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Liberty Bowl Betting Preview: Iowa State Looks To End Memorable Season On A High Note

The Iowa State Cyclones were once a doormat of the Big 12, but on the heels of a memorable season that saw the program upset two teams ranked in the top five at the time (Clemson and TCU), a date with the Memphis Tigers awaits in the Liberty Bowl.

MyBookie opened the Cyclones as 3.5-point underdogs with a total of 66.5.

  • Iowa State is 5-1 SU in its last six games after a loss.
  • Memphis is 1-6 SU and ATS in its last seven games in December.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of Memphis’ last seven games in the postseason.

This is the fourth year in a row of bowling for the Tigers, which is impressive considering they didn’t reach the postseason from 2009 to 2013. Memphis’ rise was spearheaded by ex-head coach Justin Fuente and has stayed firm under Mike Norvell.

Their offense is impressive but relies heavily on getting the job done through the air, as the running game is far from efficient. Memphis was involved in two of the 2017 season’s best games: wins over UCLA in September and Houston in October.

While they weren’t in contention to make the College Football Playoff, the Cyclones did a great job of shaking up the rankings and playing spoiler in the aforementioned wins over two powerhouses. This is ISU’s first bowl appearance since 2012 when it lost to Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl. Head coach Matt Campbell has been extremely impressive in just two years on the job, as the program went 3-9 SU under him in his first year in 2016.

When the Tigers play in the postseason, high-scoring affairs tend to follow. In Memphis’ last seven bowl games, the OVER is 5-2.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Betting fans going with the Memphis Tigers in this game found them listed as 3-point favorites on the betting odds menu at 5Dimes earlier in the week.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and analytics picked a 44-30 win for the Tigers. That value could change during the week, if injuries or other factors alter the numbers, so check the college football picks page before game time. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NCAAF matchups here.

Iowa State Cyclones vs Memphis Tigers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Memphis Tigers currently sport a record of 10-2, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 7-5 ATS. The Iowa State Cyclones are 7-5 and 8-2-2 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Tigers post a 9-3 OVER/UNDER record this season, while the Cyclones have gone 4-8 against the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Memphis vs Iowa State injuries news.

The game pits the Tigers, currently No. 13 in our OddsShark NCAA Football Power Rankings, against the Cyclones, who rate No. 28 in the latest survey.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Memphis Tigers No. 2-ranked offense (47 PPG) against a Iowa State Cyclones defense that ranks No. 29 at 21 PPG. The Memphis passing attack has averaged 327.09 yards per game, more than Iowa State gives up through the air (234.17 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Cyclones own the league's No. 28-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 134.5 yards per game when on the road. Memphis, on the other hand, rates No. 23 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Cyclones suffered a Week 13 loss against Kansas State in their last game, falling 20-19 at Snyder Family Stadium.

Riley Ferguson handled the Knights defense in his team's most recent action, throwing for 471 yards, but Memphis still lost to UCF 62-55.