College Football Iron Bowl Betting Picks: #2 Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers
Saturday, November 28, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, Alabama
Opening Line: Alabama -13
Current Line: Alabama -14 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 48 1/2
Current Total: 48 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -540 / Auburn +420
Current Money Line: Alabama -635 / Auburn +485

Alabama is a 14.5 point favorite against Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Alabama is a 14.5 point favorite against Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

The 10-1 Alabama Crimson Tide are #2 in the college football playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide travel to Iron Bowl rival Auburn Saturday. The Tigers are 6-5 overall in a disappointing season. However, spoiling the SEC championship and playoff dreams of Alabama would make their season. The Crimson Tide are 6-1 in the SEC West, and a game ahead of Mississippi. Alabama clinches a spot in the SEC Championship next week against Florida with a win over Auburn or an Ole Miss loss against Mississippi State. Ole Miss needs an Auburn win and an Egg Bowl win to clinch the division title. Auburn is in last place in the SEC West at 2-5.

Alabama and Auburn meet in the 80th Iron Bowl. The two rivals first met in 1893. Alabama leads the series 43-35-1 against Auburn. The Crimson Tide have won five of the last seven games in this series including 55-44 last year in Tuscaloosa. The winner of this game has represented the West Division in the Championship game in six of the last seven seasons.

Alabama is coached by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide have a home loss to Ole Miss 43-37. Alabama has a win over Wisconsin 35-17 in Arlington, Texas, road wins at Georgia 38-10, Texas A&M 41-23, Tennessee 19-14 and Mississippi State 31-6, plus home wins over Middle Tennessee 37-10, UL-Monroe 34-0, Arkansas 27-14, LSU  30-16 and Charleston Southern 56-6 last week. Alabama has won eight straight games since the Ole Miss loss.

Alabama was a 40.5 point favorite against Charleston Southern and the total was 50. Alabama scored the first 49 points of the game. The Buccaneers avoided the shutout with a fourth quarter touchdown. CSU had only 134 total yards and 8 first downs. Alabama is 6-5 ATS and the total is 4-7 this season.

Auburn is coached by Gus Malzahn. The Tigers have a win over Louisville 31-24 in Atlanta, along with  home wins over Jacksonville State 27-20 in overtime, San Jose State 35-21 and Idaho 56-34 last week. Auburn has road wins at Kentucky 30-27 and Texas A&M 26-10. Auburn has road losses at LSU 45-21 and Arkansas 54-46 in four overtimes along with home losses against Mississippi State 17-9, Ole Miss 27-19 and Georgia 20-13.

Auburn was a 33 point favorite against Idaho and the total was 63.5. Auburn led 14-10 early in the second quarter after an Idaho field goal. The Tigers would then score 21 straight points to take control of the game. Auburn led 49-17 and 56-20 in the second half. The Vandals scored two fourth quarter touchdowns for the back door cover. Idaho had 479 total yards to 460 for Auburn, but the Vandals had the only three turnovers of the game. Auburn is 3-8 ATS and the total is 3-6-2 this season.

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Alabama is outscoring teams 35-15 this season. Alabama is #3 in points allowed and #30 in scoring.  The Crimson Tide average 417 yards per game on offense including 219 passing and 199 rushing yards. Alabama is #32 or better in rushing offense. On defense, Alabama is allowing 265 yards per game including 187 passing and 78 rushing yards. Alabama is #3 in total defense and #2 in rush defense nationally. Even the pass defense is #18 nationally. The Crimson Tide have forced 22 turnovers and have 16 of their own. Alabama averages 59 penalty yards per game and opponents average 48. Alabama is 64/171 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 57/185. The Crimson Tide have forced 38 sacks and allowed 17 this season. Alabama is 39/48 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns and opponents are 19/23 with 11 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide have four pick sixes and 4 punt return for  touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Jake Coker has thrown for 2,106 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 58 rushing yards on 50 carries and 2 touchdowns. Cooper Bateman has thrown for 291 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Running back Derrick Henry has 249 carries for 1,526 yards and 21 touchdowns, plus 10 catches for 97 yards. He has a rushing touchdown in 16 straight games dating back to last season. Kenyan Drake has 68 carries for 333 yards and a touchdown, along with 19 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown. He is out with an arm injury but could return for the SEC Championship game.  Damien Harris has 44 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Calvin Ridley has 61 catches for 701 yards and 5 touchdowns.  ArDarius Stewart has 42 catches for 455 yards and 2 touchdowns. O.J. Howard has 30 catches for 335 yards. Richard Mullaney has 29 catches for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns. Robert Foster has 10 catches for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns, but is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Chris Black is also out for the season with an ankle injury.

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Auburn is outscoring teams 29-27 this season. The Tigers average 377 yards per game including 176 passing and 201 rushing yards. Auburn is #31 in rushing but #86 in total offense and #109 in passing out of 128 teams. On defense, Auburn is allowing 418 total yards per game including 237 passing and 181 rushing yards. The Tigers are #80 or worse in all three categories. Auburn has forced 18 turnovers and  has 13 giveaways this season. The Tigers average 45 penalty yards per game and opponents average 33 per game. Auburn is 71/161 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 88/187. The Tigers have forced 17 sacks and have allowed 16 this season. Auburn is 40/45 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns, and opponents are 38/48 with 27 touchdowns. Auburn has 2 defensive touchdowns this year.

Quarterback Jeremy Johnson has struggled this season. He has completed 63.2% of his passes for 873 yards with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 38 carries for 129 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. Freshman Sean White started a few games, but has only taken 5 snaps against Georgia in the last three games.  He has completed 57.7% of his passes for 1,064 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, and also has 35 rushing yards on 29 carries. White isn’t listed in the injury report and Malzahn has yet to announce his starter. Both could see action.  Another back-up QB Tyler Queen is out for the season with an elbow injury.

Running back Peyton Barber has 218 carries for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 78 yards. Jovon Robinson has 76 carries for 462 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kerryon Johnson has 43 carries for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 13 catches for 122 yards. Roc Thomas has 38 carries for 232 yards and a touchdown, and 11 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Ricardo Louis has 44 catches for 675 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 24 carries for 139 yards and a rushing touchdown. Melvin Ray has 16 catches for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns. Marcus Davis has 27 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. D’haquille Williams has 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.  Four defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Alabama is 5-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, against teams with winning records, and in road games, 4-0 in November, and after allowing less than 20 points. 4-1 after a straight up win, after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, overall, on grass and after allowing less than 275 total yards, 3-8 after a cover, and 2-7-1 after allowing less than 170 passing yards. The over is 4-0 in this series recently and 4-1-1 in Auburn. The favorite is 7-3 ATS in this series recently.

Auburn is 10-3 after scoring more than 40 points, 3-7 in SEC games, 3-9 against teams with winning records, 5-17 overall, 3-12 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 3-13 on grass, 2-9 after failing to cover, 1-5 after passing for 170 yards or less, 1-6 after a straight up win, after rushing for 200 yards or more, and in November, and 1-9 at home. The home team is 6-2 ATS in this series recently. The Tigers have covered four of the last five at home against the Crimson Tide.

Alabama is arguably playing better than any team in the country, including undefeated Clemson and Iowa. They are simply better than Auburn and should win this game handily.

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