Auburn vs Alabama Odds, Predictions & Picks | Iron Bowl Betting Guide
Justin Ford/Getty Images. Pictured: Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4).
- Auburn takes on Alabama in the Iron Bowl — one of the best college football rivalry games — on Saturday afternoon.
- Alabama is a -13.5 favorite, but the over/under has moved down a tick to 47.5.
- Read updated Auburn vs Alabama odds, along with our prediction and pick, for Saturday's Iron Bowl below.
It's time to dive into the Auburn Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide odds and find a prediction and pick for Saturday's college football Iron Bowl rivalry game.
Auburn vs Alabama Odds
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The 88th meeting of the Iron Bowl is set to provide another chapter in determining the SEC and potential national champion.
Alabama enters the rivalry with an all-time series lead of 49-37-1 after rattling off three consecutive wins.
The last iteration from Jordan-Hare Stadium saw four overtimes with Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide ultimately emerging victorious.
Fast forward to 2023, and Alabama is in a fight to reach the College Football Playoff after suffering a nonconference loss to Texas. There will be no lookahead to the SEC Championship game for head coach Nick Saban, as this game provided the most dramatic moment in college football history.
Iron Bowl week is here 🐘🦅
10 years ago, Auburn (+335 ML) beat Alabama on what will forever be known as the "Kick Six" 😱@_Collin1 reflects on that day where he became an office legend in this Great Moment In Gambling History 😂 pic.twitter.com/hU8K85fbSx
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 20, 2023
Auburn comes into the Iron Bowl reeling off an embarrassing loss to New Mexico State, the second time a Hugh Freeze team has been taken down by head coach Jerry Kill.
Auburn will now be looking to get after Alabama after the Aggies doubled the Tigers' time of possession and shut down Auburn's offensive attack. Freeze mentioned the team's execution in its win over Arkansas was the direct opposite a week later against New Mexico State, giving the team a lesson in humility.
So, which Auburn team will show up in the 2023 Iron Bowl? Let's dive into the Alabama vs. Auburn odds and make a pick and prediction for Saturday's college football rivalry.
The Auburn rushing attack was shut down by New Mexico State in Week 12. The same offense that used heavy outside zone to generate 5.9 yards per play against the Georgia defense generated just 4.4 yards per play against the Aggies.
Nine of its 22 rushing attempts were stuffed at or before the line of scrimmage, producing one of the more baffling losses in college football.
State champion wrestler Diego Pavia.
If a 5'9 QB does this to you, do you have to retire? pic.twitter.com/GW8aMiKVP4
— Colin Deaver (@ColinDeaverTV) November 18, 2023
The Tigers have a 62% rush rate that's evenly distributed between inside zone, outside zone and a number of counter-run concepts. Quarterback Payton Thorne and running back Jarquez Hunter lead the way with various RPO personnel, combining for 10 rushing touchdowns.
The passing game has failed to produce many explosives this season. Still, Thorne has been accurate with 14 passing touchdowns, recording the lowest turnover-worthy play rate of his career.
Defensive coordinator Ron Roberts spent a number of years on Dave Aranda's staff at Baylor, opting to run 3-3-5 personnel with a heavy 40% blitz rate at Auburn.
The coverage unit grades 14th, per PFF, using quarters and Cover 3 more than any other packages in the secondary.
Freeze is one of the best game-day coaches in the nation despite the loss to New Mexico State, ranking third nationally in "Middle 8" scoring.
The contrast of Alabama football exiting Week 3 versus the version heading to the Iron Bowl is night and day.
The Crimson Tide struggled to produce a quality offensive line start and saw inefficient quarterback play. Quarterback Jalen Milroe had one of the worst days in his career in a loss against Texas, posting four turnover-worthy plays while scrambling through 17 pressures.
Saban elected to go with backup quarterbacks Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner at South Florida the following week but cemented Milroe as the starter ever since.
The sophomore has done nothing but shine in his following starts, throwing 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions since Week 7.
Start FAST 💨
📺 ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/grsXEkj3YI
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 18, 2023
Milroe has morphed into one of the best deep-ball passers in the nation, throwing 21 big-time throws and no turnovers-worthy plays in 53 attempts beyond 20 yards.
The Crimson Tide have been equally as lethal on the ground, running a heavy amount of inside zone with a Success Rate well above the national average.
On the defensive side of the ball, coordinator Kevin Steele has elevated the play of Alabama's stop unit, which comes into the game as the best overall coverage unit, according to PFF.
The Cover 3 packages are led by safety Caleb Downs and cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry. The trench has also provided a spark in chaos, ranking top-10 in pass rush and defending the ground game.
Teams that have used zone run concepts against the Alabama front seven have found no traction the entire season.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Alabama and Auburn match up statistically:
Alabama Offense vs Auburn Defense
Auburn Offense vs Alabama Defense
Pace of Play / Other
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Because of the loss to New Mexico State, Freeze is expected to have Auburn focused and prepared for the Iron Bowl.
The Tigers have seen a point differential that favors first-half scoring. The opposite is true for Alabama, which owns a second-half scoring differential three points higher than the first half.
The bigger question is whether or not Auburn can do enough in the first half and execute in the "Middle 8" to cash a first-half number.
The Alabama defense has been stellar against the rush this season, no matter what run concept has been presented by the opposing offense. With Auburn having an even split of inside and outside zone, Alabama should shut down rushing attempts by Thorne and Hunter.
Without the rush available for Auburn, Thorne will be expected to go to the air against Alabama's secondary. Thorne will dodge the coverage he's worst against, as the Tide don't play a heavy amount of Cover 3.
However, Auburn's numbers are nowhere near mid-FBS in Passing Success Rate or explosives, making this game a tough haul for the Tigers offense.
Alabama will use inside zone with running backs Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams. Auburn has met the national average in Success Rate defending inside zone, but it doesn't have the numbers in Stuff Rate or Line Yards against the Tide front seven.
The bigger issue could be Milroe's deep ball, as Auburn ranks 110th in on-target balls allowed. Auburn sits 63rd in allowing passes beyond 20 yards while presenting quarters and Cover 3 to opponents.
Unlike Thorne, Milroe has been fantastic against Cover 3 this season.
There are a number of areas where Auburn will have trouble moving the ball offensively. Alabama has shut down zone run concepts all season, leaving Auburn in the uncomfortable position of leaning on a passing game that has struggled all season.
The Tigers should have some success in limiting Alabama's zone read concepts, but they don't have an answer for Milroe's deep ball.
Action Network projects Alabama as a 14-point favorite, giving the smallest of edges to Auburn in the full-game number.
But considering there are strong advantages in the run and pass game on both sides of the ball for Alabama, take the Crimson Tide to survive the Freeze and the Tigers.