Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Under their current head coaches, Alabama leads the Iron Bowl rivalry with Auburn three games to two. But the Tigers are 3-2 against the spread over that span, pulling off a couple of upsets along the way, including last year. Does Auburn stand any chance of pulling off another upset, or at least keeping the game close, on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa?
College football point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 24-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 53.6-18.0 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)
Why the Auburn Tigers can cover the spread
Auburn bounced back from that loss at Georgia two weeks ago to beat Liberty last week 53-0. The Tigers, with help from a pick-six and a blocked punt for a safety, led 15-0 after one quarter, 32-0 at the half and cruised from there, covering as 30-point favorites.
On the day, Auburn outgained the Flames 531-134, held a 29-7 advantage in first downs, ran the ball for 340 yards and won the turnover battle 4-0. Perhaps most importantly, though, the Tigers were able to rest starters once the game was in hand.
Auburn has also now outgained and outrushed three of its last five opponents, and it’s 3-1 ATS its last four times out.
Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread
The defending national champs reached 11-0 on the season with a 50-17 victory over The Citadel last week. That game was actually tied 10-10 at the half, but the Crimson Tide awoke and won the second half 40-7.
On the day, Alabama outgained the Bulldogs 561-275. The Tide have outgained each of their 11 opponents this season by at least 130 yards, nine of them by at least 200 yards.
Prior to last week, the Alabama defense pitched back-to-back shutouts of LSU and Mississippi State. Also, the Tide are 4-1 ATS their last five times out, covering spreads against SEC foes of 28, 29, 14 and 21 points.
Smart betting pick
Auburn won this matchup last year 26-14, but Alabama will not allow the Tigers to make it two in a row this year. The Tide are just too much. However, Alabama is only 3-3 ATS at home this season and 12-13-2 ATS over its last 27 home games, mainly because it’s favored by so much so often. The odds of an outright upset here are slim, but smart money takes Auburn and the points.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in seven of Auburn’s last nine games on the road vs. Alabama.
Alabama is 25-0 SU in its last 25 games at home.
The total has gone under in seven of Auburn’s last nine games vs. its conference.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.