It’s the Big Ten versus the SEC in 2018 Music City Bowl betting as the Purdue Boilermakers go head-to-head against the Auburn Tigers at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. For Purdue, the Music City Bowl is the gift they get for serving Ohio State their lone loss of the season. Although the Boilermakers finished with a 6-6 record, they’re the only team to beat the Buckeyes this season. Purdue dominated Ohio State 49-20. They’ll confidently believe they’re good enough to take down one of the better teams from the vaunted Southeastern Conference.
That Auburn Tigers limp into the Music City Bowl after losing 21-52 to rival Alabama. Auburn’s better than what they showed in the loss to ‘Bama. They’re definitely better than the 10-21 loss to Georgia would indicate as well.
Will Auburn salvage something from the disappointing season? Or, will Purdue prove that the win over Ohio State wasn’t a mirage?
MUSIC CITY BOWL FOOTBALL BETTING
Purdue Boilermakers at Auburn Tigers
Friday, December 28th– Nissan Stadium– 1:30pm ET
Odds: Auburn -3.5 (54.5)
Boilermakers Can Take Major Program Leap
Purdue’s been a part of the Big Ten for as long as anyone can remember. However, the Boilermakers have always been a second-tier program. Although good enough to battle teams like Illinois, Northwestern, and even Iowa, Purdue’s never been on the same level as Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.
That could change if the Boilermakers beat the Auburn Tigers on December 28. Purdue took a small leap when upsetting the Buckeyes during the regular season, but followed up with losses to Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin to end the regular season. Sandwiched in between were narrow wins over Iowa or Indiana. Some might put too much stock in to Purdue’s shocking upset over Ohio State at midseason and that’s totally fair.
Why? Because the Boilermakers are familiar with Ohio State. They’re supposed to challenge the Buckeyes once in a while. What Purdue shouldn’t do is beat a top SEC team in a bowl game.
A win in the as 2018 Music City Bowl betting underdogs would help the Boilermakers football program take a major leap.
Auburn Tries to Salvage Disappointing Season
Auburn started out the season with a fantastic 21-16 win over the Pac 12’s Washington Huskies. After the win, it sure looked like Auburn would be a fixture in the toughest conference out there. The Tigers’ follow-up performance was a 63-3 win over lowly Alcorn State.
But, then, they hosted a fired up LSU squad and lost 21-22 in a heated affair. The season went south from there. Auburn, last year’s SEC Champion, finished at 7-5 which is a disappointment by Gus Malzahn’s high standards.
For many teams, finishing a couple of games above .500 constitutes a great year. Not so for the Auburn Tigers. There’s no way to call the season anything but a disappointment. However, a win over Purdue could salvage something from a forgettable 2018. Hardware helps the heart.
2018 Music City Bowl Betting Analysis and Pick
On paper, Auburn should have no trouble winning and covering. The trends say otherwise though.
Purdue is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. Auburn is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous, 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games, and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.
There’s a reason Auburn doesn’t perform well in neutral site games, most of which are bowl games. The Tigers play the Iron Bowl against Alabama every year. Often, that’s the most important game on Auburn’s schedule unless they play in the SEC Championship for for a national title.
Lower level bowl games don’t mean much to Auburn. They won’t perform as well as they could on Friday. The Tigers will not only fail ATS, they’re going to fail SU. This game means everything to Purdue, and I love them as a cover team heading in to the weekend. I like them enough to take a risk on the moneyline.
2018 Music City Bowl Betting Free Pick: Purdue +170 ML