Auburn vs. Tulane: Prediction, pick, odds, point spread, line, football game, preview, kickoff time
The Tigers are hoping to keep the momentum going after a big Week 1 win
When No. 10 Auburn plays host to Tulane at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday there will be some intrigue on the Plains. The Tigers return home just one week after stunning Oregon with a late victory in Arlington, Texas, and will face a Green Wave team riding high off their win last week over FIU.
True freshman Bo Nix was the star in the win over the Ducks, throwing two touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Seth Williams from 26 yards out with nine seconds left. The defense, which features star defensive linemen Derrick Brown, Nick Coe and Marlon Davidson, held the Ducks to just 13 rushing yards in the second half. The Green Wave are coming off a 42-14 dismantling of FIU that saw quarterback Justin McMillan account for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) while throwing for 199 yards.
What should you expect Saturday night? Let's break down the game and make a pick.
Auburn: It's all about keeping Nix comfortable for coach Gus Malzahn and crew. The offensive line struggled mightily against the Ducks, and the freshman phenom stayed cool despite enormous pressure from the Ducks' front seven. That has to be fixed in order for the Tigers to be a national championship contender. Until then, they will rely on their defense to keep them in games and hope the offense plays relatively mistake-free. The Green Wave managed just five tackles for loss in the win last week, which suggests that this could be a place for the Tigers to get right up front. After all ... Nix and JaTarvious Whitlow can't do it all.
Tulane: McMillan averaged a whopping 11.1 yards per passing attempt in the opener, which is something that he's going to have to do on Saturday to give his team a chance. Auburn wasn't threatened by Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert, and that allowed them to stack the box and shut down the run when it mattered most. If McMillian can get the secondary to back off, running lanes for he and Darius Bradwell will open up.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 7 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium -- Auburn, Alabama
TV: ESPN2 | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, picks
The spread is pretty darn big considering what Tulane did last week, but I still side with the Tigers. Expect Malzahn to give Nix more of the playbook after keeping it relatively simple last week. That will include more designed runs and zone-read plays that prevent the offensive line from getting into pass blocking situations. Auburn's defense will continue to shine, the offense will consistently get in comfortable second-and third-down situations and Nix will lead the Tigers to a fourth quarter cover. Pick: Auburn (-18.5)
So what picks can you make with confidence in Week 2, and which favored top-25 team goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,500 in profit over the past four seasons.
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