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Auburn Looks To Start Fast Hosting Washington State In 2013 Season Opener

Posted by Dan Marcus on 8/29/2013 7:43:46 PM

Gus Malzahn was the most successful offensive coordinator in the history of the Auburn Tigers’ football program during his time with the team. Now Auburn football fans are hoping that he can be the answer as the team’s next head coach. The Tigers named Malzahn head coach following a disappointing 3-9 year, and he wasted little time revamping the coaching staff and building a roster he believes can succeed. Auburn will open the online sports betting season at home against the Washington State Cougars as a 15.5-point favorite, which as much a testament to their expected level of improvement as it is about the SEC vs. any other conference right now.

Washington State Cougars @ Auburn Tigers
Saturday August 31, 2013 – 10:00 PM ET
Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama
NCAAF Sportsbook Line: Auburn – 15.5

The PAC-12 has fared well on the national stage over the years, but the Cougars are also coming off a 3-9 season and looking to turn things around as well. Traveling to Auburn for week one against an upstart opponent that is looking to send a message will not be easy, even if head coach Mike Leach feels his team is ready for the challenge.

College Football Betting Preview: Washington State

Leach will be relying on junior quarterback Connor Halliday, who needs to be more efficient after throwing nearly as many interceptions (13) as he did touchdowns (15) a year ago. Halliday has some quality weapons around him in wide receivers Isiah Myers and Brett Bartolone, and it will be interesting to see how they operate in week one. Leach could very well open things and push the tempo on offense, but with the defense still a potential vulnerability, he may be better off slowing things down and trying to win the possession battle.

College Football Betting Preview: Auburn

That could be the key to this game with both teams expecting to improve on the offensive side of the ball this sports betting season. Nick Marshall is back under center for the Tigers in his junior year, and Malzahn could be the key to him becoming one of the more consistent passers in the SEC. It certainly won’t be easy with such a difficult schedule, and a strong start will be very important. The running back tandem of Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne will help take some of the pressure off of Marshall, but the defense is still a concern and it will be important for Malzahn to make sure they don’t get exposed by facing too many snaps.

College Football Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Both of these teams are coming off disappointing three-win seasons, but there is reason to believe that each program will fare better in 2013. The problem for Washington State is that they are outmatched by an Auburn team with similar strengths, which will be the first speed bump on a long and challenging season schedule. The Tigers have a lot to prove after last year’s struggles, and the Malzahn Era should start off on a high note.

College Football Betting Pick: Auburn Tigers – 15.5



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