NCAAF Betting News

A New Head Coach Won't be the Answer to Auburn's Problems

Iain MacMillan
Jun 8, 2021, 4:55 PM EDT
Bo Nix will need to take a step forward this season if Auburn wants to find success.
Bo Nix will need to take a step forward this season if Auburn wants to find success. / Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers have been stuck in mediocrity in recent years, and don’t expect that to change in 2021. In fact, Auburn could have its first losing season since 2012.

The Tigers let go head coach Gus Malzahn after a disappointing 6-5 season in the shortened 2021 campaign, but Vegas doesn’t project that new shot caller Bryan Harsin will perform much better. WynnBET has released win projections for the upcoming college football season, and they have Auburn's set at 6.5 with the under heavily favored at -250.

With the SEC returning to a 12-game regular season, that means oddsmakers believe the Tigers will finish with a 6-6 season at best.

Bo Nix will be returning at quarterback for the Tigers, but he’ll be expected to take a significant step forward this season. In 2020, Auburn ranked 73rd in the country in passing yards per game at 220.3 and 74th in completion percentage at 59.67%. Nix threw seven interceptions to go along with those subpar numbers.

Losing his top three receivers from last season certainly won’t help matters.

On a positive note, Auburn has two of the best linebackers in the SEC. Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe, who combined for 206 tackles last season, will be returning to the Tigers in 2021 and will serve as the cornerstones of their defense.

The Tigers will need to rely heavily on their defense if they hope to find any success. They ranked 37th in points allowed per game last year, giving up an average of 24.7. With several returning starters and the addition of new defensive coordinator Derek Mason, Auburn will go as far as their defense takes them.

Unfortunately, it’s going to be tough to keep up in the SEC without an explosive offense.

Despite the low win total, WynnBET has given the Tigers the sixth shortest odds to win the SEC at +2000. With their first two conference games this year coming against LSU and Georgia, their bid for an SEC title will be over before it begins.