Auburn Tigers (8-3 SU, 8-3 ATS) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0 SU, 8-3 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 3:30PM EST
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: AUB +17/ALA -17
Over/Under Total: 46
On Saturday in key SEC action, the Auburn Tigers come into Tuscaloosa to face the top-ranked defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide. This is the last regular season game for both teams, with Alabama heading for the SEC title game and then they're hoping the College Football Playoff. Auburn is looking for a signature win to cap off a successful season, Combined, these two teams have been solid at the betting windows with a 16-6 record ATS.
Each team was successful in what amounted to tune-up games last Saturday. Auburn easily dealt with Alabama A&M in a 55-0 slaughter where the Tigers ran for 451 yards and six touchdowns. Alabama, meanwhile, was able to make easy work of Chattanooga, though they missed the spread by a considerable margin. Still, with the 31-3 win, they enter this critical part of the season at full-strength, poised to repeat as CFP champions.
'Bama has been fairly dominant. Only twice this season has an opponent so much as surpassed 14 points of scoring. In the last 3 games, the Alabama defense has yielded a total of two field goals. They are the second-ranked overall defense in the nation. They are ranked first against the run and they are second in points allowed. They have made life consistently hard on opposing offenses and seem to be getting better as the season carries on to its late stages. They rush the heck out of the passer and they make plays left and right. Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson, and others have gotten after quarterbacks. Minkah Fitzpatrick is just one playmaker in a secondary filled with them. It's a unit that is a big help to the overall team effort. Against LSU, Mississippi State and Chattanooga in their last three games, the defense is giving up virtually nothing. Auburn's offense will really be up against it.
Alabama averages over 40 points a game, bolstered by a strong run-game with enough of an aerial attack to keep opposing defenses on their toes. QB Jalen Hurts has thrown 18 touchdowns against 7 picks on 65% completions, while adding 800 yards on the ground with 11 running scores. They've gotten multiple contributions to the ground game this season, led by Damien Harris, Joshua Jacobs, and Bo Scarborough. Through the air, both ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley have 647 yards and we've seen tight end OJ Howard deliver before in big games and he could do so again this season.
There is no questioning the Tide's power at this point. Coming off a dominant run last season, they didn't fall back in 2016. Even their 8-3 record against the spread shows how they have performed this season. They weren't getting great betting value this season and still covered the spread a bunch. And truth be told, they could probably lose this game, win the SEC title game against Florida, and still get into the CFP. Don't look for that to resonate much this week, as a full 'Bama effort should be forecasted.
Auburn didn't look like they'd get this far after a 1-2 start to the season. Their only loss in the last 8 games was a close won on the road against Georgia. They scored some big wins this season in conference. Auburn flexes a tough run-game, which is ranked fifth in the nation, in addition to a stout defense that has given up more than 16 points just once in their last eight games. Auburn might be able to provide a tough defensive test to the Tide, while Alabama will need to do something to curb an Auburn run-game that has really come into its own this season.
A shoulder injury forced Auburn quarterback Sean White (questionable) to the sidelines last week, as they hope to have him back for this game. Jeremy Johnson filled in against Alabama A&M on Saturday, but they could have had anyone in there with the way the run-game took over the game. RB Kamryn Pettway (questionable) leads the way with 1106 yards, followed by Kerryon Johnson's 823 yards and 11 touchdowns. John Franklin III and Kam Martin have also delivered on the ground. The aerial game has been a bit muted, but when they do take to the air, Tony Stevens, Darius Slayton, and Kyle Davis have been decent threats.
QUIT THROWING AWAY YOUR HARD EARNED LOOT! BET ON THE AUBURN VS. ALABAMA GAME AT DISCOUNTED ODDS -105 TODAY AT 5DIMES
The Auburn defense is robust, particularly against the run. And the defense has gotten better as the season gets to its late stages—a good time for a unit to peak. In the past few months, only a still-intact Ole Miss offense was able to do much against this group. They get after the passer, led by Carl Lawson's 9 sacks and constant pressure. They'll make some big plays here and there and while they lack the flair, blue-chip prospects, and playmaking ability of the 'Bama defense, they've been very effective over the past few months.
This game has a strange air to it. Alabama is unbeaten and at home and can sense the light at the end of the tunnel, which could provide an energizing factor. A down Auburn team hung in there well with Alabama last season for a half, so maybe they can give the Tide a more complete test this week. Auburn has won 7 of 8, isn't giving up much in the way of points, and faces a one-time chance to add a lot of positivity to their season with what would be a huge win this week. I see Auburn hanging in there. I'm taking the points.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Auburn Tigers plus 17 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and beting the Auburn vs. Alabama game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!