Citrus Bowl 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for Auburn vs. Northwestern

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IDecember 31, 2020

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) hands off to running back Tank Bigsby (4) during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Starkville, Miss.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Auburn is preparing to enter a new era after hiring former Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin to succeed Gus Malzahn (who was fired at the end of the regular season) as its next head coach. However, the Tigers still have one game to play in the 2020 campaign, so it's not time for the Harsin era quite yet.

Interim coach Kevin Steele will lead Auburn into a Citrus Bowl matchup against Northwestern on Friday afternoon at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Tigers are 6-4, but they are coming off a win over Mississippi State in their regular-season finale.

The Wildcats have had a strong season, as they won their first five games and reached the Big Ten Championship Game. Although they came up short against Ohio State in the title showdown, they are 6-2 and have pulled out numerous close victories, as they have four wins by eight or fewer points.

Auburn has struggled in bowl games in recent years, losing five of its past seven. Northwestern won its past three bowl games, which took place between 2016 and 2018.

Here's everything you need to know about this year's Citrus Bowl, along with some daily fantasy tips for the matchup.


Citrus Bowl Information

Date: Friday, Jan. 1

Start Time: 1 p.m. ET


Live Stream: ESPN online



Spread: Northwestern (-3.5)

Over/Under: 43.5 points

Moneyline: Northwestern -175 (bet $175 to win $100); Auburn +140 (bet $100 to win $140)

Via DraftKings Sportsbook


Daily Fantasy Tips

Bigsby Capable of Huge Game Out of Auburn Backfield

True freshman running back Tank Bigsby has played a pivotal role on Auburn's offense this season. He's the Tigers' leading rusher with 834 yards, and he's scored five touchdowns. Not only that, but he's also broken out for some huge performances throughout 2020.

Bigsby had a pair of two-touchdown games, one of which came during a stretch in which he eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground in three straight contests. He also ended the regular season in spectacular fashion, setting season highs in carries (26) and yards (192) in a win over Mississippi State.

Northwestern is giving up 156.5 rushing yards per game, so Bigsby should have no trouble racking up yardage against the Wildcats. And although he hasn't scored a touchdown in any of Auburn's past four games, this could be a good opportunity for him to end his drought.

If Bigsby has a big game, he could be instrumental in a daily fantasy lineup Friday. At the very least, he should have a solid showing, so it's worth including him in your team.


Nix's Ground Game Makes Him Intriguing Start at QB

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Although Auburn sophomore quarterback Bo Nix has thrown only 11 touchdown passes in 10 games this season and been held under 200 yards through the air each of the past two games, he could still be worthy of daily fantasy consideration because of what he can do with his feet.

Nix has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season, including four over the Tigers' past three games. He got into the end zone twice in Auburn's loss to Texas A&M on Dec. 5, and he ran for 49 yards on 11 carries. His best running game came Oct. 31, when he rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown in a win over LSU.

Because Northwestern's pass defense has been strong (limiting opponents to 182.3 yards through the air per game), that could lead to Nix using his feet more Friday. And when he's been active on the ground, he's produced solid results.

So with Nix's rushing contributions, it's worth considering starting him as your quarterback in daily fantasy.


Chiaokhiao-Bowman a Reliable Receiving Option with Big-Play Potential

AJ Mast/Associated Press

If you are looking for a player to start from Northwestern's offense, then senior wide receiver Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman is worth consideration. He was the Wildcats' leading receiver this season, hauling in 38 passes for 447 yards and four touchdowns, three of which came in a win over Purdue on Nov. 14.

Chiaokhiao-Bowman had at least four receptions in six of Northwestern's seven games, so he is certain to be involved in the offense in the Citrus Bowl. And it's possible he could end up having a big performance.

In the Big Ten Championship Game, Chiaokhiao-Bowman had his first 100-yard game of the season, as he had eight receptions for 103 yards. On Friday, he's set to go up against an Auburn defense that is allowing 400.9 total yards per game (including 237.8 through the air), so he should have another solid showing.

Feel comfortable playing Chiaokhiao-Bowman in daily fantasy lineups because of his consistency. And if he gets into the end zone for the first time since Nov. 21, chances are it is part of a big day for the wideout.


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