Auburn Win-Total Pick

College Football Predictions: Is 9 wins too high for Auburn? 7/27/17

Will the Auburn Tigers get back to winning 9 games in the 2017 season? Here’s our breakdown of the upcoming year.

According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Auburn is listed with 25/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs. The Tigers are getting 9/2 odds to win the SEC, while their over/under total for wins is listed at 8.5. The over is set at -150, while the under is listed at +120.

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Gus Malzahn is stepping into his fifth season as head coach of Auburn. He has led the Tigers to a 35-18 record overall in his four seasons and an 18-14 mark in the SEC. Malzahn had a great first season, reaching the National Championship Game, but since then he has been unable to get to 9 wins. Auburn was 8-5 last season, going 5-3 in the SEC. Auburn lost three of its last four games, including the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma.

Typically known for offense, Auburn only ranked 43rd nationally a year ago by averaging 31.2 points and 441 yards per game. The big issue last year was the passing game, as the team finished with just 2,203 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. Auburn is turning the ball to sophomore Jarrett Stidham. He is a transfer from Baylor who threw for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Bears in 2015 as a true freshman. Stidham will have a great run game behind him as Kamryn Pettway is back following a 2016 season where he ran for 1,224 yards and seven touchdowns. Kerryon Johnson is also back after rushing for 895 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016. Defensively, Auburn was solid last year. The Tigers held opponents to 15.6 points and 348 yards per game last season. They have lost some key pieces, including Carl Lawson and Joshua Holsey, but still bring back leading tackler Tray Matthews, who had 76 tackles with one INT. Linebacker Deshaun Davis is also back. He had 63 tackles with seven tackles for loss. Auburn would like to see its sack numbers improve this season. They had just 25 last season and lose their top two sack leaders from 2016.

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Auburn has three very light non-conference games with Mercer, UL Monroe and Georgia Southern, but the Tigers also head to Clemson in Week 2. SEC road games will be made to Missouri, LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M. Home games will be against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. Outside of Alabama, it’s hard to predict what any SEC team will do. Auburn seems like it should be much better on offense, but will the defense fall back? The Tigers have a big game early in the year against a new-look Clemson team. If they can win that, I can see Auburn getting to 9 wins. Most of the SEC road games seem winnable. Winning at LSU will be tough, but Auburn should have the better offense. Despite failing to get to 9 wins in recent years, my gut says Auburn will this season.

2017 WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: AUBURN OVER 8.5 (-150)

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