The Iron Bowl is one of the fiercest rivalries in college football and even with a limited capacity because of the coronavirus, Bryant-Denny Stadium will be absolutely rocking as the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide host the No. 22 Auburn Tigers in the 85th edition of the in-state rivalry on Saturday. The Crimson Tide are absolutely rolling in 2020, jumping out to a 7-0 start while outscoring opponents by a staggering 30.1 points per game, but they'll be without head coach Nick Saban after he tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Auburn got off to a sluggish 2-2 start but has won three games in a row to jump back into the AP Top 25, but star running back Tank Bigsby (hip) is questionable.
The 2020 Iron Bowl kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS. The latest Alabama vs. Auburn odds from William Hill Sportsbook list the Tide as 24-point favorites. The over-under for total points expected is up to 64.5 after opening at 60.5. Before making any Auburn vs. Alabama picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is also a sizzling 44-23 on all top-rated picks through 12 weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning over $1,200 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Alabama vs. Auburn spread: Alabama -24
- Alabama vs. Auburn over-under: 64.5 points
- Alabama vs. Auburn money line: Alabama -2000, Auburn +1000
- ALA: The Crimson Tide are 4-1 against the spread in the last 5 games
- AU: The Tigers have covered the spread in three consecutive games
Why Alabama can cover
Saban's absence on the sideline will certainly be a talking point on Saturday, but Alabama is still in good hands when it comes to offensive strategy in this matchup. Former Washington and USC head coach Steve Sarkisian is the offensive coordinator and he'll be in charge in the interim while continuing to call the plays offensively.
Under Sarkisian, the Alabama offense is putting up a staggering 48 points per game and the Tide have scored at least 35 points in 20 consecutive contests. Mac Jones is averaging an unbelievably-efficient 12.1 yards per passing attempt and Najee Harris has already put up 1,007 yards from scrimmage and scored 16 times. Even with the improvements in Auburn's offense the past five weeks, Auburn is ill-equipped to hang around in a shootout with what has become one of the most efficient offenses in history.
Why Auburn can cover
The Tigers are at a talent disadvantage against Alabama, but Auburn usually comes ready to play against its chief rival. Gus Malzahn's bunch deploys a top-five rushing offense in the SEC, averaging 170.4 yards per game, and the Tigers are fourth in the conference in averaging 4.6 yards per carry. From there, Auburn is an excellent third down team, converting 51.0 percent of its opportunities, and that will be pivotal in keeping the ball away from Alabama.
Defensively, Auburn ranks third in the SEC in scoring, allowing only 22.3 points per game. Much of that strength comes in stopping the pass, with the Tigers giving up only 237.0 yards per game and nine touchdowns through the air, ranking second in the SEC in both categories.
How to make Alabama vs. Auburn picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with no rusher on either team projected for more than 65 yards. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Alabama vs. Auburn? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Auburn vs. Alabama spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.