High-Flying Tigers the Play at Home in Liberty Bowl vs. Cyclones

liberty bowl

Willie Bee

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 8:37 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 8:37 PM UTC

Looking for a school record 11th win, Memphis is a slight favorite on its home turf at this year’s Liberty Bowl against the Iowa State Cyclones.

Iowa State Cyclones vs Memphis Tigers

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Free College Football Pick: Memphis -3½Best Line Offered: at Heritage

First-time matchups aren’t rare this bowl season, and neither are contests that find one of the two participants playing on their home field. In the case of the Liberty Bowl, we have both occurrences taking place as the Memphis Tigers are home for the holidays against the Iowa State Cyclones.

The 12:30 PM (ET) kickoff on December 30 will be televised by ABC, and as you’d expect with a 10-2 side playing at home against a 7-5 squad, Memphis is favored with Heritage carrying the Tigers -3½ after initially sending them out -3. Most outlets have 66 for the total, though a few are listing 65½.

Cyclones Close Season With 3-Straight Covers

Matt Campbell’s second season in Ames had more than its fair share of ups and downs. The highs were upset wins over Oklahoma and TCU, the eventual Big 12 Championship combatants. Among the lows were an early overtime loss at home to rival Iowa, another home defeat to a less-than-impressive Texas team in the conference opener, and losing a late lead at Kansas State to fall in the season finale, one of three Cyclones setbacks in the final month.

Bettors following Iowa State on the NCAA football odds, however, enjoyed a season mostly full of ups as the Cyclones covered 10 of their 12 games, ‘under’ bettors also pocketing a few dollars with eight winners in a dozen wagers. They are expected to have leading rusher David Montgomery ready to play in this one after the sophomore injured a knee in the K-State game. Iowa State is playing its first bowl game since the 2012 Liberty Bowl, a 31-17 loss to Tulsa after beating the Golden Hurricane earlier that season,

How Many Points Could High-Flying Tigers Score On Their Own Defense?

Two losses to Central Florida, the only FBS team to go through 2017 unscathed, are the only blemishes on Memphis’ record. Mike Norvell guided the Tigers to their first 10-win regular season campaign since they joined the D-I level in 1960, and it was accomplished almost solely by an offense that ranked second in scoring (47.7 ppg) and fourth in total yards (548.2 ypg). Unfortunately, Memphis also allowed more than 33 points per game with only nine teams giving up more yards than the 476 per game the Tigers surrendered.

Your guess is as good as mine regarding the weather, and an update for the current forecast calling for a mix of snow and rain with temps in the mid-30s is a must. That could be the one thing to slow down this Tigers offense, but I still like them for my free college football pick.

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