Auburn Tigers Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
In 2013 Gus Malzahn won pretty much every national coaching award there is as he led the Auburn Tigers to just three points short of beating Florida State and winning the national title. It was his first year at the helm, and he has spent the time since making a pretty compelling case that the win had more to do with the players he inherited than anything else. He just continuously finds ways to disappoint and underwhelm. So, this is a big year for him and this program, I guess - or it will just be further proof that Malzahn is what he is, and Auburn will be what they are with him in charge. I think that that is more likely - he's a guy who has had eight, seven and eight wins the last three years, so the trend of mediocrity is well developed.
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2016 in a Nutshell
Things did not start well last year. They lost their opener to Clemson and then were beaten up by a Texas A&M team that had no shortage of issues in their third game. They then won six straight and climbed all the way to No. 8 in the rankings - which was a ridiculous ranking for the team - before they lost to Georgia. They managed to beat up Alabama A&M in a contest that was much easier than their own scrimmages, but then they got stomped by Alabama to finish the regular season and then rolled over by Oklahoma in the bowl game. That put them at 8-5. And that just isn't good enough.
Key Additions and Departures
Malzahn put blame on the offense last year, making a change at offensive coordinator for the first time in his regime. Chip Lindsey, a former Alabama high school coach who most recently was offensive coordinator at Arizona State, is the new man in charge. Lindsey has a lot to work with - the strong running game returns, the line is in solid shape, and former Baylor QB Jarrett Stidham has ended his juco exile to join Sean White in what is now a deeper-and-easier-to-trust QB stable. The offense will need to be strong out of the gate because the defense lost four key contributors in the draft and has some work to do to get back up to speed. They have some talent, but they will be young, and that makes them hard to both judge and trust.
Malzahn reeled in another Top 10 recruiting class last year, so he will have plenty of young potential to ease into the lineup.
Auburn Tigers Schedule Analysis
Three-quarters of the nonconference schedule is pathetic. The lone bright spot is the second game, which is a trip to Clemson. If those Tigers haven't figured out their QB situation by then that could be a chance for this version of the Tigers to make an early statement - though I wouldn't bet on it. There are at least five wins to be had in the first half of the season. The second half, though, is much tougher. A trip to LSU will be very tough, and playing Georgia at home is no vacation, either. And then they finish off against Alabama as they always do. It's at home, but that won't make it any easier. Unless Malzahn can make real progress this year then this sets up as another eight-win season - his specialty.
2017-18 Auburn Tigers Betting Odds and Trends
Auburn is listed at +2200 to win the national title at BetOnline , which places them behind just eight other teams. That is wildly and ridiculously optimistic. At +500 to win the SEC they are tied with Georgia as the second choice, though they are miles behind favored Alabama at -150. Running back Kamryn Pettway is a mid-tier Heisman contender at +2800. Predictably, the Tigers are massive favorites in their opener against Georgia Southern - the spread currently sits at 35 points.
The team was kinder to bettors than to fans last year. They were a solidly profitable 9-4 ATS, though they finished off just 2-3 ATS in their final five games. They also went "under" the total nine times, including in each of their last five games.
2017-18 Auburn Tigers Predictions and College Football Picks
By now I'm sure that it is obvious that I am not high on this team or on Malzahn. They have the talent to contend and should be able to finish second in the SEC West. I have little faith that they will realize that potential, though. I think they will be capped at nine wins, and I think the athletic department needs to wake up and find a new coach. I see absolutely no betting value with this team.
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