 12/1
Ole Miss 14/1
Texas A&M 25/1
Mississippi State 40/1
Missouri 40/1
Tennessee 50/1
Arkansas 100/1
Kentucky 200/1
Vanderbilt 200/1

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Not much has gone right for the Auburn Tigers since winning the BCS national championship three seasons ago. After Cam Newton left for the greener pastures of the pros AU fell to 8-5, and 4-4 in the SEC, then last year dropped to 3-9 and almost unbelievably 0-8 in SEC play.

They then canned their head coach. So a new regime has been brought in to pick up the pieces. On the bright side, there's nowhere to go but up.

Odds to Win SEC: +12500 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 6.5 at 5Dimes

With 15 starters back last year from a team that went 8-5 in 2011 Auburn was fully expected to at least play in a bowl game. Early in the year the Tigers lost a couple of close games to Clemson and LSU, but things just got worse after that. Near the end AU lost 63-21 to Texas A&M, 38-0 to Georgia, and 49-0 in the Iron Bowl to Alabama. Auburn's only victories last year came against Louisiana-Monroe (in overtime), New Mexico State, and Alabama A&M. The Tigers also went just 4-8 ATS last year, 2-6 ATS in conference play. In the aftermath of those sour notes Auburn dumped coach Gene Chizik, replacing him with Gus Malzahn, who was the OC here when they won the national title. And fortunately for Malzahn, the cupboard isn’t bare.

The Tigers return seven starters on offense, including 1,000-yard rusher Tre Mason and three along the offensive line, and eight starters on defense, including three along the defensive line and the entire secondary. Auburn compiled a -12 turnover ratio last year, but that particular stat tends to trend toward even over the longer haul so improvement could be expected in that department. The Tigers have a couple of very tough road games at LSU and at Texas A&M, but their other two conference road games are against middle-of-the-roaders Arkansas and Tennessee. They also get the rivalry game with Alabama at Jordan-Hare, although that might be irrelevant, and they miss South Carolina and Florida. With the returning starters, maybe a little spark from the new coaching regime, and eight home games, Auburn is a candidate to bounce back to at least bowl eligibility this season.

SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29

Alabama +140
Georgia +400
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Florida +950
LSU +1250
Mississippi +2700
Vanderbilt +4500
Tennessee +6000
Missouri +6000
Mississippi State +10000
Arkansas +10500
Auburn +12500
Kentucky +20000