Alabama (11-0, 7-0) at Auburn (9-2, 5-2)
When: Saturday, November 25th 2017
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
Time: 3:30 ET | TV: CBS
Opening Odds: Alabama -4.5/48
It’s one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, and the battle between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers usually hold significant importance in the national picture. This year’s matchup is no different as the SEC West crown is up for grabs on Saturday and both teams are still playing for a berth in the College Football Playoffs. A win by the Tide would all but assure them one of the four playoff spots even with a loss next week to the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers can not afford a loss this week or next and expect to make it as a three-loss squad. Auburn has averaged 44 points while recording four consecutive victories after a 27-23 loss to LSU appeared to have ended their chances. The Tigers tuned-up for this contest by taking care of Sun Belt opponent UL Monroe 42-14 last Saturday, while the Crimson Tide had no trouble with Mercer (56-0). Alabama got a big boost defensively last week from freshman Dylan Moses, who had had 11 tackles and one interception against Mercer in his first career start due to the series of injuries at linebacker. Alabama has won seven of the past nine meetings and holds a 45-35-1 series edge.
Strong safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring), the clear leader on defense, will return after a one-game absence from injury. The Alabama defensive unit has been outstanding as usual, leading the nation in scoring defense (10.2 points per game) and total defense (244.1 yards per game), and ranks second against the run (87.4) and third in passing defense (156.7). Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts is leading the seventh-ranked scoring offense (41.4) with 14 touchdown passes against one interception and has accounted for 22 total touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley leads the receiving corps with 52 receptions for 858 yards and ranks third in school history with 2,672 receiving yards.
Junior running back Kerryon Johnson leads the offensive surge with 1,172 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, while recording seven 100+ yard games this season. The key will be a quarterback where former Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham (2,445 yards, 16 touchdowns, four interceptions) has been getting more comfortable, but faces his biggest challenge to date. Auburn is tied for eighth nationally in scoring defense (16.6) and ranks 10th in total defense (302.3). The unit is led by junior pass rusher Jeff Holland (team-best nine sacks) and junior middle linebacker Deshaun Davis (team-leading 58 tackles). Should Auburn win, they’ll get another shot at beating Georgia next week, who they just humiliated 40-17 two weeks ago.
I’ve gone back-and-forth all week deciding who I want to take in this game. Alabama is still the creme of the crop, but this is their toughest road game and the Tigers have a lot of momentum. The trendy pick this week is Auburn to win outright, but I’m going the other way and trusting Nick Saban’s team to come up big here.
Pick: Alabama -4.5
- Crimson Tide are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 road games.
- Crimson Tide are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Crimson Tide are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games on grass.
- Crimson Tide are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Crimson Tide are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
- Crimson Tide are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Crimson Tide are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
- Crimson Tide are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Tigers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
- Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
- Tigers are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Tigers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
- Tigers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Crimson Tide last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 7-2 in Crimson Tide last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 20-8 in Crimson Tide last 28 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Crimson Tide last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 7-3 in Crimson Tide last 10 road games.
- Under is 14-6 in Crimson Tide last 20 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 39-19-1 in Crimson Tide last 59 games in November.
- Over is 5-0 in Tigers last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Tigers last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 7-0 in Tigers last 7 conference games.
- Over is 7-1 in Tigers last 8 games overall.
- Over is 6-1 in Tigers last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 games on grass.
- Over is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 6-2 in Tigers last 8 games in November.
- Under is 9-3-1 in Tigers last 13 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 15-7-1 in Tigers last 23 home games.