SAT 9/1 | 3:30 PM EDT | MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM
QB Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin are back as one of college football’s most accomplished and skilled backfields, and will look to push each other to new heights in 2018. Gaskin run for about the same amount of yards in 2017 as he did in 2016 with more than two times as many touchdowns but Browning saw his statistical output drop significantly. He’ll look to bounce back with help from a group of receivers that includes Chico McClatcher, who’s returning from injury. The defense loses a star in Vita Vea, but is still stacked at D-line and everywhere else. Browning and Gaskin are the big names, but it’s the defense that carries this team.
- Washington Over is 4-0 in Huskies last 4 games overall.
- Washington 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Washington are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on grass.
Do you recall how well Alabama and Georgia played in their classic National Championship game? Remember that Auburn beat both of those teams, in November, by double-digit margins. Gus Malzahn’s future is secured with the signing of a new contract, quarterback Jarrett Stidham back for more excitement on the Plains, and a hard hitting , swift defense that will torment the nation’s best offenses, Auburn is a serious threat to win the conference. Its schedule is a bear not only do they face Georgia and Alabama on the road, but the Tigers begin with a neutral-site game against PAC-12 power Washington. That season-opener will let us know a lot about what Auburn will do for an encore in 2018.
- Auburn Under is 5-0-2 in Tigers last 7 neutral site games.
- Auburn are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Auburn Under is 4-0 in Tigers last 4 games overall
The infatuation with Washington’s defense has made them the sexy pick by default. It’s understandable considering the brimming talent and hard-nosed coaching. However, it’s also a unit that hasn’t proven it can consistently win against the best teams in the country. Auburn’s ugly record in season openers against ranked opposition (1-7) will dominate the talk leading up, but head coach Guz Malzahn’s bunch will still find a way to get the job done at home.
Prediction: Auburn Tigers -2.5