2019 Liberty Bowl Betting Odds

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2019 Liberty Bowl - Navy Midshipmen vs Kansas State Wildcats

Liberty Bowl Betting

The American Athletic Conference gets another chance to flex its muscles against a Power 5 club in the 2019 AutoZone Liberty Bowl when the Navy Midshipmen take on the Big 12’s Kansas State Wildcats in the first ever meeting between the programs. The remarkable turnaround was completed with a win over Army giving the Middies their 10th win of the year and a seven-game improvement from 2018. They can match a program record with 11 victories should they take down the Wildcats on New Year’s Eve. K-State’s three-game improvement is mild in comparison, but a worthy accomplishment nonetheless.

2019 AutoZone Liberty Bowl at a Glance

Date: Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Time: 3:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee


Matchup: Navy Midshipmen vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Odds: Navy -2.5, total 52

Liberty Bowl Preview

Both teams are making their second appearance in the Liberty Bowl and searching for their first victory. Kansas State visited following the 2015 season dropping a 45-23 decision to Arkansas. That was the Wildcats last bowl loss. They captured the Texas Bowl in 2016 and the Cactus Bowl in 2017 before missing the postseason altogether last year in Bill Snyder’s final season. New coach Chris Klieman isn’t used to losing so it’s no surprise the Wildcats saw a three-game improvement and finished the regular season at 8-4 with wins over ranked Big 12 foes Oklahoma and Iowa State, and a road win over Mississippi State of the SEC. In five seasons at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, Klieman compiled a 69-6 record with four national championships.

We all know that coaches don’t win games. That falls on the players and the Wildcats have some good ones on a defense that was stout by Big 12 standards. The Cats allowed 21.5 points per game with end Wyatt Huber a disruptive force. Nearly half of his tackles were behind the line of scrimmage with 12.5 tackles for loss among his 30 total takedowns. He also led the squad with seven sacks. Skylar Thompson threw for 2,191 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 402 yards and 10 scores on the ground to lead a balanced attack.

Navy turned things around in 2019 winning 10 games and reclaiming the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy with a thorough beating of Army in the annual rivalry game. The Middies also return to a bowl after having their run of six straight interrupted with a three-win season a year ago. They last appeared in the Liberty Bowl in Week 5 of the regular season when they lost to Memphis in a game that ultimately decided the AAC West. The teams tied for the top spot but the Tigers got the edge with the tie-breaker and earned a spot in a New Year’s Six game. The other loss came at No. 16 Notre Dame.

You won’t get many surprises from the Navy offense. The Middies will run the football and run it some more. They led the nation with 363.8 yards per game on the ground with Malcolm Perry running the show to near perfection. Perry shredded Army for 304 yards and finished the regular season with 1,804 yards to rank second in the FBS with 150.3 yards per game. He also found the end zone 21 times. Navy is an efficient red zone offense converting 38 of their 46 trips into touchdowns to rank second in the FBS. They’ve also been strong on the other side of the ball owning the 17th best run defense and 22nd ranked overall defense.

Liberty Bowl Format

The game affiliated itself with newly created Conference USA starting with the 1996 edition, offering the league’s champion an automatic bid. The Big East provided an opponent for the 1996 and 1997 games and from 1999 to 2005 the Mountain West Conference provided an opponent for the C-USA champion.

The Southeastern Conference got involved starting with the 2006 game, taking the place of the MWC. A SEC representative played the C-USA champ through 2013 with a team from the American Athletic Conference as an alternate. Prior to the 2014 game, the Liberty Bowl signed a six-year deal with the Big 12 Conference and the SEC to send bowl eligible teams to Memphis with the AAC continuing to serve as an alternate should the first two not fulfill their obligations.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Game Results

2018 Oklahoma State Missouri 38-33
2017 Iowa State Memphis 21-20
2016 Georgia TCU 31-23
2015 Arkansas Kansas State 45-23
2014 Texas A&M West Virginia 45-37
2013 Mississippi State Rice 44-7
2012 Tulsa Iowa State 31-17
2011 Cincinnati Vanderbilt 31-24
2010 UCF Georgia 10-6
2009 Arkansas East Carolina 20-17
2008 Kentucky East Carolina 25-19
2007 Mississippi State UCF 10-3
2006 South Carolina Houston 44-36
2005 Tulsa Fresno State 31-24
2004 Louisville Boise State 44-36
2003 Utah Southern Mississippi 17-0
2002 TCU Colorado State 17-3
2001 Louisville BYU 28-10
2000 Colorado State Louisville 22-17

There have been 59 Liberty Bowls played, but the game is still considered a lower-tier contest. The only matchup of top-10 teams occurred in the 2004 Liberty Bowl when No. 7 Louisville defeated No. 10 Boise State. It was just the eighth time in bowl history that both teams entered the game ranked in the AP poll.

Geographically, the current alignment with the SEC and Big 12 makes sense for the game. But after the CFP and other bowls pick their teams, the Liberty Bowl is left with scraps, which explains the lack of ranked teams recently. There is plenty of tradition associated with the Liberty Bowl and a nice payout as well though, so teams aren’t shying away from playing.

The game started in Philadelphia in 1959 with an inaugural match-up between Penn State and Alabama. After five years in Philly, the game moved indoors to the Atlantic City Convention Center and became the first indoor college bowl game. In 1965, Memphis constructed a new stadium and the game was subsequently moved there. The game became such a success that the city renamed the stadium Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in 1976.

Most All-Time Wins at AutoZone Liberty Bowl

4 Mississippi 1965, 1968, 1989, 1992
3 Mississippi State 1963, 2007, 2013
3 Louisville 1993, 2001, 2004
3 Tennessee 1971, 1974, 1986
3 Penn State 1959, 1960, 1979

Thanks to their affiliation with the SEC, the Arkansas Razorbacks have made the most Liberty Bowl appearances with a total of five. However, they have not had much luck in Memphis until recently. The Razorbacks lost each of their first three Liberty Bowl appearances before finally winning in 2009 and 2015.

Ole Miss owns a record four Liberty Bowl wins without a defeat, but their last trip came in 1992. Penn State and Air Force are the only back-to-back winners. The Nittany Lions won the first two Liberty Bowls, beating Alabama and Oregon. The only four trips the Falcons made came in succession and their first win was an upset of No. 24 Ohio State in 1990. They defeated Mississippi State the following year.

2019-20 College Bowl Games Betting Schedule

College Football Playoff
Dec 28 Peach Bowl Atlanta, GA / 4 PM No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
Dec 28 Fiesta Bowl Glendale, AZ / 8 PM No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
Jan 13 CFP National Championship New Orleans, LA / 8 PM Semifinal Winners
Selection Committee Bowl Games
Dec 28 Cotton Bowl Arlington, TX / Noon No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Memphis
Dec 30 Orange Bowl Miami Gardens, FL / 8 PM No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia
Jan 1 Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA / 5 PM No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Jan 1 Sugar Bowl New Orleans, LA / 8:45 PM No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor
Other Bowl Games
Dec 20 Bahamas Bowl Nassau, Bahamas / 2 PM Buffalo vs. Charlotte
Dec 20 Frisco Bowl Frisco, TX / 7:30 PM Kent State vs. Utah State
Dec 21 Celebration Bowl Atlanta, GA / 12:00 PM Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T
Dec 21 New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, NM / 2 PM Central Michigan vs. San Diego State
Dec 21 Cure Bowl Orlando, FL / 2:30 PM Liberty vs. Georgia Southern
Dec 21 Boca Raton Bowl Boca Raton, FL / 3:30 PM FAU vs. SMU
Dec 21 Camelia Bowl Montgomery, AL / 5:30 PM Arkansas State vs. Florida International
Dec 21 Las Vegas Bowl Las Vegas, NV / 7:30 PM No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington
Dec 21 New Orleans Bowl New Orleans, LA / 9 PM No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB
Dec 23 Gasparilla Bowl Tampa, FL / 2:30 PM Marshall vs. UCF
Dec 24 Hawaii Bowl Honolulu, HI / 8 PM BYU vs. Hawai'i
Dec 26 Independence Bowl Shreveport, LA / 4 PM Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.)
Dec 26 Quick Lane Bowl Detroit, MI / 8 PM Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh
Dec 27 Military Bowl Annapolis, MD / Noon North Carolina vs. Temple
Dec 27 Pinstripe Bowl The Bronx, NY / 3:20 PM Michigan State vs. Wake Forest
Dec 27 Texas Bowl Houston, TX / 6:45 PM No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Dec 27 Holiday Bowl San Diego, CA / TBA No. 16 Iowa vs. No. 22 Southern California
Dec 27 Cheez-It Bowl Phoenix, AZ / 10:15 PM Air Force vs. Washington State
Dec 28 Camping World Bowl Orlando, FL / Noon No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State
Dec 30 First Responder Bowl University Park, TX / 12:30 PM Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
Dec 30 Music City Bowl Nashville, TN / 4 PM Louisville vs. Mississippi State
Dec 30 Redbox Bowl Santa Clara, CA / TBA California vs. Illinois
Dec 31 Belk Bowl Charlotte, NC / Noon Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech
Dec 31 Sun Bowl El Paso, TX / 2 PM Arizona State vs. Florida State
Dec 31 Arizona Bowl Tucson, AZ / 4:30 PM Georgia State vs. Wyoming
Dec 31 Alamo Bowl San Antonio, TX / 7:30 PM No. 11 Utah vs. Texas
Dec 31 Liberty Bowl Mephis, TN / 3:45 PM Kansas State vs. Navy
Jan 1 Outback Bowl Tampa, FL / 1 PM No. 12 Auburn vs. No. 18 Minnesota
Jan 1 Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL / 1 PM No. 13 Alabama vs. No. 14 Michigan
Jan 2 Birmingham Bowl Birmingham, AL / 3 PM No. 21 Cincinnati vs. Boston College
Jan 2 Gator Bowl Jacksonville, FL / 7 PM Indiana vs. Tennessee
Jan 3 Idaho Potato Bowl Boise, ID / 3:30 PM Nevada vs. Ohio
Jan 4 Armed Forces Bowl Fort Worth, TX / 11:30 AM Southern Miss vs. Tulane
Jan 6 LendingTree Bowl Mobile, AL / 7:30 PM Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio)

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