Liberty Bowl – Iowa State Cyclones vs. Memphis Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, December 30, 2017, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Opening Liberty Bowl Odds: Memphis -3, O/U 65.5
Liberty Bowl TV Coverage: ABC
The Cyclones went 7-5 this season but as noted earlier, they were a great team to bet on, as they went 10-1-1. The Tigers went 10-2 and they were 7-4-1 ATS. The Cyclones were mostly about defense and their best player was Joel Lanning who had 110 tackles this season. The Tigers were all offense and their duo of quarterback Riley Ferguson and wide receiver Anthony Miller was explosive, as Ferguson threw for 3,971 yards and 36 TDs, while Miller had 92 catches for 1,407 yards and 17 TDs.
Iowa State comes into this game having lost three of their last four. The Cyclones scored about 30 points per game and gave up 21 per contest. Kyle Kempt threw for 1,473 yards with 13 TDs and three interceptions this season. David Montgomery led Iowa State with 1094 yards and 11 TDs. Allen Lazard led the team with 799 yards and nine TDs. The Cyclones will be playing in the Liberty Bowl for the third time.
Memphis will have the home field advantage, as this will be the first time in the 59-year history of the Liberty Bowl that the home team will play in the game. The Tigers score a lot of points but they rarely stop anyone. They were exposed twice in losses to Central Florida. Memphis averaged almost 48 points per game this season while giving up 33 points per contest.
The Cyclones are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. The Cyclones are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Tigers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 home games. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 bowl games. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
The Under is 4-0 in the Cyclones last 4 road games. The Under is 4-0-1 in the Cyclones last 5 bowl games. The Over is 6-0 in the Tigers last 6 non-conference games. The Over is 19-7 in the Tigers last 26 home games. The Over is 5-2 in the Tigers last 7 Bowl games.
Liberty Bowl Free Picks
The Tigers opened up as a 3-point favorite and they are now a 3.5-point choice at the best sportsbooks. The total opened up at 65.5 and after briefly going up to 66.5 it is back down to 65.5. Why anyone would bet this game under the total is unclear, as Memphis simply can’t stop opposing teams. They went over the total in 9 of their 12 games this season. Iowa State has a good defense but it is not great and they are not going to stop Memphis. The question is whether or not Iowa State can do enough on offense to stay with the Tigers. I would say yes, as the Tigers gave up more than 26 points in every game except for two this season. Iowa State doesn’t have a great offense but they did average almost 30 points per game. I can’t envision anything other than a shootout. I am tempted to take the 3.5-points with Iowa State, as all they do is cover the spread every week, but I think the better bet is to take the game over the total. Both teams should score well into the 30’s and that will be enough for this game to go over the total.
Liberty Bowl ATS Pick: Over 65.5 at BookMaker.eu
Liberty Bowl Score Prediction: Memphis 41, Iowa State 38