The Alabama Crimson Tide hold bragging rights in the recent rivalry with Auburn, winning four of the last five meetings straight up and going 4-1 against the spread. The top-ranked Tide are favored to continue that run when they tackle the Tigers in the 81st edition of the Iron Bowl on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa.
Point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 20-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 43.3-38.6 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)
Why the Auburn Tigers can cover the spread
Auburn rebounded from a tough loss at Georgia two weeks ago to bounce Alabama A&M last week 55-0. The Tigers, as the better team should in a matchup like that, jumped out to a 14-0 lead six minutes into the game, and they led 24-0 at the half. Auburn later made happy campers out of its financial backers, tacking on a touchdown with just under 10 minutes to go to cover the spread as 54-point favorites.
The Tigers were able to clear the bench last week, keeping many starters fresh for this week. Starting quarterback Sean White sat out with a shoulder injury, but senior backup Jeremy Johnson looked good, accounting for three touchdowns. Freshman running back Kam Martin, picking up some second-half lugs, ran for 176 yards and two scores.
Two weeks ago, the Tigers lost to the Bulldogs 13-7, but Georgia’s only touchdown came on an interception return. That defeat knocked Auburn out of contention in the SEC West, but this is still the Iron Bowl, and the Tigers would love nothing more than to spoil Alabama’s perfect season.
Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread
The Tide walked through a 31-3 victory over Chattanooga last week, which probably just gives head coach Nick Saban license to ride his team like rented mules this week. Alabama actually trailed the Mocs 3-0 after one quarter, and it only led 14-3 late into the third before pulling away. But the Tide also came up way short of covering as 47-point favorites.
Alabama only gained 332 yards of offense on the day, but the defense held Chattanooga to just 184 yards.
Prior to last week, though, the Tide had covered five spreads in a row. They’re also 5-1 ATS this year when favored by less than three touchdowns.
At 7-0 in conference play, Alabama has already clinched the West Division title, but the Tide have even bigger things in mind for the remainder of this season.
Alabama is coming off probably its worst performance of the season, so Saban might have his troops frothy by game time. Also, that Tide defense has allowed a total of six points over its last three games. The smart money in this spot at sports betting sites gives the points.
Auburn is 1-4 SU and ATS in its last five games against Alabama.
The total has gone over in four of Auburn’s last five games against Alabama.
Alabama is 12-1 SU and 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games at home against teams with winning records.
All college football betting lines and point-spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds-tracker app.