The Iowa State Cyclones are field-goal NCAA football betting underdogs versus the Memphis Tigers in the 2017 Liberty Bowl. They ain’t sweating that, though. The Cyclones have faced, and overcome, much longer odds than that. Iowa State upset then-No. 4 TCU as 6.5-point home dogs on October 28th, and shocked then-No. 3 Oklahoma as 31-point road dogs on October 7th. ISU improved from 3-9 in 2016 to 7-5 in head coach Matt Campbell’s second season with the program. This will be the Cyclones first bowl, and second Liberty Bowl, since 2012. It will be the fourth straight bowl game for the Memphis Tigers.
The 2017 Liberty Bowl
- Date: Saturday, 30th December
- Time: 12:35 PM
- Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Sportsbook college football wagering odds:
Iowa State +3½ (-110) 66 (-110) +150
Memphis -3½ (-110) 66 (-110) -170
Iowa State is 5-1 SU in the last six games following a loss
The Cyclones may not be able to stop the Tigers’ offense, but they can hope to contain it. Memphis QB Riley Ferguson was sacked twice and intercepted thrice in the Tigers’ single regular season loss. ISU held, with one exception, all Big 12 opponents to at least 10 points below their season average. The defense also forced 20 turnovers (12 picks and eight recovered fumbles). On the other hand, the Cyclones had just nine TOs and have not lost one fumble in 271 touches. Iowa State’s red zone offense ranked 5th in the conference (85.7%). However, ISU to settle for a field goal in 16 of 35 red zone drives.
The Cyclones have won five of their last six games after a loss. They lost to Kansas State19-20 in the, ahem, Farmageddon. Also, The Cyclones are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after an outright loss, 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games after an ATS win, 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games, and 10-1-1 against the NCAA football betting when playing a team with a winning record.
The over is 5-2 In Memphis’ last seven bowl games
As good as ISU’s defense is, the U of M’s offense is a 46.7-point and 339.1-yard per game onslaught led by Ferguson, who has passed for 3,971 yards and 36 touchdowns. Then again, Ferguson is set to graduate, and in this day and age seniors are anything but a lock to play bowl games. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, if the competition between David Moore, Brady Davis, and Connor Adair for the QB spot started with the 2017 Liberty Bowl. “My dream is to be the starting quarterback here,” Moore said. “That’s been my goal since I got here, so Riley leaving, obviously I crank it up.”
— Memphis Football (@MemphisFB) December 20, 2017
The total has gone over in five of Memphis’ last seven bowl games. Additionally, Memphis is 1-6 SU and ATS in its last seven games in December, 4-0-1 ATS in their last five on field turf, 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight overall, 4-1 ATS in their last five after an ATS loss, and 1-4 ATS in their last five bowls.