Alabama (2) @ Auburn +19.5

college football

This year’s Iron Bowl doesn’t really have the drama or build up of previous years. Auburn has struggled this year, and without quarterback Bo Nix under center, the Tigers lost to South Carolina last week as 7.5 favorites entering the game. TJ Finley, Nix’s replacement, hasn’t been terrible and has a 127.4 passer rating with three touchdowns to zero interceptions. Alabama’s Bryce Young is coming off a record-setting game against Arkansas, where he threw for 559 yards and five touchdowns. Unfortunately for Young, it was overshadowed by a 6 touchdown effort from Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, who is now the favorite for the Heisman over Young. Alabama has had problems with covering big spreads this season, and barely held off Arkansas as 20.5 favorites at home. Now the Crimson Tide walk into hostile territory, where stranger things have happened in years past. The handicap of the game lies in Alabama’s defense. Will they stay awake long enough to stop TJ Finley? Or will they be looking ahead to next week’s SEC Championship matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs, where Alabama is already a four-point underdog. I can’t bring myself to take Alabama as near three-touchdown favorites here, especially with Georgia looming on the horizon. The only issue is that to qualify for the College Football Playoffs, Alabama needs style points against Auburn in case they lose to Georgia next week. I don’t know if they can cover the spread, but I think they will put up a lot of points. I am betting the Over 56.0 in this game, as I think Alabama could cover that number by itself if it tried to. 

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