- Alabama are 26-point favorites over Auburn in Saturday’s Iron Bowl, but the Tigers have won two of three from the Tide
- Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19
- See the odds, analysis and pick for the game as Auburn tries to win in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2010
How much value does head coach Nick Saban bring to the #1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide? Everyone is about to find out that answer against Auburn in what is annually the Tide’s most important regular-season game.
The Iron Bowl against the Tigers is Saturday, but Saban is in sick bay. He tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
Saban had an earlier-season positive test which ended up resulting in a false positive. This time, though, he’s displaying symptoms and is isolating.
Oddsmakers are still laying Alabama as the 26-point home favorite. Although Auburn has won two of the last three Iron Bowls, the Tigers are 0-4 straight up in their last four visits to Tuscaloosa.
#22 Auburn vs #1 Alabama Iron Bowl Odds
|Auburn Tigers||+1200||+26 (-110)||O 51.5 (-110)|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-5000||-26 (-110)||U 62.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Nov. 26th at DraftKings
Forecast for the 3:30pm EST kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium is for cloudy skies, 5 mph wind and a temperature of 62 degress.
Saban Remains Confident
A live feed is being hooked into Saban’s home to enable him to watch the game, similar to if he was sitting in the press box. He’ll be able communicate with his staff.
The Iron Bowl has been played in Tuscaloosa 12 times.
When Nick Saban has coached that game, Alabama is 5-1.
When he hasn’t, Auburn is 6-0.
— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) November 25, 2020
A similar setup was prepped earlier this season for the Georgia game until it turned out that Saban was the victim of a false positive.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will be in charge of the Tide on the sideline.
Jones Seeking Redemption
If there was someone critics were fingering for Alabama’s 48-45 loss to Auburn in the 2019 Iron Bowl, it was quarterback Mac Jones. Subbing for the injured Tua Tagovailoa, Jones was victimized for a pair of pick sixes in the game.
This season, the 7-0 Crimson Tide have turned the ball over just seven times. Alabama ended up losing the turnover battle in just one game, against Ole Miss.
Highest-graded QBs in College Football
1. Zach Wilson, BYU – 94.3
2. Mac Jones, Alabama – 93.7
3. Justin Fields, Ohio State – 92.7
4. Kyle Trask, Florida – 91.9
4. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma – 91.9 pic.twitter.com/DNfnYEdpbu
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 24, 2020
Jones has thrown three interceptions this season. He’s completing 77.1% of his pass attempts. Jones is averaging 12.1 yards per attempt.
The Tigers lead the SEC in takeaways. They are 5-0 when they win the turnover battle and 0-2 when they lose it.
Tigers Getting It Together
Auburn, 5-2, suffered early-season losses to South Carolina and Georgia. During the Tigers’ 2-2 start, QB Bo Nix was completing just 54.9% of his passes and showing a TD pass to interception ratio of 5:4.
In the last three games, he’s completing 72.5% of his pass attempts, with five TDs against one pick. Auburn is deep at wide receiver with Seth Williams, Eli Stove and Anthony Schwartz. Alabama’s secondary is the one aspect of the team that’s looking to be vulnerable.
Bo Nix with the long ball to Anthony Schwartz for a TD ? pic.twitter.com/WOanl2ZteV
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 22, 2020
However, Auburn freshman running back Tank Bigsby (lower-body injury) is questionable for Saturday. He’s rushed for 527 yards this season, gaining 7.6 yards per carry.
Injured tackles Alec Jackson and Brodarious Hamm are also uncertain. Linebacker KJ Britt (thumb) is out.
Can Tide Be Rolled?
What’s not to like about Alabama? The Tide lead the SEC in scoring offense (49 points per game) and scoring defense (19 PPG). RB Najee Harris has gained 797 yards and scored 16 TDs. WR DeVonta Smith holds the SEC career mark for TD receptions (33).
Yet Auburn often finds a way to make this game more competitive than it should be. Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn is 3-4 in the Iron Bowl.
WELCOME TO IRON BOWL WEEKpic.twitter.com/bxPaDvRBPo
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 23, 2020
Historically, Auburn is 7-5 SU in Tuscaloosa and 17-10 SU in the Iron Bowl when the game is played on college campuses.
The Tigers shouldn’t win but probably won’t lose by 26.
Pick: Auburn Tigers +26 (-110).