The Auburn Tigers will be without plenty of their key pieces from their 2021 regular season when they play the Houston Cougars on Thursday afternoon in the Birmingham Bowl from Protective Stadium.
Houston (11-2, 8-0 AAC) was overshadowed by the Cincinnati Bearcats this season, but the Cougars went 11-1 during the regular season before losing in the conference championship game. Houston has played their best season in Year 3 under Dana Holgorsen, and their biggest strength has come on the defensive side of the ball, which ranks No. 16 in opponent yards per play against FBS teams.
Auburn (6-6, 3-5 SEC) lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide in four overtimes, but their roster has changed quite a bit since the regular season finale. The Tigers fired offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, and plenty of players entered the transfer portal including starting quarterback Bo Nix. LSU Tigers transfer TJ Finley will be the likely starter for the Birmingham Bowl.
Game date: Tuesday, December 28th
Game time: 12:00 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Auburn is a 2-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook with -125 moneyline odds, making Houston a +105 underdog. The over/under is set at 50.5.