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How to watch and what to watch in the 2019 Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn

The Tigers will look to spoil Bama’s chances at making the College Football Playoff in the 83rd edition of the rivalry.

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones rolls out to pass against the Western Carolina Catamounts during the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday, we get the 84th meeting between the Alabama Crimson Tide (5) and Auburn Tigers (16) in the 2019 Iron Bowl in Auburn, Alabama at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

These two teams have gone in different directions since the beginning of the 2019 college football season. The Tigers had aspirations to make the College Football Playoff. Now, at 8-3, they’re on the outside looking in at teams like Alabama, which will try to secure its sixth straight appearance in the CFP.

Bama is 10-1 (6-1 in the SEC East) and is coming off wins against Western Carolina and Mississippi State following their tough loss to No. 1 LSU at home. Because of that loss, the Tide sits on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff with one week left in the regular season.

If Alabama can secure a win over rival Auburn, they’d be in a good spot to make it back to the playoff, though they’d likely need some help from either George Tech or LSU, both of which take on No. 4 Georgia to close out the season. Auburn would obviously like to play spoil against Bama and keep them out of the playoff, plus the Tigers can secure a better Bowl game by reaching nine wins on the season.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Alabama will take on Auburn this Saturday, Nov. 30, at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS, CBS All Access and fuboTV.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Spread: Alabama (-3.5) at Auburn
Point Total: O/U 50 (-110)
Money line: Alabama (-175), Auburn (+140)

— This is the shortest spread in the Iron Bowl in the past six seasons.

— Alabama has won eight of the past 11 meetings between these two teams in the Iron Bowl.

— Auburn is 8-3 against the spread but 1-2 as underdogs this season. The Tigers have failed to score more than 26 points in each of the past four Iron Bowls.

How will the Crimson Tide look without Tua Tagovailoa?

Tua went down with a dislocated hip against Western Carolina last week and is done for the season. In place of Tagovailoa, QB Mac Jones entered the game and was stellar, completing 10-of-12 passes for 275 yards and three TDs. Of course, this was against a very weak opponent, so it’s hard to take anything away from this performance. However, Jones has pretty stupid numbers in limited action in 2019: 841 passing yards, a 71.4% completion percentage and seven TDs to one INT. Jones wasn’t a highly recruited player out of high school at three stars, but clearly has the skill set to lead the Crimsons Tide in the Iron Bowl.

Pick against the Spread

This is a tough game to gauge because normally it’d be Bama in a landslide, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Of course, if the Tide does roll over Auburn, the spread is very generous for that game script playing out, with Bama only favored by 3.5 points. No Tua will play a factor, but as referenced above, Mac Jones appears more than capable of winning this game and doing work in the CFP.

The Tigers have made a living as one of the top defensive teams in the SEC. They rank third in the conference in both points (16.2) and yards allowed (306.5) per game. Auburn is also fifth in sacks with 26 on the season. It’ll be tough trying to shut down top wideouts Jerry Jeudy and Devonta Smith, as well as RB Najee Harris, but the Tigers have the personnel to do so. Still, it’s tough to bet against Nick Saban in a huge game like this and I think he’ll have the Tide ready to at least position themselves to make the playoff again.

Pick: Alabama (-3.5)

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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for details.