Iron Bowl 2011: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers, SEC Betting Preview

No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide at No. 24 Auburn Tigers
Saturday, 11/26/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Alabama -21.5
Current Betting Line:  Alabama -21
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  47
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Alabama Crimson Tide are seemingly one win away from earning a spot in the BCS Championship Game

Alabama is set to finish off its regular season and due to its No. 2 ranking in the latest BCS standings, it’s likely it will play in the national title game with a victory in this heated rivalry.  Fans of both sides have gotten use to the high-stakes game of this particular matchup, with this being the fourth straight season that it has championship implications.  Saturday’s game is the 76th meeting, with Alabama holding a 40-34-1 all-time advantage, as it looks for revenge from last year’s 28-27 loss as 4.5-point home favorites.  Alabama is 8-5 ATS as a road favorite the last two-plus years.

The Crimson Tide have tallied a 15-2 record in true road games since the start of the 2008 campaign, while also registering a 17-6 mark versus AP Top 25 teams the past three seasons.  Alabama is led offensively by Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson, as the running back has gained 1,380 yards on the ground through 11 games, which is slightly behind Mark Ingram’s 1,399-yard pace when he won the award in 2009.  On the other side of the ball, the defense is allowing just 195.9 yards per game, ranking first nationally.

Auburn will host ESPN College GameDay and will put its 14-game winning streak on the line at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  The Tigers know they will be facing off against one of the top teams in the country this afternoon.  “This is not a good football team, this is a great football team we’re playing,” commented Tigers coach Gene Chizik.  The program’s four losses this year have all come on the road against ranked competition, which certainly gives it a chance in hosting its biggest rival.  Auburn is 13-8 ATS at home the past two-plus seasons, while the ‘over’ is 12-7 in that situation.

The Tigers will lean heavily on running back Michael Dyer, who is the first player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.  He has rushed for the fifth-best two-year total in program history, coming in with 2,287 yards since the start of the 2010 campaign.  Auburn shouldn’t be discounted due to the large betting odds Saturday, as it has faced the second-toughest schedule nationally.

Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 6-0 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Crimson Tide are 0-4 ATS in November.

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