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Auburn at Alabama – Latest Odds & Best Futures Bet

Auburn Tigers(8-3) @ Alabama Crimson Tide(11-0)

  • Where: Bryant–Denny Stadium. Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • When: November 26, 2016 2:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Auburn (+20) vs Alabama (-20)
  • Moneyline: Auburn (+650) vs Alabama (-1000)
  • Over / Under: Over 46 -105, Under 46 -115

Auburn has resurrected a season, rebounding from 2 early losses to win 7 of their last 8 games. Now, the Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa to face a magnificent defense with a level of talent closer to an NFL farm team than an NCAA opponent.

Roll Tide. Undefeated, #1 ranked ‘Bama is in the midst of putting together 1 of the greatest defensive seasons since Sleepy Jim Crowley’s “7 Blocks Of Granite” at Fordham almost 100 years ago.

A visit from super-talented USC in Week 1? 52-6 Alabama. Leonard Fournette and LSU? The Tide shut them out, 10-0. Even flashy Tennessee only managed 10 points. The crushing Alabama ‘D has given up a grand total of 2 field goals in the past 3 games.

Of course in a rivalry game like the Iron Bowl, anything can happen. In 2013, Alabama lined up for a field goal attempt to break a 28-28 tie. The kick fell short, and in 1 of the most memorable plays in NCAA history (known as the “Kick 6”), Auburn punt return-specialist Chris Davis fielded the ball and ran 109 yards for the winning touchdown in front of his home crowd. The stadium shook with a roar so powerful that it registered on seismographs across Alabama.

But despite Auburn holding the most dramatic win in the modern history of the rivalry, the Crimson Tide have won 6 out of the last 8 contests.

The O/U is currently 46 points at Bovada Sportsbook.

Alabama – The Overwhelming Tide

The defensive stats put up by the 2016-17 Tide are impressive, but simply quoting numbers does not explain the dominance of this defense. You have to watch them play to understand.

Any generic read-option scheme will be shut down at the line of scrimmage. A power run game such as LSU’s has little chance as well, even with an NFL running back like Fournette carrying the ball. Behind on down and distance, opposing QBs are forced to drop back and pass…which is when the fun really begins.

Tim Williams, a 252 lb senior linebacker, is T-5th in the SEC with 7 sacks. Williams’ teammate and fellow LB Ryan Anderson also has 7. Senior defensive lineman Jonathan Allen has 7 too. Together, the 3 have sacked opposing QBs for losses of 197 combined yards. That’s more than the average passing total for opposing QBs in the Tide’s 11 wins.

Worse yet for Auburn, Alabama is extremely healthy coming in. Left tackle Cam Robinson was hurt against Chattanooga on Homecoming last Saturday, but he expects to play against the Tigers.

Auburn – Winging It To 8-3

The Tigers have played 3 different QBs for significant stretches of time in 2016, and leading passer Sean White is down with an injury. Doesn’t sound like a nationally ranked 8-3 team, does it?

But Auburn is no ordinary program. Under head coach Gus Malzahn, the War Eagle has patented a complex version of the Wing-T offense. The Wing-T is popular among High School programs but almost unheard of on a modern FBS level, which led some critics to predict a quick demise once Malzahn implemented the playbook.

Instead, the ground game has been deadly…racking up yards and points while turning QBs into interchangeable role players. The Tigers are averaging almost 300 rushing yards per game, Kamryn Petaway leading with 1106 yards on just 173 carries.

But the squad has suffered from inconsistency, killing Arkansas 56-3 in October but losing to Georgia 2 weeks ago. White’s injury means that Jeremy Johnson, a strong runner but at times a comically bad pocket QB, may have to start in the Iron Bowl. That could spell doom against an indomitable defense.

Value In Futures

In most years, the Iron Bowl is a clash between more or less evenly-matched rivals with the result in doubt until 3-4 hours after kickoff. In 2016-17, the question is whether Auburn will present any more than a speed bump to the Tide.

If you’re looking to wager a little and potentially win a lot, a money line of +650 makes Auburn an intriguing play. The Wing-T can produce yards against anyone, and ‘Bama’s pedestrian offense is not built for great comebacks. If the defense ever lets down for 2 or 3 quarters, Nick Saban’s mercenaries can be beat.

But a safer play is a futures bet on Alabama to win out over Auburn and the East division winner in the SEC Championship game. Heck, a bet on a national championship has never looked safer. Odds will continue to tack in ‘Bama’s favor on sports betting sites around the globe, so if you like a brutalizing front-7’s chances to carry a team through the Playoff, lay your money down now.

Take Alabama as your future SEC or CFP champ on Bovada Sportsbook.

 

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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