Alabama vs. Auburn kicks off Saturday (11/25/23) at 3:30 p.m. EST in Auburn, Alabama as a home game for the Tigers. Get Alabama vs. Auburn predictions and best bets below. Our best bet is on Alabama moneyline as a two-team moneyline parlay piece.
Alabama vs. Auburn Prediction
Auburn’s loss to New Mexico State was as shocking as it gets as they came in as a heavy -25.5 favorite and lost 31-10. Granted it was rumored NMSU quarterback Diego Pavia was supposed to sit this one out, opting to play at the last second and sparking a massive upset. To make matters worse, that was Auburn’s last good chance to clear their regular-season win total over 6.5 wins, now having to do so against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Can they pull off the upset?
Most likely not as Alabama is firing on all cylinders and looking every part of a potential national champion. Their major turnaround stems from their offense as this was a weakness for the program earlier this year. It got so bad to the point head coach Nick Saban was looking elsewhere for a quarterback as Jalen Milroe failed to generate any sort of consistency. Instead of making a change under center, Saban re-tooled the offense to revolve around Milroe’s strengths as a big armed dual threat quarterback.
That means more designed runs for Milroe in an effort to suck in the defense, giving him the chance to throw over the top of them as an elite downfield passer. Elite may be a bit of an undersell as Alabama’s pass attack ranks sixth in Pass Explosiveness. While his short-throw accuracy is still less than desired, Milroe has had no issue with airing it out and having his five-star receivers go and get it. They will be in a position to do so once again as Auburn’s secondary ranks a lowly 114th in Def Pass Explosiveness.
Scarier yet for Alabama, their ground game has rounded back into form after a slow start to the season. When Milroe struggled in the pass game, opposing defenses were given the benefit to stack the box and crash down on the backfield. With Milroe now stretching the second level of the defense with his own dual-threat prowess, Alabama’s running backs now have more room to work with as they hit the open field. This has resulted in them going from league average marks to a respectable 44th in Rush Success Rate, 20th in PPA and 35th in Explosiveness.
On the other end it should be business as usual as Alabama’s defense has been the lone consistent factor for its success. Especially in the mid-field where the Tide rank fifth overall in Def Success Rate and 31st in Havoc. Defending the big gain has been an issue, ranking 105th in Def Explosiveness, but Auburn is no threat in exploiting that by clocking in at 106th in the same department.
Alabama vs. Auburn Prediction: Alabama ML Parlay Piece
Alabama vs. Auburn Best Odds
Oddsmakers also agree that this is Alabama’s game to lose, opening the Crimson Tide as a -14 favorite. That number was quickly bet off the key number of 14, currently sitting at -14.5 with a few shops going to -15. Missing out on the key number makes it worth adding them into a moneyline parlay in order to avoid getting hooked.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a fast pace by opening the number at 50.5. Bettors believe points will come at a slower rate, backing the under down to as low as 49 as of writing. The total is a tough read as Auburn’s anemic offense plays toward the under, yet Alabama needs as many statement wins as they can get before the final playoff selection.
Alabama vs. Auburn Key Matchups
Can Alabama shut down Auburn quarterback Payton Thorne?
Payton Thorne vs. Alabama Coverage
A large part of why Auburn relies so heavily on the ground game is that their quarterback is one of the worst P5 quarterbacks in football. Payton Thorne has not elevated this offense, leading them to pass ranks of 93rd in Pass Success Rate, 91st in PPA and 62nd in Explosiveness.
Payton Thorne finds freshman Caleb Burton over the middle who takes it 45 yds pic.twitter.com/1uS9H3KWRW
— Power of Dixieland (@PwrofDixieland) November 11, 2023
His struggles to generate any sort of consistency through the air should continue against an Alabama secondary that clocks in at fifth in Def Pass Success Rate and 16th in Def Pass PPA. Especially when factoring in the Crimson Tide’s advantage in the trenches, causing Havoc and forcing Thorne into making ill-advised throws into tight passing lanes.