College Football Betting – (1) Alabama Hosts (14) Auburn in Iron Bowl
John BensonNo comments
This year’s Iron Bowl has classic written all over it, as the No. 14 Auburn Tigers (8-3, 4-3 SEC) travel to Tuscaloosa to face the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC).
Two weeks ago, Bama knocked off then-No. 1 Mississippi State, 25-20. While the five-point win failed to cover the spread, it succeeded in usurping top spot in the rankings and solidifying Bama as National Championship favorites.
Now, one year after the Tigers’ miraculous victory in the 2013 Iron Bowl, Auburn once again finds itself as an underdog that can derail Nick Saban’s National Championship plans.
Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland said, “It’s the biggest college rivalry in history, so of course you’re going to want to have fun and do the things you’ve got to do to prepare for it.”
Added Tigers linebacker Kris Frost, “When you play a game like the Iron Bowl, it’s always in the back of your mind. It’s in the back of your mind at the beginning of the season. You don’t look past any team, but you know that game means a lot to us obviously being the biggest football rivalry in the country.”
As a credit to both teams, this marks the sixth consecutive season the rivalry will have national title ramifications. For the Crimson Tide, a win puts them in the SEC Championship game. For the Tigers, a win will net them a better bowl game. But spoiling the hopes of their bitter rival would be reward enough.
Saban admitted the biggest challenge last week against an overmatched Western Carolina was keeping his team focused. “I obviously don’t have the answer to that question, so it’s more difficult than what I can figure out. We were as flat as a pancake when we went out there, so I didn’t do a very good job,” said Saban.
Someone who is chomping at the bit for this game is Alabama’s senior quarterback Blake Sims, who will be starting his first and only Iron Bowl. He said, “I’m just happy to have the opportunity to play in it. I’ve been waiting five years for it. Auburn is a great team.”
This is going to be a quintessential SEC battle – which usually means a close game. Auburn and the points (+9.5) is the safest pick.