NCAAF Auburn vs. Alabama Odds, Picks, Predictions (11/26/22)

Auburn (5-6, 2-5 conf.) takes on Alabama (9-2, 5-2 conf.) in the Iron Bowl – one of the most historic matchups in college football. Despite Auburn being eliminated and Alabama owning a negligible chance at the playoffs, both teams desperately want to prevail as it’s a matter of pride. Regardless of the talent mismatch, this contest is always an absolute war and anything can happen.

A miraculous Ja’Corey Brooks 28-yard touchdown tied the game last season with 29 seconds left, and Alabama eventually prevailed 24-22 in quadruple overtime. Can Auburn avenge their loss and completely eliminate rival Alabama from the playoffs? Odds, predictions, and key matchups are below.

Auburn vs. Alabama Odds

Alabama is a heavy favorite, as the spread currently sits at -22 with their moneyline at -1800. Meanwhile, Auburn’s moneyline is +1000, which means they must win 9.1% of the time to be profitable long-term. The over under is 49.5 total points, and Alabama games have hit the over for this specific line in 7 of 11 games.

Auburn vs. Alabama Prediction & Pick

Although the Iron Bowl can always be close, I am going with Alabama to cover -22 here.

Auburn’s passing attack is ineffective because QB Robby Ashford struggles with accuracy on downfield throws. He owns a horrendous 49.3 completion percentage and more interceptions (7) than passing touchdowns (6). Ashford meets an Alabama secondary brimming with NFL talent. Arnold, Kool-Aid, and Branch form a shutdown cornerback trio at their peak, and they have help on the back end from stingy safety duo Hellams and Battle. Considering they can double cover WR Ja’Varrius Johnson – Auburn’s lone serious receiving threat – the Crimson Tide should completely deflate their passing offense.

When Auburn does rack up points, it’s through their run game. Tank Bigsby can thrive up the gut, but he is also elusive for his size. Auburn also relies on Ashford’s legs to scramble and on designed runs. However, Alabama allows a paltry 3.1 yards per rush and ranks 2nd in run defense per PFF. Because they can neutralize the run, they eliminate the foundation of Auburn’s ability to move the ball down the field. Plus, Auburn must handle a ferocious pass rush led by likely top 5 draft pick Will Anderson Jr. With no time to throw and a limited run game, it’s a difficult environment for a quarterback that struggles to throw.

The factor that complicates this pick is the persistent chaos that plagues this matchup. There is always a key turnover or a flukey set of catches that mostly haunt Alabama. If the Crimson Tide can avoid this and play to their strengths, then Auburn will severely struggle to keep pace with an angry Alabama team.

Auburn vs. Alabama Key Matchups

Penalties & Mental Mistakes

Alabama has not been able to get out of their own way this season, which is uncharacteristic of Saban’s previous teams. The Crimson Tide are holding far more often, and pass interference has been a problem. In addition, false starts and offsides also run rampant. Overall, Alabama is simply undisciplined, and it has cost them games. If Alabama finally avoids the penalties, then they have an excellent chance to cover.

RB Jase McClellan vs. Auburn Run Defense

Gibbs is questionable, so McClellan likely sees the bulk of rushing attempts. He’s a capable runner (6.1 yards per rush), but he thrives as a receiver in space (12.8 yards per catch). If Gibbs is unable to play, then Alabama needs McClellan to effectively move the chains and burn the clock. However, should Auburn stuff the run game, then Alabama would lean on a receiver group that has largely struggled to create separation consistently.

Braxton has been writing for Lineups since December 2021 with the majority of his articles focused on the NBA. He is currently a senior at the University of Pennsylvania where he has spent the last few years working with various UPenn athletics teams and contributing to the UPenn Sports Analytics Group.

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