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Sugar Bowl Odds & Ends: Auburn opens as underdog, gift baskets and ticket sales

Auburn defensive lineman Montravius Adams arrives at Jordan-Hare Stadium to play Clemson Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.
Auburn defensive lineman Montravius Adams arrives at Jordan-Hare Stadium to play Clemson Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn opened as a 5-point underdog Sunday for the Sugar Bowl according to VegasInsider.com. As of Tuesday night, the spread was between 4.5 and 5.5 depending on the sports book.

“No concerns,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said of being the favorite. “At the end of the day, it’s an excellent bowl game. We’re playing an excellent football team. We just got to be in a position to play the very best we can.”

The Fiesta Bowl is the only New Year’s Six bowl game with a closer betting line with Ohio State a 3-point favorite over Clemson.

Auburn’s underdog status won’t go unnoticed on the Plains.

“We’ll definitely be motivated,” Malzahn said. “We’re playing one of the top teams in the country. Our team is extremely excited to be playing in a game like the Sugar Bowl. That’s a very big deal and our players understand that.”

Gift-wrapped

The NCAA allows bowl organizers to reward participants with up to $550 in gifts. The Sports Business Journal revealed the gift packages for all 41-bowl games late last week.

Auburn players attending the Sugar Bowl will get to pick from a pre-selected list of items at a gift suite. The gift list includes a Fossil watch with custom tin and New Era cap.

The gift package for last year’s Birmingham Bowl included an ESPN beanie, Ogio backpack and commemorative Big Game football.

Hot ticket?

Auburn’s allotment of tickets for the Sugar Bowl went on sale Monday at $150 each. Tickets were still available through the athletic department’s ticketing website as of Wednesday morning.

Prices on the secondary market were much more reasonable with tickets available for as low as $60 on StubHub and SeatGeek. The most expensive tickets were in the $800 range for both resellers.

The game has averaged 70,707 fans over the last decade with the attendance peaking in years it was featured as the BCS Championship Game (2008, 2012) or as one of the two College Football Playoff semifinals (2015).

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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