Free Liberty Bowl Prediction: Wildcats vs Razorbacks Odds
College football betting on the 2016 Liberty Bowl sees the Kansas State Wildcats taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday January 2nd at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
2016 AUTOZONE Liberty Bowl
Kansas State Wildcats (6-6) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (7-5)
Date: Saturday, January 2nd 2016
Time: 3:30 PM
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis Tennessee
NCAA Football Spread: Arkansas -13
NCAA Betting Total:
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Big 12 mediocrity squares off against a surprisingly effective SEC outfit in the New Year in Memphis. Anything can happen and such is the magic of bowl season, but it is likely that the Razorbacks’ rapidly diversifying offense will be too much for Kansas State to handle.
Kansas State intends to finish their 2015 campaign with an above-.500 record, but the Hogs won’t make that an easy prospect. For a team that is still building under head coach Bret Bielema, a seven-win season in the SEC is a respectable effort. The Razorbacks hope they can show what should be a pro Arkansas-heavy audience what they are capable of.
Surely, the Wildcats would love to procure iconic, 76-year old head coach Bill Snyder another bowl victory. Kansas State is not as talented as its opponent, but KSU is at least trending in the right direction.
In what looked to be an abjectly miserable season, the Cats won three straight ballgames to close out the season and become bowl-eligible.
An offense that limped along for much of the season picked it up in the final games of the regular season. Kansas State scored 107 points altogether in its last three games versus Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia. That made the difference and booked the Wildcats a date in the Liberty Bowl.
The Wildcats only finished 3-6 in the conference; the Wildcats defense must be prepared to face another explosive and well-balanced offense. There is no shortage of scoring in the Big 12, so KSU knows it must game-plan against both a run-heavy and a pass-heavy attack.
When Kansas State has the ball, it relies on dual-threat QB Joe Hubener and RB Charles Jones. In the run game, this duo combined for 1,269 yards and 18 TDs. Hubener isn’t very intimidating when throwing the ball, but he’s highly mobile.
If KSU has to get the kicking game deployed, they can trust reliable senior Jack Cantele (12-for-14 FGs, perfect XPs).
The Hogs were long identified as a run-dominant offense, but in the second half of this season, Arkansas QB Brandon Allen has been on fire. He’s directed a surgical aerial attack that complements a hulking offensive line and talented RBs nicely.
Allen finished with 3,125 pass yards and a 29-7 TD/INT ratio. The hometown senior (Fayetteville, AR) is really changing the dynamic of Bielema’s offense.
Predictably, the Hogs can also rely on RB Alex Collins. The junior has 1,392 yards rushing and 17 TDs this year. Wide receiver Drew Morgan has yielded the most from Allen’s ascendancy, snagging 55 receptions for 751 yards and 10 majors.
Tight end Hunter Henry (46 receptions, 647 yards) is also a critical part of the equation.
On the other side of the ball, the Hogs are underwhelming, but their opponent in the bowl game doesn’t offer up an imposing offensive attack, so Arkansas’ offense should out-pace them.
Arkansas lost a one-point squeaker to Mississippi State, 51-50, in the second-last game of the regular season, and it made all the difference in the Razorbacks’ trajectory in the conference.
A win there would’ve left Arkansas with a 6-2 conference record and would have the Hogs leapfrog rival LSU in the SEC West division.
As it is, the Razorbacks are a stronger team than their record suggests.
The Wildcats have used some smoke-and-mirrors to get where they are, with a last-second special teams TD against West Virginia and a 77-yard flea flicker TD. That good fortune must come to an end eventually.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Wildcats are 6-6 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Wildcats are 4-3 when registered as the underdog.
- Wildcats are 3-2 ATS when away from Manhattan.
- Razorbacks are 7-5 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Razorbacks are 3-4 ATS when favorited.
Free Liberty Bowl NCAA Football Prediction
Despite having the fantastic, legendary Snyder in their corner, the Wildcats should be overwhelmed by a superior Arkansas squad in Memphis. Kansas State might be able to put a few points on the board, but it will be too much to stop both Collins and Allen.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Over
Look for the Arkansas Razorbacks to take the 2015 Liberty Bowl handily.
2015-16 Liberty Free Score Prediction: Arkansas 45 – Kansas State 17
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