Iron Bowl 2020 Betting Preview: No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama

Saturday, November 28, 2020, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 3:30 p.m. ET

Tigers at Crimson Tide Betting Preview: Tigers (+24.5), Crimson Tide (-24.5)

No. 22 Auburn Tigers Betting Preview

Auburn sophomore quarterback Bo Nix has passed for 1,627 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, with five interceptions. But the key for the No. 22 Tigers (5-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) could be which team runs the ball more efficiently.

Auburn could be short-handed in that department if freshman Tank Bigsby (527 yards rushing, five touchdowns, 5.73 yards per carry) can’t play. Bigsby suffered a hip injury early in last week’s win over Tennessee and is questionable, according to Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.

Right tackle Brodarious Hamm and left tackle Alec Jackson also are questionable.

Junior Shaun Shivers, who scored the decisive touchdown in last year’s Iron Bowl win for Auburn, would be in line to get more carries again, as well as sophomore D.J. Williams. The two combined for 131 yards and a touchdown last week.

Alabama’s run defense ranks 26th in the nation, allowing an average of 118.9 yards per game.

“Obviously, it’s no secret right now that we’ve been beat up, up front offensively,” Malzahn said. “We’ll see if we’re able to get our tackles back. … It’s next man up. And just got to step up and get the job done. So that’s our mindset.”

Auburn’s run defense ranks 64th, allowing 165.1 yards per game, and will be challenged by an Alabama rushing offense that ranks 48th among FBS teams, averaging 182.4 yards a game. Tide senior Najee Harris (137 carries for 797 yards) leads the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns.

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Preview

Unbeaten and top-ranked Alabama can earn some payback when it hosts instate rival Auburn in the 85th Iron Bowl.

The Crimson Tide (7-0, 7-0 SEC) are more than three-touchdown favorites against the Tigers, who have not won in Tuscaloosa since 2010. The Tigers knocked Alabama out of playoff contention last season in a 48-45 victory – only the Tigers’ third win in the series in the past decade.

“This is going to be a very challenging game for us in a lot of ways,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “We certainly need to play our best football of the season to be able to have success in this game.”

Both teams won last week following layoffs due to COVID-19 issues.

Alabama routed Kentucky 63-3 in Tuscaloosa and Auburn won its third consecutive game by beating Tennessee 30-17 at home.

Alabama enters the game with the third-highest-scoring offense in the nation (49.4 points per game) and third-most-prolific passing offense led by Heisman Trophy candidate Mac Jones at quarterback.

Jones made his third career start in last year’s Iron Bowl, throwing for 335 yards and four touchdowns. In seven games this season, Jones has the third-highest passer rating in the nation (205.06) while averaging 12.1 yards per attempt and 346.6 yards per game. 

“People are playing us different,” Jones said. “Maybe a little more conservative and rightfully so, but each week a team is going to have a different plan for us.”

Iron Bowl Betting Pick

The Tigers will take a three-game winning streak into the game after splitting their first four games of the season. They also have won two of the last three meetings with the Tide, including a 48-45 win at home last year, returning two interceptions off Jones for touchdowns. Jones had four touchdown passes. Alabama leads the all-time Iron Bowl series 46-37-1.

Tigers at Crimson Tide Betting Pick:

Crimson Tide 48, Tigers 28

The Iron Bowl Best Bet

Alabama has failed to top the 40-point mark only once this season, and that was in the opening 38-19 win over Missouri. The Tide is coming off a 63-3 rout of Kentucky while the Tigers ended a 21-day span between games with a 30-17 win over Tennessee.

Tigers at Crimson Tide Best Bet: OVER 62.5

–Field Level Media