Alabama will play at Auburn on Saturday evening in the latest edition of the Iron Bowl rivalry game. The stakes are high for this matchup as the winner will secure a spot in the SEC championship game against Georgia.
Both teams are alive in the CFP race and if they win out would most definitely claim one of the four playoff spots. Alabama has had the most recent success in the rivalry winning seven of the last nine games.
Alabama is #1 in the nation and holds a perfect 11-0 record. They started the season with a victory over Florida State in a powerhouse matchup. At the time, this looked like it would be a signature win and huge resume builder for the Tide, but the win lost its luster as FSU continued to a 4-6 record and is out of contention in the ACC. The Alabama defense is the best in the country leading in both yards allowed and points allowed per game. They are impressive on offense as well scoring more than 40 points per game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, and running backs Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough will all look to contribute in the attack on Auburn.
Auburn is currently 9-2 with their two losses coming at Clemson and at LSU. They had a giant victory two weeks ago beating then #1 Georgia 40-17. Auburn will look to become the first 2 loss team to make the CFP if they can defeat Alabama and then take down Georgia in the SEC championship. Auburn also has a formidable defense that ranks in the top 10 in the nation. They have been led on offense this year by transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham and they have done significant work on the ground with running back Kerryon Johnson.
Prediction and Betting Advice:
This is a hard game to call given the lack of games Alabama has had with top level teams. They are still a 4.5-point favorite in spite of Auburn holding home field advantage. Auburn has pulled off a couple epic upset victories in this rivalry, but I don’t think it will happen this year. However, I do think this will be a close game and I would take Auburn with the 4.5 points.