No. 3 Alabama meets Auburn on Saturday in the Iron Bowl.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Alabama, Ala. The game will be televised on CBS.
Alabama (10-1) will look to put the final touch on another run through its division before the highly-anticipated SEC championship game matchup against No. 1 Georgia. Quarterback Bryce Young is building on what could be a Heisman Trophy season, and Nick Saban is 9-5 in the Iron Bowl, but that includes a 3-4 record at Auburn.
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Auburn (6-5) has endured an up-and-down season under first-year coach Bryan Harsin, but that record goes out the window against their in-state rival. Quarterback T.J. Finley will get another start in place of Bo Nix, who was lost for the season with a fractured ankle. The Tigers must run the ball effectively around Tank Bigsby to have a chance.
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It’s always high theater in the SEC when the Crimson Tide and Tigers meet, and the pressure is on Alabama on the road. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about betting on the Iron Bowl.
Alabama vs. Auburn odds
- Spread: Alabama -19.5
- Over/under: 55.5
- Moneyline: Alabama -1250, Auburn +710
Three trends to know
— The Tigers are 4-2 S/U at home this season, but the only game they were an underdog was against Georgia. Auburn lost 34-10 and failed to cover the spread in that game.
— The Crimson Tide are 6-5 ATS this season, and they have been favored by double digits in every game. In SEC West play, Alabama is 2-3 ATS.
— Alabama has been favored in six of the last seven Iron Bowls at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and the Crimson Tide is just 2-5 ATS in those games. Alabama did cover as a double-digit favorite in two of those three games. A look at those results:
|2007||AUB -4.5||AUB 17-10|
|2009||ALA -10||ALA 26-21|
|2011||ALA -21||ALA 42-14|
|2013||ALA -9.5||AUB 34-28|
|2015||ALA -14.5||ALA 29-13|
|2017||ALA -4.5||AUB 26-14|
MORE: Bo Nix says refs favor Alabama
Three things to watch
— Alabama’s passing attack. Young is on a five-game tear since the loss to Texas A&M. In that stretch, he’s averaging 370 passing yards per game with 18 TDs and no interceptions. Young also is completing 78.9 percent of his passes in that stretch. If Auburn cannot slow that down, then there will not be much to this game. The Tigers rank 11th in the SEC in pass defense and allow 10.9 yards per catch. This is a huge challenge for Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason.
— T.J. Finley’s completion percentage. Finley has filled in for Nix, and the transfer quarterback has passed for three TDs and zero interceptions. That said, he has a 52.3 completion percentage. Auburn is 1-4 against FBS schools this season when their quarterbacks complete less than 60% of their passes, and Alabama has allowed a 63.9% completion percentage for the year. Finley must take advantage of those opportunities in the passing game.
— Will Anderson Jr. Is there a more-dominating defensive player in college football? Anderson has 13.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss. He also leads the Crimson Tide with eight quarterback hurries. That’s going to be a challenge to keep Finley in comfortable situations, especially on third and long.
Stat that matters
Alabama has allowed more than 100 yards rushing in just three games this season. They’ve allowed 285 passing yards or more in four games, and that includes the loss to Texas A&M and close call against Arkansas last week. Auburn will try to limit Alabama’s possessions by focusing on the running game, but at some point they will have to take chances with Finley. Alabama’s secondary has had a few inopportune breakdowns this year, but eight different players have an interception.
Alabama vs. Auburn prediction
It’s not just about Young. It’s the supporting cast. Brian Robinson, Jr. averages 4.9 yards per carry with 14 rushing TDs, and the tandem of Jameson Wiliams (1,218 yards, 13 TDs) and John Metchie III (895 yards, 7 TDs) have been consistent all season. All three will find the end zone. Alabama’s history at Jordan-Hare Stadium is worth knowing, but the Tigers face an uphill battle against an offensive machine prepping for the ultimate test against Georgia. Alabama will not be stopped here.
Final score: Alabama 38, Auburn 20