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Missouri vs. Auburn: 2013 SEC Championship Game Preview

Both the #5 Missouri Tigers 11-1 (7-1 SEC) and #3 Auburn Tigers 11-1 (7-1 SEC) secured victories last week and have earned a birth in the SEC Championship Game. This match-up will be hosted at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and starts on Saturday at 4:00pm ET.

Missouri won at home against Texas A&M (28-21) after being down 14-7 at halftime. James Franklin played great at didn’t make any mistakes, but the story of the night was the Mizzou defense. The defense limited Manziel to 195 passing yards and 21 rushing yards.

SEC Championship Game Betting Odds

Auburn opened as a –1.5 point favorite this week and early action has bumped the line up to –2 points. I could see the point spread moving up another ½ point before kick-off. The over/under is 58 points and unless we see heavy action this line isn’t likely to move. The odds above are from Bovada.

How Missouri Won the SEC East

Last season Mizzou finished with a 5-7 (2-6 SEC) record and weren’t even bowl eligible for the first time since 2004. Mizzou got off to a great start this year. They started the season 7-0, which included three SEC wins over Vanderbilt, Georgia and Florida.

After the hot start they had a setback at the end of October when they lost at home in double overtime against the Gamecocks (27-24). They could have folded at that point, but they bounced back with wins over Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

When healthy James Franklin has been excellent. Mizzou only ranks #42 in passing yards (252.6 PYPG), but Franklin has completed 66.9% of his passes and he has only thrown 4 INT’s compared to 16 TD’s. He has been a great game manager throughout the year.

The passing game hasn’t had to be great, as Mizzou runs the football extremely well (236.9 RYPG – 18th). Henry Josey leads the team in carries (153), rushing yards (951) and rushing touchdowns (13). Hansbrough and Murphy have also rushed for over 500 yards.

Mizzou is in the top 15 in scoring and points allowed, which is a huge turnaround from the previous season. The Tigers are scoring 38.8 PPG (15th) while giving up 19.4 PPG (14th). The offense has struggled a bit against top teams, but their defense has been solid.

How Auburn Won the SEC West

Auburn is another team that has had a huge turnaround this season compared to last season. Auburn had a 3-9 (0-8 SEC) record last season. This year has been miraculous for the Tigers and they have gone from winless in the SEC to nearly perfect in the conference.

Not many people thought Auburn would win last week, but with the way this season has gone for them it only makes sense. Earlier in the year it didn’t look like Auburn would be in the SEC Championship Game, as they lost their 2nd SEC game against LSU (35-21).

With Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama still on the schedule no one expected Auburn to go undefeated after their loss to LSU in September. Auburn has a run-heavy offense that averages 318.3 RYPG (5th), but the passing game ranks #105 (172.8 PYPG).

The team is scoring 38.6 PPG (18th) and the defense has held up better than anyone expected (22.5 PPG – 31st). Tre Mason has had a big season and he leads the team with 237 carries, 1317 rushing yards and 18 TD’s. He had 164 rushing yards and 1 TD against Bama.

Nick Marshall has also been one of the best dual-threat QB’s in the nation. His passing still needs some work, but he has completed 59.2% of his pass attempts for 1627 yards, 11 TD’s and 5 INT’s. On the ground he has 140 carries for 922 rushing yards and 10 TD’s.

Auburn vs. Missouri Best Bet

These teams have no recent meetings, so we can’t look at H2H form. However, I feel that after the way Auburn beat Bama they’ll be able to ride that momentum into this game. Mizzou has been impressive this year, but the offense isn’t on the same level as Auburn.

Alabama is like the better version of Mizzou. They have an offense that can compete with the top teams, but they rely more heavily on their defense to win games. Auburn has the recipe to beat Mizzou and I think they’ll win this game by double digits on Saturday.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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