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Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers Point Spread - Pick

Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Auburn Tigers (9-2 SU, 5-4-2 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 3:30PM EST
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama
TV: CBS

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: ALA -4/AUB +4
Over/Under Total: 48

The Alabama Crimson Tide face the Auburn Tigers on Saturday in a big SEC matchup from Jordan-Hare Stadium. Both teams won their last game to set up this matchup. Alabama hammered Mercer, 56-0, to move to 11-0. The top-ranked team in the nation now faces a very dangerous Auburn team, winners of four games in a row, including a 42-14 win over UL Monroe on Saturday. A year ago, almost to the day, Alabama was able to beat Auburn, 30-12, but this looks to be a more-dangerous Auburn team and they could be the best team the Tide have faced all season.

Auburn entered this week ranked 6th in the College Football Playoff rankings. They are the highest-ranked two-loss team in the nation. Two weeks ago, they hammered the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, 40-17. Their only losses this season were one-score losses to Clemson in their second game and a mid-October road loss to LSU. Now nice and dug-in for their third straight home game, the Tigers look for a season-defining win over Alabama, which would put them in the running for big things. With one loss in-conference, the Tigers could make life hard for 'Bama with a win this week and steal the SEC West division.

The Auburn offense really made some strides this season, getting a big boost at the quarterback position with Jarrett Stidham commandeering this group. With an aerial-attack that can do damage, along with a really good run-game, the offense has been good for an average of over 37 points a game this season. Stidham has been highly-efficient, completing over 67% of his throws with 16 touchdowns and just 4 picks. Ryan Davis and Darius Slayton are key targets for Stidham, with speedy junior Will Hastings also getting involved. But on Saturday, they relied heavily on a run-game that offers a lot of firepower and variety. Kerryon Johnson had another big game on Saturday with 137 yards and a TD, while RB Kam Martin ran for 83 yards with touchdowns on the ground and through the air. Malik Willis added 64 yards on 2 carries. Like their opponent, they can apply a divergent ground-attack that wears down opposing defenses. They put up 317 yards against Monroe after using the run to submit top-ranked Georgia the week before.

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The Auburn defense has offered a lot of balance this season and has not allowed more than 27 points in any game. They've held teams like Clemson and Georgia to very little on offense, showing it translates against good teams. One area where they have struggled is in getting turnovers, but they got three against UL Monroe and will likely need some this week. On Saturday, DB Nick Ruffin took an interception back for a touchdown. They get good play from guys like pass-rushing linebacker Jeff Holland, with running-mate Deshaun Davis also an asset in the middle. They have done well in some key spots this season and allow an average just over 16 points a game. Things get a lot tougher this week.

This will be a good test for Alabama. They have seen things go their way this season en route to an 11-0 record. There have certainly been some quality teams in that record, but none as good as Auburn and none that were playing as well at the time they faced them as the Tigers are playing now. They now get to flex their considerable firepower against a good and peaking team. Against an undemanding foe on Saturday, they didn't need to be at their best, but they will need to be so this week.

Against a team like Mercer, they spread the love around on offense. QB Jalen Hurts threw for three touchdowns, before he was pulled for Tua Tagovailoa, who also threw three TDs. Everyone in the ground-game got work, with guys like Bo Scarbrough, Joshua Jacobs, Najee Harris, Damien Harris, and Hurts getting involved. Even freshman Brian Robinson, Jr. had 50 yards and a TD, as if they needed more prongs in this run-attack. Calvin Ridley was over 100 yards receiving, with others like Cam Sims also hauling in TD passes. This offense puts up an average of over 41 points per game and can get you in a variety of ways.

The shutout win over Mercer was Alabama's second this season. Eight times this season, opponents have been held to 10 or fewer points. Their average point allowance is just ten points, as they rank near the top in all major categories. Even with some key injuries, they are so deep that they haven't really missed a step. With Minkah Fitzpatrick (questionable), Ronnie Harrison, Levi Wallace, and Laurence Hootie Jones, the secondary is stout and adept at making plays. Up-front, Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs get after it. The middle is well-manned with Rashaan Evans, Keith Holcombe, and others.

It's a very hard spot for Auburn to make its mark. On both sides of the ball, they are facing some things this week that they haven't seen or had to deal with this season. But they also offer some of the same to Alabama and they are at home. Both offenses will be seeing the toughest defenses they have faced this season. And that's the side of the ball I see shining the brightest this week for both teams. I picture a close game where points aren't that easy to come by. I'm taking the under.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting that the Alabama vs. Auburn game will go under 48 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Alabama vs. Auburn game from home at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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