Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#309 Liberty vs.
#310 Syracuse
Friday, September 24, 2021 at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Blake V.

Liberty will be looking to stay undefeated and potentially crack the top 25 when it travels to Syracuse on Friday night. The Flames have picked up wins over Campbell, Troy and Old Dominion to open the season. Syracuse is 2-1 through its first three games, falling to Rutgers in its second contest.

Flames looking to stay unbeaten

Liberty has a chance to move to 4-0 on the season and make its bid for a spot in the top 25 on Friday night. The Flames are currently receiving the second-most votes of any unranked team. They are off to a nice start through their first three games. Campbell and Old Dominion were no match in their respective visits to Lynchburg. Liberty has been on the road once, notching a 21-13 win at Troy in Week 2. The Flames extended their home winning streak to 13 games with their 45-17 win over Old Dominion last weekend.

They now have the sixth-longest home winning streak in the country. Quarterback Malik Willis threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more, tallying the second-most touchdowns in a game in his career. He holds the program record with seven, which came against Southern Miss last year. Willis has completed 71 percent of his pass attempts and has yet to throw an interception this season. He has also rushed for 225 yards and four touchdowns on 34 attempts. Running back T.J. Green has 23 carries for 132 yards. Freshman wide receiver Demario Douglas leads the receiving corps with 16 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Syracuse looking to build on past Friday success

Syracuse will be looking to pull a home upset on Friday night. The Orange opened the year with a convincing 29-9 win at Ohio, but they came up short in a 17-7 loss to Rutgers at home in Week 2. They bounced back with a 62-24 drubbing against Albany last week. The biggest storyline for Syracuse is the quarterback competition, which is now three weeks in. Junior Tommy DeVito has been the starter thus far, but sophomore Garrett Shrader is making his case. DeVito has completed 61.5% of his attempts for 388 yards, but he has thrown one touchdown and two interceptions.

Shrader, meanwhile, has completed 72.7% of his passes for 240 yards. He has thrown one touchdown and one interception, getting the lion’s share of the work against Albany. Freshman running back Sean Tucker has been the spark offensively. He rushed 25 times for 181 yards and four touchdowns against Albany. Tucker is averaging 7.2 yards per carry and has six touchdowns overall this year. He is also the second-leading receiver with seven catches for 148 yards. Junior wideout Taj Harris has caught 14 passes for 151 yards. Syracuse has won five of its last seven Friday games and is 6-3 on Friday nights under head coach Dino Babers.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


I love backing teams that know what their identity is early in the season. Liberty has one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country leading their offense. Willis can get it done through the air or on the ground. Syracuse still cannot land on a starting quarterback, which starts to become a concern at this point in the year. Tucker is off to a great start, but opponents are going to begin keying in on the running game. Liberty has the coaching advantage and has looked like the better team so far this season, so I will back the Flames as road favorites on Friday night.

Prediction: Liberty -6

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


This game has the lowest total of any contest on Friday night, which does not make sense to me. Sure, the defenses are coming into this game with decent numbers, but those numbers were put up against lesser opponents. This is going to be a tough test for both teams defensively. Liberty continues to have one of the best offenses in the country and Willis has plenty of pedigree. Syracuse might have found one of the best running backs in the country in Tucker. The Flames’ speed really shows up on this surface, as they have gone over in 10 of their last 14 games on turf.

Prediction: Over 52

Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.