Due to concerns over the coronavirus, the No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats and No. 8 Auburn Tigers are getting a later-than-usual start to their seasons when they meet on Saturday at Auburn, Ala. In fact, this is Kentucky's latest season opener since 1941. Auburn has been nearly automatic in season openers at home, going 52-8-1 (.861). Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is 6-1 in home openers.
The game is slated to start at noon ET from Jordan-Hare Stadium. A year ago, Kentucky was 1-3 on the road, while Auburn was 6-1 on its home field. The Tigers are favored by 7.5 points in the latest Kentucky vs. Auburn odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total points scored is 49.5. Before making any Auburn vs. Kentucky 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 $3,800 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is a sizzling 13-1 on top-rated picks through three weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning over $900 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Kentucky vs. Auburn spread: Auburn -7.5
- Kentucky vs. Auburn over-under: 49.5 points
- Kentucky vs. Auburn money line: Kentucky +250, Auburn -300
- UK: The Wildcats are 5-2 in season openers under coach Mark Stoops
- AU: QB Bo Nix has thrown 191 consecutive pass attempts without an interception
Why Auburn can cover
The Tigers, who have been ranked in the AP Top 10 at least once during the last eight seasons, are also known for their defense. Auburn has allowed only 12 first-quarter touchdowns in the last 42 games, and only 11 since the start of 2017. The Tigers have held 18 of 53 opponents below 300 yards of offense in Kevin Steele's four seasons as defensive coordinator. Under Steele, Auburn has held its opponent under its season rushing average 40 times, including 24 of the last 29 games.
Senior linebacker K.J. Britt is the top returning tackler for the Tigers, finishing third on the team a year ago. He had 68 tackles, including 37 solo, with 2.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. Britt was a first-team all-SEC selection and made eight tackles against Minnesota in the Outback Bowl. His first start in 2019 was against Oregon, where he recorded seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Why Kentucky can cover
The Wildcats also have had a lot of success in season openers, going 88-36-5, and have won 10 of their last 13, including the last three. Senior Terry Wilson tops the depth chart at quarterback after having his 2019 season cut short due to a knee injury. Wilson completed 33-of-52 passes for 360 yards and two TDs last season.
Senior Asim Rose is Kentucky's top returning back after finishing second on the team in rushing a year ago. Rose carried 149 times for 826 yards and had six touchdowns. He also had 11 receptions for 67 yards. Rose became the 37th player in school history to reach 1,000 career yards and now has 1,305 for his career, which ranks 28th on the Wildcats' all-time list.
How to make Auburn vs. Kentucky picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total. In fact, it says Nix will be held to under 200 yards passing, while the Wildcats' rushing attack will be held to just one touchdown. It also says one side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Auburn vs. Kentucky? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Kentucky vs. Auburn spread to back, all from the advanced model that is up over $3,800 on its top-rated college football spread picks, and find out.