The hype is real for Auburn. After beating Georgia last week, it’s looking more possible that this team could upset Alabama in the regular-season finale, which could mix things up at the top of the college football world. But before that, the Tigers have a freebie against Louisiana Monroe, listed as -36.5 point favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Auburn climbed the Georgia mountain last week, but still has one to go. Sandwiched between those is the valley that is ULM and motivation could be lacking. Still, motivation may not matter in this matchup with the Warhawks coming in with a losing record. Then again, even with that losing record, ULM hasn’t lost by more than 11 points all season. The only problem is that they haven’t played someone at the level of Auburn. Still, coming off a bye week and with a potent offense, Louisiana Monroe could be in line for the cover.
Of course, it was only a year ago that this Game went 58-7 in favor of Auburn. The Tigers controlled both ends of the field and that’ll probably be the case again, at least offensively. The Tigers will lean on Kerryon Johnson early and then probably Kam Martin later on. After running for 410 yards in this Game last year, Auburn could reach that total again, mainly because the Warhawks are one of the worst in the nation on the defensive side, giving up 37.9 points per Game and an even worse rate of 505 yards per contest.
Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham won’t be asked to do much, which has been the case for most of the year. He’s only tossed three picks and probably won’t have to attempt more than 20 passes in this Game, similar to other blowouts earlier in the season. The other side is where ULM will have a chance to cover.
Louisiana Monroe is scoring 37 points per Game, although hasn’t seen anywhere close to this level of defense. Auburn just held down Georgia and gives up only 16.9 points per Game. If they bring their top Game, this should be another blowout, but with Alabama up next, that may not be what ULM gets.
Caleb Evans has impressed at quarterback, tossing 12 touchdowns and only three picks while completing 65 percent of his passes. If he doesn’t turn it over, that could be huge in covering this Game. Otherwise, it’s hard to see the run Game working between Evans and Derrick Gore. To cover this spread, it may require a couple touchdowns, which they couldn’t do last year. In that Game, Auburn’s defensive front dominated and Louisiana Monroe couldn’t do anything about it.
But again, the outcome of this Game could be purely motivation based given the timing of this matchup. On a related note, between losses to Georgia and Alabama last year, Auburn beat Alabama A&M 55-0. Of course, A&M plays in the SWAC and isn’t on the same level as ULM.
The Warhawks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road Games and 7-1 ATS in their last eight road Games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Tigers are 13-3 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 home Games. The favorite (Auburn) is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – Auburn -36