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Western Kentucky vs Auburn Odds, Picks: Can ‘Toppers Pull Off Upset?

Western Kentucky vs Auburn Odds, Picks: Can ‘Toppers Pull Off Upset? article feature image
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Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Western Kentucky wide receiver Malachi Corley.

  • Auburn lost five straight games before last week's victory against A&M.
  • Now the Tigers must face a feisty Group of Five team in Western Kentucky.
  • How are we betting this game? Alex Kolodziej gives you the full breakdown below.

Western Kentucky vs Auburn Odds

Saturday, Nov. 19
4 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Western Kentucky Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5
-105
53.5
-110o / -110u
+180
Auburn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5
-115
53.5
-110o / -110u
-210
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Western Kentucky vs. Auburn is one of a handful of nonconference matchups slated for Week 12. And consider Hilltoppers-War Eagle one of the better ones.

Western Kentucky boasts one of the most potent offenses in the entire country, while Auburn seems fully rejuvenated under interim head coach Cadillac Williams.

Nonconference games, especially late in the year, can pose a challenge for bettors. Goals have changed for teams, which are trending up and down perhaps a bit more frenetically than earlier in the season.

Both teams are riding a bit high entering Saturday Week 12. But only one team is truly worth a wager for the Conference USA-SEC crossover.


Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

New year, same ol’ stat-stuffing for the Hilltoppers.

Austin Reed has been a magician under center since Bailey Zappe’s departure for the NFL, quarterbacking the nation’s seventh-best offense in total yards per game.

If you hate teams that run the football, you’ll love Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers chuck the ball at the sixth-highest rate in the country. Reed’s been efficient, generating the fourth-best pass attack from a yards perspective.

Malachi Corley has nearly 1,000 of Reed’s 3,528 yards through the air while also earning PFF’s WR9 grade entering Week 12.

Where the Hilltoppers won’t get any credit nationally is defensively. When a team’s both 8-3 against the spread and to the under this season, something’s going well.

Western Kentucky’s actually held five of its last six opponents to the team total under entering the Auburn clash.

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Auburn Tigers

I might walk on at Auburn just to be a part of the juice. Williams took over as interim head coach in Week 10, and it’s been nothing but mayhem since.

Auburn nearly completed a monumental over Mississippi State in Williams’ debut, then notched win No. 1 for the coach over Texas A&M in Week 11.

The Tigers went over the total in four straight prior to the win over the Aggies, but let’s not just automatically start crediting the offense.

They’re averaging the third-worst yards per play (5.2) in the SEC. Attempting a pass? Flip a coin on whether or not it’s complete. Robby Ashford’s connecting on a dead-even 50% of his attempts since taking over for T.J Finley.

Needless to say, War Eagle likes toting the rock with Tank Bigsby and others. Auburn ranks top-20 nationally in rush rate and about 19 spots higher in Rush Success than Pass Success.

The defense can’t hold anyone out of the end zone, and that might be a pivotal crutch for the handicap.


Western Kentucky vs Auburn Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Western Kentucky and Auburn match up statistically:

Western Kentucky Offense vs. Auburn Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 70 102
Line Yards 39 122
Pass Success 19 25
Pass Blocking** 4 37
Havoc 9 98
Finishing Drives 71 127
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Auburn Offense vs. Western Kentucky Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 98 73
Line Yards 101 117
Pass Success 117 57
Pass Blocking** 73 65
Havoc 120 84
Finishing Drives 103 65
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 76 51
PFF Coverage 33 31
SP+ Special Teams 2 64
Seconds per Play 24.1 (24) 27.1 (84)
Rush Rate 41.7% (125) 60.3% (20)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Western Kentucky vs Auburn Betting Pick

This is a patented spot to back the Hilltoppers, who typically show up against Power Five competition. 

Western Kentucky probably wins the game outright at Indiana earlier in the season more times than not, a year after Tyson Helton’s club hung with both the Hoosiers and Michigan State, scoring 31 on each of the Big Ten clubs in 2021.

Auburn’s defense is not it. The unit’s produced just three takeaways all season and opponents are hanging sevens — not threes — when they reach the red zone.

Western Kentucky’s efficient offense should be able to march up and down the field in a relatively clean environment while also thriving deep in Auburn territory.

We probably won’t see a 6 pop up on this line because I can sense the fear in a market afraid of the Conference USA. What a time to be alive.

Hilltoppers outright.

Pick: Western Kentucky ML +198 (Play to +190)

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