Houston vs. Auburn Updated Prediction and Odds for Birmingham Bowl

The Houston Cougars take the field before kickoff of the first quarter during the American Athletic Championship Game.
The Houston Cougars take the field before kickoff of the first quarter during the American Athletic Championship Game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Houston heads to Birmingham, Alabama to face the nearby Auburn Tigers in the aptly named Birmingham Bowl.

Houston came up short in the AAC Championship, falling to No. 4 Cincinnati, but compiled a strong 11-2 season under Dana Holgorsen. Meanwhile, Auburn fell way short of expectations in coach Bryan Harsin's first season, going 6-6, notably losing to Alabama in the Iron Bowl in heartbreaking fashion.

Here are the odds for the Birmingham Bowl from WynnBET Sportsbook.

Houston vs. Auburn Odds, Spread and Total


  • Houston: +2 (-110)
  • Auburn: -2 (-110)


  • Houston: +105
  • Auburn: -125


  • 51.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Auburn vs. Houston Betting Trends

  • Houston is 2-1 as an underdog this season
  • Auburn is 2-3 as a favorite this season
  • Houston is 3-0 to the UNDER as an underdog this season
  • Auburn went UNDER in 7 of 12 games this season
  • Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen has lost his last four bowl games

Houston vs. Auburn Prediction and Pick

Auburn is dealing with several opt outs in this game, including several starters such as cornerback Roger McCreary and linebacker Zakoby McClain as well as the injured Bo Nix, who started at quarterback for much of this season. T.J. Finley will fill in for him. He saw time throughout the year, completing 60% of his 91 pass attempts for 600 yards along with five touchdowns and an interception.

On the other side, Houston will be without star cornerback Marcus Jones, who declared for the NFL Draft, but should be set elsewhere. Jones is a massive hit to the defense, but more on that unit in a bit.

So, what can we expect from this game?

I see an edge for both defenses, despite the mass exodus from the starters on the Tigers sideline. Auburn is still an SEC defense and will provide a step up in class for Houston, who scored 20 points against Cincinnati and 21 against Texas Tech, the two best teams it saw all season.

As for the Cougars, they have a legitimate defense, ranking fourth in defensive success rate and seventh in line yards. This is a high end D that will be able to keep a lid on Auburn running back Tank Bigsby. I'm also not worried about Finley attacking a Houston secondary down their best CB.

There are plenty of issues for Auburn and while they are an SEC team, I don't see them getting motivated for this bowl game, even in nearby Birmingham.

I took Houston at +3 but make them slight favorites in the game, so I still see value on them at +2. Meanwhile, with both defenses set to thrive, I also like the under at above 51.

I see an ugly game that Houston squeaks out something in the range of 20-17.

PICK: Houston +2, Under 51.5