Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#147 Army vs.
#148 Liberty
Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Chris King

It’s a battle of a pair of the few remaining independent teams in college football at the FBS level on the gridiron in the Old Dominion. The Army Black Knights are on the road as they travel to face the Liberty Flames Saturday afternoon. Army comes in off a 33-17 home victory over UMass in their previous contest last Saturday though they failed to cover the 37.5-point line in the game. Liberty was dumped 42-14 at home by Louisiana as a four-point favorite in their previous game last Saturday. These teams have met just once previously with Army rolling to a 38-14 home win on September 8, 2018 in that contest.

Army Black Knights Seeking Fourth Straight Win

Army didn’t completely decimate UMass as many may have expected but they still came up with a win to extend their win streak to three games. The Black Knights are 7-3 on the year and have their annual rivalry game with Navy still on the slate after this contest. Against UMass, Army trailed 3-0 early but led 8-3 after the opening quarter. The Black Knights led 19-10 at the half and maintained that margin after three quarters. Army saw UMass cut the deficit to two points with 13:52 to play but scored the game’s final two touchdowns to salt away the victory. The Black Knights held a 419-277 edge in total offense, won the first down battle 20-12 and won time of possession by a 32:56 to 27:04 margin. For good measure, the Black Knights forced four turnovers while committing only one in the victory.

On the season, the Black Knights are 128th, or third-to-last, in the nation in passing offense with an average of 92.8 yards per contest, while they are second in rushing offense with 309.3 yards per game. Army is 21st in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 35.9 points per game while they are 46th in scoring defense by allowing an average of 23.5 points per contest. Christian Anderson is 18 of 40 for 443 yards plus four scores while adding 513 yards and six scores on the ground. Jemel Jones (seven of 13, 135 yards, TD, INT, 124 rushing yards, TD), Jabari Laws (17 of 20, 285 yards, four TD) and Tyhier Tyler (two of six, 65, yards, INT, 424 rushing yards, seven TD) have seen action under center as well. Tyrell Robinson (57 carries, 560 yards, three TD), Jakobi Buchanan (89 carries, 332 yards, eight TD) and Anthony Adkins (70 carries, 345 yards, five TD) have all seen a good amount of work in the run game. In the passing game, Isaiah Alston leads the team with 17 receptions for 367 yards plus three scores. Braheam Murphy (four receptions, 80 yards, two TD) and Robinson (eight grabs, 217 yards, three TD) are the only other players with more than three catches. Cole Talley is 36 of 38 on extra point attempts and four of six field goal attempts with a long of 33 this year. Quinn Maretzki is seven of seven on extra points and hit his lone field goal attempt from 28 yards. Trey Grenotte hit his lone extra point without attempting a field goal this season.

Liberty Flames Try to Get Back in Win Column

Liberty signed head coach Hugh Freeze to a new megadeal that keeps him under contract with the team through 2028 but they were hammered by Louisiana in their last game. The Flames dropped to 7-4 on the season with the defeat and look to get back in the win column here. Against Louisiana, Liberty trailed 21-0 early in the second quarter and got no closer than 21-14 early in the third quarter. The Flames didn’t score again, giving up the final 21 points of the game to lose in a rout. Liberty was outgained 296-293 in total offense, lost the first down battle 17-16 and committed six turnovers while failing to record a takeaway.

This season, the Flames are 55th in passing offense with 246.8 yards per contest while they are 45th in rushing offense with 185.3 yards per game. Liberty is 30th in the FBS in scoring offense by averaging 33.2 points per game and they stand 26th in scoring defense by allowing 20.8 points a contest. Malik Willis is 170 of 269 for 2,321 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on the year. He leads the team with 783 yards and 10 scores on the ground. Johnathan Bennett if 14 of 31 passing for 235 yards with three touchdowns and one interception on the year. Joshua Mack is the lead back in the run game with 102 carries for 410 yards and three scores. T.J. Green (65 carries, 385 yards, three TD) and Shedro Louis (68 carries, 374 yards, four TD) are next in line in the mix. Demario Douglas leads the team with 45 receptions for 652 yards and five scores this season. CJ Daniels (28 catches, 472 yards, seven TD), Kevin Shaa (21 grabs, 346 yards, five TD) and DJ Stubbs (17 catches, 262 yards, TD) are each over the 250-yard receiving mark on the season. Brayden Beck has hit 29 of 30 extra-point attempts and two of three field-goal attempts with a long of 37 this season. Alex Barbir is 18 of 19 on extra points and one of four on field goal attempts with a long of 31.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Liberty has been a revelation since coming up to the FBS level back in 2018 and Willis is a dynamic playmaker under center. However, in this one, his chances to have the ball could be limited as Army loves to pound the ball and grind the clock while moving the chains. The Black Knights don’t beat you through the air: it’s the tried-and-true triple option that makes life miserable for opposing defenses. It wears teams down and unless you’re an offense like Wake Forest, it could make for an uphill climb when it comes to the scoreboard. Army has a tough defense and a capable offensive attack. Look for the Black Knights to come up with the victory in this contest.

Prediction: Army Black Knights +3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Army has split their 10 games in regard to the total this season though they have five unders in their last seven games on the books. The Black Knights are capable of bleeding the clock to limit the number of possessions for both teams when they take the field. Liberty has seen the under go 6-4-1 on the season and their offense hasn’t been as effective of late with 14 points in each of their last two games. Both defenses are above average at limiting the opposition from putting points on the board. That, coupled with Army’s grind-it-out style of offense, keeps this one under the number at the final gun.

Prediction: Under 53.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.