This isn’t the game the Auburn Tigers wanted to play in - but you can bet (pun intended) they’ll bring their best to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for Monday’s Peach Bowl encounter with the high flying Central Florida Knights.
Auburn had College Football Playoff aspirations after knocking off then-No. 1 Alabama in the regular-season finale – but a one-sided loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship game forced the Tigers to settle for a New Year’s Six berth.
Peach Bowl Spread and Betting Analysis
The Tigers are tasked with slowing down the nation’s most prolific offence – and oddsmakers believe they’ll do just that, making them considerable favourites on the strength of a defence that limited opponents to 17.3 points per game – the ninth-best rate in the nation. But Auburn covered just six times in 11 games during the season, and have failed to cover in any of their previous five non-conference encounters (0-4-1 ATS).
The overwhelming majority of Sports Interaction bettors believe in Auburn’s defence, with 83 percent taking the Tigers minus the points. And 63 percent believe this game will go over the 67-point total, suggesting it might be more of a back-and-forth affair than Tigers fans are used to seeing. Auburn has played over the total in seven of its previous 10 games, while UFC – to no one’s surprise – is riding a four-game over streak heading into the game.
Central Florida Knights
Averaging better than 49 points per game is no small accomplishment – and neither is scoring the majority of your points via the touchdown. The Knights scored a whopping 80 touchdowns – tops in the nation – while kicking just 11 field goals. So bettors shouldn’t be surprised to see a UCF field goal at +360 on Sports Interaction to be the first scoring play of the game. A UCF touchdown as the first scoring play comes in at a slightly lower +260.
With standout running back Kamryn Pettway ruled out with a shoulder injury, Auburn’s Peach Bowl hopes rest on the arm of QB Jarrett Stidham and the legs of RB Kerryon Johnson. Stidham threw for more than 2,800 yards with a 17:4 TD:INT ratio, but has just one touchdown pass over his previous two games and only broke the 300-yard barrier once all season. Johnson finished the year with a flourish, posting seven 100-yard efforts over his final nine games.