Liberty Bowl Picks: Bet Motivated Kansas State +13 vs. Arkansas

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 7:55 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 7:55 PM GMT

Our handicapper examines the Liberty Bowl matchup between Kansas State & Arkansas. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview that culminates with a free college football pick.

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College Football Pick: Kansas State +13
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

Kansas State vs. Arkansas 3:30PM ET
The long-standing Liberty Bowl takes place, as always, in Memphis, TN. This year it will be played on Saturday, January 2nd following the semi-final games New Year’s Eve and the New Year’s Day major Bowl games. As a result, it loses a bit of its pre-New Year luster. The game features a 6-6 SU ATS Kansas St. team from the Big 12 vs. a 7-5 SU ATS Arkansas team from the SEC. My preference in this contest is on Kansas St. (+13) generous points with the savvy veteran Kansas St. HC Snyder at the helm of the Wildcats!

 

Betting Preview
It was a solid season for Arkansas under 3rd year HC Bielema. He did break from his mold of power football by hiring former Central Michigan HC Dan Enos as his OC. With the talents of QB Allen, Arkansas balanced their offense with an attack that averaged 264/9.1 through the airways. That was quite a change in philosophy from the Bielema years at Wisconsin and his first 2 years at Arkansas when the Hogs used mammoth offensive lines, much as they have this season, to dominate the opposition with a run oriented attack. If there was a reason for the Hogs finishing with 5 losses and performing below expectations, it would be a defense that allowed 28/404, far inferior to the 19/323 allowance of last season. The season looked like it may be a disaster with a 0-3 SU ATS late September slide that featured consecutive losses to Toledo, TTRR and Texas A&M. When Arkansas dropped an October 10th decision to Alabama, their 2-4 SU record made this post-season appearance improbable. But, they rebounded by winning 5 of their 6 second half games of the season, including against Ole Miss and LSU. That gives them solid momentum entering this Bowl game which could again provide the opportunity for an offensive showcase. 

Kansas St. followed a similar pattern. Facing a front-loaded schedule of powerful Big 12 teams, the Wildcats followed an early 3-0 SU non-conference start with 6 consecutive defeats to the 6 best teams in the Big 12. That included Oklahoma St., TCU, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech.  Standing at 3-6 SU and with their Bowl life on the line in each remaining game, the Wildcats finished 3-0 SU, including comeback wins on their home field vs. Iowa St. and WVU to garner this Bowl bid. 

 

Final Analysis
In what could well be the final game for beloved Kansas St. HC Snyder, look for Kansas St. to be one of the more motivated teams in post-season play. Along with Snyder’s underdog record of 23-8 ATS and the generous impost of (+13) points, we comfortably line up with Kansas St. as a classic Big Dog Bowl play. I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor and join me in my college football pick on Kansas St. as Big Bowl Dog.

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