Liberty Bowl Prediction: Iowa State vs. Memphis

Last Updated: 2017-12-30

liberty bowl free pickThe second bowl game on Saturday is an interesting game between Iowa State and Memphis. The Tigers are favored by 4 and the total is 67.

The Tigers are essentially playing a home game in Memphis and bring in one of the nation’s most explosive offenses, averaging 47.7 points per game to teams who allow 34 and gain 548.2 yards per game. The Tigers lost to UCF twice this season, but did beat bowl teams Navy, UCLA and Houston, even if it was by a combined 10 points. Just four games of the Tigers saw fewer than 67 points.

The Tigers averaged more than 200 yards running and passing, so teams can’t key in on any one area, as Memphis rushed for .8 more yards than their opponents allowed and also threw for more yards.

The Tigers allowed 62 points to UCF in the championship game and for the season allowed .2 more points than the opposition allowed. They did allow 4.5 yards per carry to teams that averaged 4.5 yards so their run defense is pretty average, while their pass defense was a little bit better than average.

Iowa State is pretty average on offense, but allowed 10 fewer points than their opponents averaged and pulled off the upset against Oklahoma, a team that is far superior to any team the Tigers played this season and would be favored by two touchdowns over UCF.

Iowa State doesn’t run the ball particularly well, but is a decent throwing team, although rushing the ball may be their best chance to keep up with the Tigers. The Cyclones get a huge advantage in strength of schedule and have already faced offenses just as good as the one they’ll see today.

The trends on this one are a bit mixed, as bowl teams who allowed 60 or more points their last game are just 4-7 in totals, but teams off back to back games of 50 or more points are 5-3 in over/unders. The Tigers have scored 50 in three straight games and only two others teams had done so, going 1-1.

The Liberty bowl is probably a good game to watch, not necessarily a good game to wager on, as Memphis showed a tendency to win some close games against good teams and Iowa State was 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records during the year.

This looks like an obvious over, so will go against the gran and the public and take the under 67 and hope Iowa State’s defense shows up to play and the Cyclones can get the rushing attack going.

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