Iron Bowl 2018: The Iron Bowl is arguably the most contentious rivalry in all of sports, and Alabama and Auburn will meet for the 83rd time on Saturday. The top-ranked Crimson Tide are 24-point favorites at home over their arch-rivals, with the total set at 53 in the latest Alabama vs. Auburn odds for the 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS.
Don’t forget that Auburn got the best of Alabama as underdogs a year ago and would love nothing more than to turn the SEC Championship Game into a must-win for its rivals to return to the College Football Playoff. So before you make your Alabama vs. Auburn picks and predictions for the Iron Bowl 2018, be sure to check out the projections from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. Over the past three years, this proprietary computer model has generated a jaw-dropping $4,210 profit for $100 bettors on its top-rated point-spread picks.
The model was red-hot in Week 12, nailing Oklahoma State’s outright upset of West Virginia. And when it comes to all top-rated picks, the model went a blistering 12-5 last week, extending its overall run to 30-12. Anybody who has been following it is way, way up.
Now, it has simulated every possible play for Alabama vs. Auburn (streaming on fuboTV) 10,000 times. We can tell you the model is leaning toward the under, but it has a strong selection against the spread, saying one side hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations. You absolutely need to see it before locking in your own picks.
The model knows that Alabama has made a habit out of steamrolling its opponents through the first 11 weeks of the season. In fact, the Crimson Tide have yet to play a game decided by 22 or fewer points all season.
It’s clear that Alabama’s offense runs through quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Heisman Trophy contender has been nothing short of brilliant all season. He’s completed over 69 percent of his passes for 2,865 yards and 31 touchdowns — and he’s tossed just two interceptions. He’s also has racked up 185 yards and four more scores on the ground.
Against Auburn, you can expect Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide to do what they’ve done all season. They’ll seek to establish the run and then use their play-action passing game to take big shots down the field. If they can do it, Auburn will have its hands full.
But just because the Crimson Tide’s offense is rolling doesn’t mean it can cover a huge number against the Tigers.
Auburn will look to follow the Mississippi State and Citadel blueprints to the best of its ability to grind the game to a halt. The Bulldogs used their impressive defensive line to bottle up Alabama’s rushing attack without committing extra defenders to the box, and The Citadel attacked the Crimson Tide’s defense on the ground with misdirection. That’s already an important part of Gus Malzahn’s rushing attack, but expect it to become an even more integral part of the game plan in the 2018 Iron Bowl.
If Malzahn can use running back JaTarvius Whitlow to break a few big runs and Anthony Schwartz’s world-class speed at wide receiver, it could change the complexion of the game and help the Tigers cover.