The Alabama Crimson Tide thought their chances of winning another BCS national championship had disappeared, or at least dwindled to almost nothing, after their loss at the hands of Johnny Football and the Texas A&M Aggies.
But with help from elsewhere last weekend, the Tide are right back in the running for a berth in this year's national-title game. And being favored by 33 points at home (via OddsShark.com) is not an easy spot to justify an upset call.
To make that date in Miami, 'Bama has two hurdles yet to clear: Saturday vs. the Auburn Tigers in this year's edition of the Iron Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) and next weekend vs. the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama has lost one game this season, a couple of weeks ago at home to the Aggies, 29-24. Other than that, the Tide have been perfect, defeating, among others, Michigan, Mississippi State and LSU.
For the season 'Bama has scored 51 touchdowns, allowed 13 and outrushed foes by a 209-76 YPG margin. The Alabama-Auburn prediction at OddsShark.com calls for a 52-18 final, which would just barely cover the number.
On the other side of this matchup, Auburn is trying to avoid the embarrassment of a winless SEC season. The Tigers have won three games this year, beating Louisiana-Monroe; New Mexico State; and, last week, Alabama A&M. Other than these games, AU has come up empty.
On the season the Tigers have scored 24 touchdowns, given up 36 and gotten outrushed by a 191-154 YPG margin. Along the way they've made a change at QB and are now going with freshman Jonathan Wallace.
Earlier this week most sportsbooks opened Alabama as a -31 or -32 favorite for this game, and since then most shops have bumped the Tide to at least -33.
Alabama under Coach Saban is 3-2 straight up and 2-3 ATS vs. Auburn. Last year the Tide beat the Tigers 42-14 in Tuscaloosa. Auburn's two scores that day came on a fumble recovery in the end zone and a kickoff return.
Alabama has everything to play for, while Auburn seems to have given up under Coach Chizik. So even while this line is probably too high, we'll still give the points and take the Tide (courtesy of PickShark.com).