In a New Year’s Eve showdown for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, the matchup will be between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Army Black Knights. The weather is also supposed to be fairly wet and windy, which could cause some issues for both teams. Let’s get straight to our AutoZone Liberty Bowl betting preview.
The game will be played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. ESPN will have the broadcast of the game, which kicks off at 4 pm ET Thursday. Make sure to make your last bets online for 2020 for this one.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Betting Preview
The West Virginia Mountaineers are coming off a 36-point defeat to Iowa State. This finished off their regular season with a 5-4 straight-up record. Looking at the college football betting odds, West Virginia has gone 5-2 against the spread over its last seven games.
West Virginia originally had a different matchup. The Mountaineers were to go up against Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl, but the Volunteers had to withdraw due to the NCAAF COVID-19 outbreak.
Army luckily found itself in a position to extend its season after its bowl hopes were originally canceled as well. Even though Tennessee competes in a tougher conference, the Black Knights arguably deserve this bowl game as they finished 9-2. They return to play after consecutive victories over rivals Air Force and Navy.
Army has performed well on defense, as it has held opponents to 271.1 total yards and 14 points per game. Both of those averages rank second in the nation.
Not to take anything away from the Black Knights, but they have defeated some lower-end offenses, including teams like Navy and Louisiana-Monroe. However, they held up their end in one of their biggest games of the season against an unbeaten Cincinnati team, holding the Bearcats to 331 yards and forcing two turnovers.
The Mountaineers are putting together 23.1 points per game against opponents, so this does not leave much room for error, especially if the spread is as close as the college football market shows. They are also holding opponents to 308.6 total yards per game, which ranks sixth in the nation.
Army has a bit of an old-school offense that works on the ground, but it averages 22.8 points per game. They also play at a very slow pace, as they would rather control the clock and move the ball methodically.
Odds For This Event
The market is showing the Mountaineers as a slight favorite. BetUS Sportsbook has the spread currently placed at:
- West Virginia: -7 (-110)
- Army: +7 (-110)
* odds are subject to change
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Betting Prediction
For some NCAA football bettors looking at this line at first glance, you could be a little shy in pulling the trigger for the Army Black Knights. However, West Virginia has more issues than one, and it will not be able to fix them for this game.
Army genuinely wanted this game more, no matter who the matchup was against. This is also one of the better seasons the Black Knights have had in a long time after finishing 5-8 just last season.
Remember, the Mountaineers just experienced an embarrassing defeat, so they should be ready to go for this matchup. But they have a handful of injuries, an extended layoff, and have quarterback inconsistencies.
They also have had a few games that could have gone the other way for them. This is a team that could have potentially finished the season below .500.
Army also does a lot of the little things right to win or at least stay in contention for the game. West Virginia averaged the most penalties in the Big 12, while Army averaged very few.
One final thought for Army to win is controlling the clock. If Army can hang onto the ball more than the Mountaineers, then it wins this game.
West Virginia ranked second in the Big 12 in time of possession, so Army must do this in order to win.
If you’re going to bet on this game, make sure to give BetUS a try. Read our sportsbook reviews and you’ll see why so many people prefer BetUS.