Auburn Tigers Odds to Win the 2016 College Football National Championship
by George Monroy - 7/14/2015
The Auburn Tigers expected to be in the national title hunt last season and seemed on course for another stellar year under coach Gus Malzahn-that is until the Tigers dropped five of their last eight games of the season and ended with a 4-4 SEC mark. Malzahn and his crew did play in the Outback Bowl against No. 19 Wisconsin, but that game was little consolation for a team that made a national title game appearance the year before and was two quarters away from wining the entire thing.
Heading into 2015, Auburn is once again expected to be a major player for a spot in the playoff race, and the team is receiving elite contender odds from Bovada. The offseason was a welcomed respite after last season's debacle as Auburn and its coaching staff produced the seventh-ranked recruiting class and also managed to sign Bryon Cowart, the No. 1 high school recruit in the nation.
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Auburn Tigers Odds to Win 2016 College Football National Championship
The biggest offseason storyline for the Tigers was the addition of defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who many believe is one of the sharpest minds in college football. Coach Malzahn even went as far to call him the "the best defensive mind in all of football, not just college," which is high praise coming from a coach who has been around the game since the 1980s. Any extra help on the defensive end will be a welcomed addition for an Auburn team that struggled on the opposite side of the ball last season.
The Tigers allowed 30 points or more during their last seven games of the 2014 season while also giving up a whopping 55 points against SEC rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl. This season is shaping up to be very different on the defensive end with the team returning its No. 1 pass rusher, Carl Lawson, adding Muschamp, and a talented core of freshmen players that is being led by the defensive end and No. 1 high school recruit Cowart. The one thing fans and bettors can expect out of Auburn is a much-improved defense.
Auburn Tigers 2015 Schedule
Sept 5: Louisville Cardinals
Sept 12: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Sept 19: @ LSU Tigers
Sept 26: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Oct 3: San Jose State Spartans
Oct 15: @ Kentucky Wildcats
Oct 24: @ Arkansas Razorbacks
Oct 31: Ole Miss Rebels
Nov 7: @ Texas A&M Aggies
Nov 14: Georgia Bulldogs
Nov 21: Idaho Vandals
Nov 28: Alabama Crimson Tide
Auburn's schedule seems to be manageable and open to a one- or two-loss season and playoff berth. The team will play the majority of its tough SEC matchups at home, with the exception of road games against LSU and Arkansas early in the season. Auburn's biggest matchup of the year will, of course, be against Alabama during the final game on the schedule, and the Iron Bowl could in fact be the deciding factor on which team from the SEC makes the playoffs.
Auburn Tigers 2016 National Title Odds and Trends
Title Odds: +900
2014 ATS Record: 8-5; 4-9 home
2014 Totals Record: 7-5-1; 5-2 home
Last year's disappointing season can be pinpointed to a lackluster and undermanned defense that lost focus during the second half of the year. Auburn seems to have made steps toward fixing those issues with multiple additions on the defensive end, and +900 odds fells like a solid number. All the team really needs to do is make the playoffs and take everything else one step at a time. The only issue for the team is that it might not be able to sneak into the playoffs without an SEC Conference win.
Auburn Tigers Odds to Win 2016 College Football National Championship Picks and Predictions
Auburn made huge improvements during the offseason and now resembles the team that made a national title game appearance two seasons ago. The Tigers may be the best defensive squad in the nation and could play lock-down defense throughout the year, which is the first step in winning a national title. Taking the Tigers +900 is a solid wager to make.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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