The Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers will partake in one of college football’s fiercest rivalries this weekend, and it will be a top-25 showdown with each team finding itself among Tuesday’s initial College Football Playoff rankings. Alabama enters Saturday’s game as a 25.5-favorite with the game total set at 61.5 points on SportsBetting.com.
#22 Auburn at #1 Alabama
Date: Saturday, Nov. 28 – 3:30 PM ET
Odds: Alabama -25.5
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is the top team in college football for a reason. The Crimson Tide is 7-0 on the season and is outsourcing opponents by an average of 30 points per game – the second-best scoring margin in the nation. So far this season, Alabama has decisive wins over two teams currently ranked in the top-15 of the College Football Playoff rankings.
Alabama’s strength has been its offense. Led by Heisman Trophy contender Mac Jones at quarterback, the Crimson Tide has a passing attack that averages 366 yards per game through the air and features one of the nation’s top receivers in DeVonta Smith, who averages 129 receiving yards per game. The ground game is led by Najee Harris, one of the nation’s top running backs, who is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and more than two touchdowns per game this season.
Defense has not been a particular strength for Alabama on the season, even surrendering 48 points to Ole Miss earlier this season, but the Tide has been by no means bad on that side of the ball, either. Alabama ranks No. 20 in the nation in scoring defense, surrendering just 19.3 points per game, and has allowed a total of three points across its past two games.
Alabama is the most dominant and well-rounded team in the country and it’s currently playing its best football.
This season has not gone the way Auburn had hoped. After beginning the season with College Football Playoff hopes, the Tigers have not lived up to the hype, finding themselves with two losses and a couple of close calls against lackluster opponents this season.
Auburn is 5-2 on the season with the two losses coming to No. 9 Georgia and South Carolina, but the Tigers also had a couple of scares, narrowly beating Arkansas by a score of 30-28 and barely edging out Ole Miss at the last minute to secure a 35-28 victory.
Though Auburn has not been particularly bad on either side of the ball, but it hasn’t been excellent either. On offense, the Tigers put up 402 yards and 28.6 points per game, which is about average among Division I teams, ranking No. 63 and No. 59 respectively. Auburn has been a little stronger on the defensive side of the ball, allowing just 22 points per game – good for 27th in the nation.
As a result of that consistently mediocre play on both sides of the ball, the Tigers have been solid enough this season to earn themselves a place in the top-25, but not enough to put themselves in contention for a College Football Playoff berth.
Though Auburn is a well-rounded and solid football team, the Tigers simply are not on the same level as the Crimson Tide. Alabama is the noticeably better team in every capacity and should win this game with ease, especially given the struggles Auburn has had against quality opponents this season. Though this is a rivalry game and that should be taken into account when considering the spread, the last time Alabama entered this game as more than a three-touchdown favorite, the Crimson Tide cruised to a 52-21 victory.
Pick: Alabama -25.5