Spooky Express Sports Betting News & More

Liberty Bowl Betting Preview: Iowa St Cyclones vs. Memphis Tigers

December 29, 2023

The 2023 Liberty Bowl will take place on Friday, December 29th, and will feature the Memphis Tigers playing the Iowa State Cyclones in Memphis, Tennessee at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium with the game kicking off at 3:30 PM ET on Friday afternoon and will air on ESPN.


The Memphis Tigers finished in 4th place in the American Athletic Conference with a record of 9-3 while winning five of their final six games including a 45-21 win on the road against the Temple Owls in their regular season finale.


The Tigers were one of the highest-scoring teams in college football this season and featured one of the best passing offenses as they enter this game averaging 39.67 points per game which ranks 7th in college football and 294.08 passing yards per game which ranks 12th in the nation. Seth Henigan played a pivotal role in the success the Tigers had this season as he completed 293 of 441 attempts for 3,516 yards with 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions.


However, Blake Watson was the star of the offense as he led the team in rushing with 1,045 yards and 14 touchdowns while adding 50 receptions for 463 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Memphis wasn’t as good as they enter this game allowing an average of 29 points per game.


The Memphis Tigers will look to finish the season with double-digit wins for the first time since the 2019 college football season when they play the Iowa State Cyclones. 


Iowa State enters this game with a record of 7-5 which led to a 4th place finish in the Big 12  and is coming off a 42-35 win on the road against the Kansas State Wildcats in their regular season finale. The Cyclones were a below-average offensive team as they enter this game averaging 26.25 points per game, however, they were a slightly above-average passing offense as they are averaging 223 passing yards per game. Rocco Becht led the team in passing, completing 209 of 329 attempts for 2,674 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions.


The success of the Cyclones this season can be attributed to their defense as they are allowing an average of 21.67 points per game. The Iowa State Cyclones will look to build momentum following the win against the Kansas State Wildcats when they play the Memphis Tigers in the 2023 Sun Bowl.


BookMaker has the Iowa State Cyclones listed as 9.5-point favorites against the Memphis Tigers in the 2023 Liberty Bowl on Friday afternoon. These teams have played each other one other time which occurred in the 2017 college football season and resulted in a 21-20 win for the Iowa State Cyclones and a 3.5-point cover as an underdog. The Memphis Tigers are 4-7-1 ATS overall and 1-2 ATS as an underdog this season while the Iowa State Cyclones are 7-5 ATS overall and 4-2 ATS as a favorite on the year.


Memphis enters this game with a better record, however, Iowa State matches up extremely well with the Tigers as they have the better defense in the matchup. The Cyclones have also been the better team at covering the spread this season as they are 7-5 ATS overall and 4-2 ATS as a favorite.


Memphis can definitely score although they certainly cannot defend.  Iowa State on the other hand plays tough Big 12 football and will certainly not make it easy.  


Spooky Express Pick: Memphis Tigers +10 (-122)