The Liberty Bowl kicks off on New Year’s and features two opponents that are familiar with one another as Iowa State vs Tulsa will take to the field for the second time this season. Iowa State began the season with a 38-23 victory over Tulsa but that lopsided win is not a reflection of the Liberty Bowl odds.
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Iowa State vs Tulsa Odds: The Liberty Bowl betting line opened with the Cyclones listed as (-1) point favorites. That line has stayed put as this game is getting even action with just 53 percent of the action on Iowa State.
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Unlike the first meeting, the Cyclones will look much different on offense. Freshman quarterback Sam Richardson is among four new starters on the Cyclones’ depth chart, compared to the season-opening lineup on Sept. 1. There also is a shift at the tailback position, where James White was the starter, but Shontrelle Johnson emerged as Iowa State’s leading rusher.
Johnson, who ran for a team-best 504 yards, will miss the Liberty Bowl with a knee injury. Head coach Paul Rhodes will have his work cut out for him as he tries to get every player in sync for this bowl game.
Rhodes has struggled in games against teams with a high winning percentage as identified by the trend of the game.
College Football Bowl Trend of the Game
Rhodes is 4-16 straight up and 8-11-1 against the spread when facing a team with a winning percentage of greater than .750.
Tulsa’s head coach Bill Blankenship is the exact opposite as he is 17-2 straight up and 12-6 ATS when facing a team with a winning percentage of greater than .750. The Tulsa offense can run the ball and are one of the best in the country at rushing the rock. This year the Golden Hurricane rank 11th in the FBS in rushing offense (240.3 ypg) and third in the conference in scoring offense (35 ppg). The team racked up an average of 500 yards per contest over its last four outings.
Tulsa combines a clock managing rush offense with a stiff-lipped defense. The Tulsa defensive unit is the best from the C-USA with only 353.9 yards allowed and is second to UCF with only 24.2 points given up per contest. The unit has made big plays in the backfield consistently with 104 tackles for loss, 48 sacks, and 24 total takeaways.
This is a stark contrast to the Cyclones defense which allowed 444.8 yards of total offense per contest to their opposition, which ranked 98th in the FBS.
The Cyclones are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 0-3-1 ATS in the last four games against a team with a winning record. The Golden Hurricane are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games following a win against the spread.
The Golden Hurricanes control the clock on offense and dominate on defense as they get revenge in the Liberty Bowl!
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