Pick – Analysis
Alabama still doesn’t have the SEC West locked up as Ole Miss keeps staying pace a Game behind. But a win here for the Crimson Tide will put them in the title Game against Florida. This matchup is never easy, but considering Auburn is just 2-5 in SEC play this year, many are assuming this Game is a freebie for ‘Bama. The Tide opened as a -13 point road favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
A college football playoff berth is awaiting Alabama again, as long as they can win out. The Tide have cruised through their last few Games, beating up on ranked LSU and Mississippi State with ease. Coming off an easy win over Charleston Southern, they’ll be primed for this Game against an Auburn team that was probably one of the most overrated going into the season.
The Tigers have two wins in Conference play this year, both on the road at Kentucky and Texas A&M. They have competed for the most part, but without an offense that can keep up, have lost more often than not. An early-season overtime win over Jacksonville State wasn’t much of a fluke for how this team has looked.
Alabama will continue to pound the ground Game with Derrick Henry, who is becoming a favorite in the Heisman race. Henry has hit 200 yards in three of his past Four SEC Games, while also adding at least two touchdowns in five straight Games. There’s no reason to believe Auburn’s defensive front will be able to stop Henry and company. It’s not that Auburn’s defense is even that bad this year, it’s just that Alabama is probably the best power-rushing team in the nation. Quarterback Jacob Coker hasn’t been asked to do much, having not thrown for more than 270 yards all season, surpassing 200 just once in the last five Games.
Auburn will need to make the most of its chances, something that hasn’t happened all year. Their running Game has gotten a little better in the last month with Jovon Robinson becoming a factor supported by Peyton Barber. Robinson has at least 90 yards in Four straight Games. The problem is that the Alabama defense is good as well. The Tigers may have success running the ball, but can quarterback Jeremy Johnson do something productive offensively? He’s had turnover issues all season and certainly can’t thrown multiple interceptions in this Game. In the loss to Georgia, he finished with 61 yards and one interception.
These teams have battled the last couple years in close contests, but this year could be different if Auburn’s offense can’t keep up. The Tigers have had one good offensive outing all year and that was in a loss at Arkansas. They’ll need to get some kind of ground Game going to combat what Alabama’s offense does on the other end as they wear down Auburn’s front.
The Tigers have covered in Four of the last five meetings between these teams in Auburn, while the over has surprisingly hit in Four straight overall between them. The Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last five Games against a team with a winning record.
Our Pick – Yes, this is a rivalry Game and in many instances, you can throw out the stats from the regular season as we’re sure to see some big upsets this weekend.
We just can’t see this Game as one of those upsets. Very difficult to make any kind of a case for Auburn in this Game, based on what they have done this year, compared to what Bama has done. Alabama -13