Akron Zips at Auburn Tigers (ESPN+/SECN+)
Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. ET; Jordan-Hare Stadium; Auburn, Ala.
Line: Auburn -37; Over/Under: 55
We continue with programs who have new head coaches. The Auburn Tigers have moved on from Gus Malzahn, who was hired by the UCF Knights to replace Josh Heupel after Tennessee football hired Heupel. Coming in is Bryan Harsin, who has built a reputation for himself replacing Chris Petersen as head coach of the Boise State Broncos.
In Harsin’s first game at Auburn, he gets a chance to put on a show, similar to Heupel against a struggling MAC program. He’ll be facing an Akron program that went 0-12 and then 1-5 the past two years under Tom Arth. Expectations are cautiously high for Auburn as there is talent here.
Arth, meanwhile, has a ton of pressure on him to actually perform this year. Akron is a program that has serious issues, and the expectations for them are no greater this year than they were the previous few years.
Auburn will win and dominate. But the point spread is too high. After all, the Tigers are still entering a new era with a new head coach. Take them to win but Akron to cover, as they’ll score enough late, which will also help them hit the over.
Auburn: 42 Akron: 17 (Akron +37; Over 55)