No. 9 Auburn (9-3) meets No. 16 Minnesota (10-2) meet in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Auburn ended the season with a victory against Alabama in the Iron Bowl. The Tigers played four top-10 teams this season, and freshman Bo Nix has a chance to complete a 10-win season for Gus Malzahn. That should solidify his job security heading into what could be a breakout season in 2020.
Minnesota is thinking the same thing under Fleck, who had the Gophers one game away from a Big Ten championship appearance. Sophomore quarterback Tanner Morgan threw for 28 touchdowns and six interceptions this season, and this is a chance for him to lead the Gophers to win their fourth straight bowl game since 2015.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Auburn vs. Minnesota, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for the Outback Bowl.
Auburn vs. Minnesota odds for Outback Bowl 2020
- Spread: Auburn -7
- Point total: 53.5
- Moneyline: Auburn -110, Minnesota -110
Auburn is a seven-point favorite according to Sports Insider.
Auburn vs. Minnesota all-time series
This is the first meeting between Auburn and Minnesota. The Tigers are 1-2 in the Outback Bowl. This is the Gophers’ first appearance in that bowl.
Three trends to know
— Auburn is 3-3 against the spread and 2-4 straight up in bowl games under Malzahn, but that includes a 1-1-1 straight-up record against Big Ten teams.
— The Tigers were 6-2 against the spread as a favorite this year, including a 2-1 against-the-spread mark in games with spreads of 10 points or less.
— The Gophers were 7-5 against the spread this year, including a 2-2 against-the-spread record as an underdog.
Three things to watch
Can Gophers stay grounded?
Minnesota struggled to establish a running game with Rodney Smith in losses to the Badgers and Hawkeyes. Minnesota averaged 2.3 yards per carry in those losses. The Gophers face a challenge against an Auburn defensive front that features SN first-team All-American Derrick Brown and second-team All-American Marlon Davidson.
Bo Nix’s passer rating
Nix had a 57 percent completion percentage this year, but the Tigers were 8-1 when he had a passer rating of 100 or better in games. That included his effort in the Iron Bowl victory against Alabama; a game in which Nix hit just 15 of 30 passes but made them count for 173 yards and a score. Nix also is a threat to run. He scored seven rushing touchdowns this season.
In games like this, watch the perimeter on both sides. Will Auburn receivers Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz hit big plays against a Minnesota secondary that includes first-team All-American Antoine Winfield Jr.? Or will the Gophers’ dynamic tandem of Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson — both 1,000-yard receivers – make the big plays against the Tigers?
Stat that matters
The Tigers ranked ninth in the FBS in red-zone defense — a place where that defensive front made it tough for opponents to score. Opponents scored touchdowns on 18 of 35 possessions and had 10 empty trips in the red zone. Minnesota will have to capitalize with an offense that scored 40 touchdowns in 55 red-zone trips this season. The Gophers had just five empty trips in that situation.
Auburn vs. Minnesota prediction
It’s an interesting coaching matchup, and both coaches will empty the playbook here. Expect some flashy trick plays on both sides to build momentum, but inevitably it will come down to whether the Gophers can be consistent enough in the running game to keep Morgan out of third-and-long situations. Nix will make enough plays to help Auburn build a lead, and the defense will finish it in the fourth quarter.
Auburn 31, Minnesota 21