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Alabama at Auburn Picks, Predictions & Iron Bowl Betting Preview

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 5 mins

Alabama at Auburn Picks, Predictions & Iron Bowl Betting Preview

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One team is suddenly sleepwalking past conference opponents, the other is on its first three-game losing skid in nearly a decade. What on earth to make of this Iron Bowl?

It’s certainly a vexing one for bettors, given that heavy favorite Alabama has failed to cover against its last two SEC opponents. Then there’s Auburn, the host team for Saturday’s showdown, which has lost three straight, most recently at South Carolina. Home field matters here given that Bama’s last three losses in the series have all come at Jordan-Hare Stadium. But neither team is inspiring a lot of confidence right now.

But there will surely be lots of college football betting interest in the Iron Bowl, given its perch in the SEC’s marquee mid-afternoon TV slot. The teams have split the last four meetings, with home teams holding serve.

Odds subject to change.

Alabama vs Auburn Key Matchups

Auburn’s pass defense vs. Bryce Young: The Alabama quarterback has passed for a league-best 38 TDs, and will face a Tigers secondary that was fraught with mistakes and miscommunication in last week’s loss at South Carolina.

Tank Bigsby vs. Alabama’s front seven: With starting quarterback Bo Nix out, the focus of the Auburn offense becomes tailback Bigsby, who rushed for 164 yards at South Carolina. He now faces a Tide run defense that ranks fifth nationally.

Auburn’s offensive line vs. Will Anderson Jr.: The Alabama linebacker ranks first in the nation with 24 tackles for loss, and second with 13 sacks. He’s capable of disrupting Auburn’s limited offense all on his own.

5 Key Alabama vs Auburn Stats

2003: The last time Alabama lost to an unranked Auburn team, which came amid a 4-9 season coached by Mike Shula.

27.5: Alabama’s average margin of victory over unranked Auburn teams under coach Nick Saban, hired prior to the 2007 campaign.

25-18-1: Alabama’s record over the past decade as a road favorite against the spread.

54-44-2: Auburn’s all-time record against ranked opponents at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

25-1: Alabama’s record against Auburn when only the Crimson Tide are ranked, the exception being a 17-7 Tigers victory in Tuscaloosa in 2002.

Alabama vs Auburn Weather Forecast

Forecasts early in the week for Auburn, Ala., call for a cloudy and dry Saturday. Temperatures for the 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff are expected to be in the high 50s, and although skies may be cloudy there’s only a minimal chance of rain. Those making college football picks on this game shouldn’t have to worry about the weather.

Alabama vs Auburn Moneyline

Alabama is a -1250 moneyline favorite, according to sportsbooks, while Auburn is a +710 underdog. Auburn under first-year coach Bryan Harsin has lost three straight for the first time since 2012, and the howls can be heard from Montgomery to Mobile.

Nix is out the rest of the season with a broken ankle, turning the reins over to T.J. Finley, and placekicker Anders Carlson is also out. The Jordan-Hare crowd is among the loudest in college football, but it can’t make up for all that. Barring something completely unforeseen, Alabama will win - the question is by how much. Treat the moneyline like Alabama white sauce on barbecue, and stay away.

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Alabama vs Auburn Point Spread

Alabama is a 19.5-point favorite, according to betting sites. This is where things get maddening. Alabama was a 29.5-point favorite over LSU, and nearly lost the game. They were a 20.5-point favorite over Arkansas, and gave away most of a 31-14 lead to win by a touchdown.

In between, they covered a monstrous 50.5-point line against New Mexico State. As tough as it is to go back to the Alabama well again, there’s really no other choice given how bad Auburn is right now. The Tide are averaging over 40 points against SEC opponents since losing at Texas A&M, and they’re the only college football odds play against the spread this week.

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Alabama vs Auburn Totals

The total is 55.5, according to betting apps. Despite boasting the nation’s second-highest-scoring offense, the Crimson Tide have gone under in three of their last five, typically because opponents have managed so few points.

Auburn meanwhile has gone under in five of seven, and managed just 17 points at South Carolina without Nix. Two years ago in Auburn the final was 48-45, but the Tigers just don’t have the firepower to play that type of game. Add the fact that Saban is infamous among bettors for throttling back once he has a comfortable lead, and the under looks like the more sensible play.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.