Thanksgiving has arrived delivering an action packed weekend of NCAA college football games for fans and sports handicappers to take advantage of. This week’s matchups include some primetime in state battles such as Florida/Florida State, Clemson/South Carolina and Georgia Tech/Georgia. Meanwhile the conference battles will be in full swing as well with key showdowns in the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and the SEC. One of those matchups will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday as Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide welcome the Auburn Tigers to town in the 2018 Iron Bowl.
On paper this contest looks one sided with the Crimson Tide being the heavy favorite and that is rightly so. The Tigers enter this contest sitting at 7-4 overall on the year while posting just a 3-4 overall record within the SEC. Despite the struggles when you look at their overall season the Tigers are still a good football team. The team has suffered disappointing losses to Georgia (27-10) who was ranked #5 and the LSU Tigers (22-21) who were ranked #12. The team on the positive side picked up wins over #6 Washington to open up the year and #20 Texas A&M.
Over on the other side the Crimson Tide has been the best team in college football this season rolling to an 11-0 record. This includes back to back shutout performances against the Tigers who were ranked #3 and Mississippi State who was ranked #16. Along with that success, the Crimson Tide have won nine of their first 11 contests by more than 24 points and have dominated in their three wins against ranked top 25 teams this season.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday November 24th, 2018 @ Bryant-Denny Stadium.
NCAA Football Keys to the Game
Auburn Tigers – Control the Clock
The Tigers will have their hands full on Saturday as they take on a Crimson Tide team that is solid on both sides of the football. In this contest, the Tigers will need to protect the ball while making the plays necessary to pick up first downs to control time of possession. In their four losses this season the Tigers have lost the time of possession battle in all four contests. Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers will need to make big plays to force the Crimson Tide to a low percentage of conversions on both third and fourth down.
Alabama Crimson Tide – End Drives with Touchdown
The Crimson Tide continue to put up a ton of points week in and week out. The same will be asked for them on Saturday against a very solid Tigers defense that ranks 36th overall in yards allowed per contest but have been brilliant in holding their opponents to scores. Entering this contest, the Tigers rank 10th in college football allowing just 16.6 points per contests. In all four of their matchups against ranked opponents they held them to under 27 points while also holding Mississippi State to just 23 another team that has spent time on the top 25 this season.
NCAA Football Betting Trends
Auburn Tigers – The up and down regular season performance from the Tigers have shown up in the standings as well as their success against the spread. Entering Saturday’s afternoon showdown, the Tigers have covered the spread in just five of their first 11 contest this season and just one in their three road contests. Along with those struggles, the Tigers have posted a 2-7 record against the spread in their last nine contests against teams with a winning home record and are just 1-6 in games following a team win.
Alabama Crimson Tide – The Crimson Tide have been as successful as any team in the country this season and a team that delivered results for sports handicappers selecting them in money lines. Despite the undefeated mark, the Tide have covered the spread in just six of their first 11 contests including going 3-3 in their six home contests. While the team has been up and down against the spread this season, the club has covered the spread in five of their last six contests against teams with a winning overall record.
Head 2 Head – When you look at these two teams, they are very familiar with each other as they compete for the SEC West title nearly year in and year out. Last season the Tigers rolled to a 26-14 in at home. Over their past 10 meetings, the Crimson Tide have won seven of those meetings including three straight at home. In those meetings only three have had the winning team win by more than 24 points.
What’s next for these two teams?
Auburn Tigers – The Tigers regular season schedule completes this weekend against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Alabama Crimson Tide – The Tide will travel to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 SEC Championship Game.