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AutoZone Liberty Bowl - Preview and Predictions

NCAAF AutoZone Liberty Bowl Lines

The 58th year of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is scheduled for December 30 in Memphis, Tennessee. This year’s matchup between TCU and Georgia is a battle of two very young teams that are happy just to be in a bowl game. TCU finished fifth in the Big 12, while their opponent, the Georgia Bulldogs finished 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. Even though this isn’t a huge bowl, the game is important for both teams. The season didn’t go according to plans for either team but a win by either team will be huge heading into next year. The spread for the game is pick em’ with a game total of 49.

Date and Time: December 30, 2016 - Noon, ET
Location: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee
TV Coverage: ESPN

OPENING LINE: Georgia -1, Total 49
CURRENT LINE: Georgia -1

Odds courtesy of BookMaker.eu

The game opened up at a Pick em’ and moved to Georgia by 1-point. The total is 49 and holding strong.

TCU HORNED FROGS 6-6ATS: 3-9

After winning 23 games in their past two seasons, the Horned Frogs stumbled to a 6-6 record this season, losing four of their final six games down the stretch. They also were just 3-9 against the spread. TCU head coach Gary Patterson summed up the year, "Our standards have been very high at TCU, and for everybody that’s worn the purple and black, being 6-6 is not something that we’re that happy about, but we’re glad that we got back to a bowl game. I think that helps us, especially playing against a great opponent." The Horned Frogs only have 13 seniors on their team and look to use this bowl game as a springboard to next year.

TCU is playing in its 17th bowl game in 19 seasons and has a chance at a winning season with a victory in Memphis. A loss would mean only the third non-winning season at TCU since Patterson became head coach. Patterson will be coaching his 14th bowl in 16 season and his second in Memphis, where he won his first bowl game as a head coach in 2002.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS 7-5ATS: 5-7

The Bulldogs went 7-5 in Kirby Smart’s first year at the helm. Georgia is a young team led by freshman quarterback Jacob Eason who started 11 of the 12 games. “It was a season that could’ve gone either way on a lot of games,” Smart said. “A few games we won, and a few games that we didn’t that were really tight ballgames. You could probably say that about any year, but being my first year, you learn a lot from those tight ballgames." Georgia was 5-7 against the spread. Smart is making his debut as a head coach in a bowl game.

Georgia is 29-19-3 all-time in bowl games, winning last year against Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

The teams are meeting for only the fourth time in a series that began with the 1942 Orange Bowl and was last played in 1988. Georgia has won all three meetings.

PREDICTION:

This is the easiest pick on the board. When you get a pick em’ game, the first thing I look at is who played the tougher schedule and who played in the tougher conference. It’s hands down Georgia. The SEC was alot better then the Big 12 this year, no doubt about it. The Bulldogs have the better athletes, will be more motivated to play and win this game by double-digits. Georgia wins, 28-17.

The TCU Horned frogs face the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2016 AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Friday, December 30, 2016 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. ESPN will televise the game live.