Tennessee (2-4) at No. 23 Auburn (4-2)
Auburn holds a 28-22-3 lead over the Tennessee and is 7-3-1 at Auburn. The Tigers have won six of the last seven games in the series, but lost the last meeting, 30-24, in 2018. The Vols have lost four in a row while Auburn has won three of it’s last four. It’s Gus Malzahn’s 100th game as the head coach at Auburn.
Vs. The Spread:
The Tigers check in at 3-3 ATS while the Volunteers are 1-4-1. Tennessee is 3-14 SU in their last 17 games and have gone UNDER the number in nine of their last 11. Auburn has gone UNDER in five of it’s last six SEC games.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Tennessee||-+9½ (-110)||+290||O 49½ (-110)|
|Auburn||-9½ (-110)||-360||U 49½ (-110)|
Auburn’s visit to Mississippi State was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests and quarantines within the Bulldogs program. Tennessee’s game with Texas A&M had the same issues as the Aggies had positive tests, contact tracing and quarantines within the A&M program.
Two weeks ago, Arkansas bombarded Tennessee with 24 points in the third quarter as the Razorbacks handed UT a 24-13 loss in Fayetteville. Vols running back Eric Gray posted 123 yards on 31 carries while freshman Harrison Bailey came in for much-maligned Jarrett Guarantano who exited in the third quarter due to injury.
Auburn ran over, around and through LSU as the War Eagles hung a 48-11 win on the Bayou Bengals. The 37-point margin was the largest in series history. Bo Nix threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, including a 91-yard strike to Anthony Schwartz.
When Tennessee Has the Ball:
Gray has been a terrific find for the Vols with his three performances over 100 yards as he is a receiving threat out the backfield. As the Vols quarterback situation continues to be in a flux, Pruitt pulled the redshirt off of freshman Harrison Bailey against Arkansas and he predictably struggled as did Jarrett Guarantano as the Volunteers offense is 114th in the nation in averaging only 318 yards per game.
Auburn is the only defense in the SEC that has not given up 30 points in a game and the Tigers’ come in with a (+4) turnover margin while Tennessee is at a (-3). Under Malzahn, the Tigers are 35-9 when leading in turnover margin. The Tigers have two active active linebackers in Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe, who are third and fifth, respectively in the SEC in tackles with 62 and 54.
When Auburn Has the Ball:
Tank Bigsby has turned into the number one option in the entire offense as he clipped off three consecutive 100-plus performances in his last four games while scoring five touchdowns in his last three games. Auburn’s rushing attack has become so potent that the Tigers are the only FBS team that has four rushing performances of over 200 years.
Bigsby’s rise has had a direct effect on the consistency in the passing game as quarterback Bo Nix has completed 41 of 54 passes for 538 yards in his last two games. Three of Nix’s four interceptions came in the 30-22 lost to South Carolina.
Defense was supposed to be the name of the game at Tennessee with coach Jeremy Pruitt’s background as a defensive coordinator at Alabama, Georgia, and Florida State, but the production has taken a step back this season. Bigsby could have a field day against a Vols rushing defense that has given up 170 or more yards in the last four games. Tennessee also gives up 408 yards per game as opponents have been able to balance their offenses to win games. Linebackers Henry To’o To’o and DeAndre Johnson have to set the tempo in this game against a balanced Auburn offense.
Winner: Auburn (-9½) 34, Tennessee 17
Over-Under: Take Over O 49½