Avoid Auburn Tigers With 2014 NCAAF Future Picks

Matthew Jordan

Monday, June 30, 2014 7:45 PM GMT

Monday, Jun. 30, 2014 7:45 PM GMT

The Auburn Tigers posted the biggest turnaround in the nation a year ago, which has them incredibly overvalued in the marketplace heading into a new season. Let’s take a closer look at the future odds for this Southeastern Conference program to win the 2015 NCAA Football Championship Game.

Close encounter
Auburn was 13 seconds away from winning the BCS Championship Game last season, but ultimately suffered a 34-31 defeat to the Florida State Seminoles as 11.5-point underdogs. 

College football odds makers are certainly aware that the Tigers are going to be heavily-backed by the public due to that close encounter, which is why I find little to no value in the offering.

The program is currently sitting at betting odds of +2090 at Pinnacle Sports, which happens to be the second choice among SEC teams in the market—behind the Alabama Crimson Tide (+660).


Ground game
The Tigers led the nation in averaging 328.3 rushing yards per game in 2013-14, but they’ll need to replace No. 1 running back Tre Mason, who was selected in this year’s NFL draft. 

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn’s up-tempo system depends on a solid running game that wears down opponents over the course of a game.

Experts are expecting Corey Grant to have a breakout season in the backfield, as he reportedly ran a sub-4.2 40 last month.


Marshall
Nick Marshall is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, considering he compiled a 88.3 total QBR in his last eight games a season ago—a figure that led FBS signal-callers during that span.

The Tigers quarterback completed 13 of 22 passes for 236 yards in the team’s spring football game on April 19.


It all starts up front 
Auburn is expected to have one of the best defensive lines in the country, with end Carl Lawson and tackle Gabe Wright leading the way.

If the group manages to meet or exceed expectations, it’ll allow linebacker Cassanova McKinzy to dominate, as he played in all 14 games and led the team with 75 tackles last year.


Schedule
With two of its last three games coming on the road against revenge-minded teams, I simply don’t see the Tigers securing one of four spots in the upcoming college football playoff, and will not be choosing them for my NCAAF picks.

Auburn pulled off a couple miracles against Alabama and Georgia last season, but it’ll be a different story away from Jordan Hare Stadium.

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