Liberty Flames at Virginia Cavaliers: College Football Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The Liberty Flames (+24) aren’t traveling far to battle the No. 23 Virginia Cavaliers at David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium. CHSS is scheduled to televise the action and the opening kickoff is pegged for 3:00 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Liberty Flames

Virginia is the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 24 points to Liberty. If the Flames get out in front in the early stages it’ll create a worthy betting scenario in-game. Vegas has set the over/under (O/U) at 57.5 points.

Each team has rewarded gamblers this season as the Flames have gained 3.6 units while the Cavaliers are up 3.3 units.

The Flames have gone 4-4 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Cavaliers are 6-3 SU.

The Flames dropped one to Massachusetts 62-59 in a game where the passing attack the big culprit as Stephen Calvert completed just 16 passes on 35 attempts for 272 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Frankie Hickson (133 yards on 27 rushes, two TDs) and Frank Boyd (83 yards on 16 carries, three TDs) led the ground attack while Antonio Gandy-Golden (nine receptions, 205 yards, two TDs) and Kentory Matthews (three catches, 13 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Virginia just fell 23-13 to Pittsburgh. The defense let the Panthers run for 254 yards on 42 rush attempts, including three rush TDs. Darrin Hall was a force to be reckoned with, recording 229 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 attempts for Pittsburgh. For Virginia, Bryce Perkins completed 17-of-24 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown. Perkins (-7 rushing yards on 15 attempts) and Jordan Ellis (46 yards on 10 carries) spearheaded the running game while Hasise Dubois (four receptions, 34 yards) and Olamide Zaccheaus (four catches, 31 yards) led the Virginia pass-catchers in the loss.

Liberty has run the ball on 49.6 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Virginia has a rush percentage of 57.9 percent. The Flames have produced 153.5 rush yards/game and have 22 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Wahoos are totaling 170.2 rushing yards per game and have 13 total rush TDs.

It appears that the Wahoos should have the advantage in all aspects of the ground game. Their backfield has produced 4.5 yards per carry while their defense is allowing a YPC of 4.1 to opponents. The Flames have ran for 3.8 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 5.3 to opponents.

The Flames offense has averaged 323.9 yards through the air overall and has 18 passing scores so far. The Wahoos have put up 204.8 pass yards per outing and have 16 total pass TDs.

Defensively, Liberty has allowed opponents to run for an average of 238.0 yards and throw for 285.8 yards per game. The Virginia D has allowed 197.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 128.7 yards per game on the ground. The Wahoos are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 4.99 to opponents, while the Flames have allowed a 7.27 ANY/A.

Offensively, Calvert is already up to 2,166 passing yards this year. The signal-caller has connected on 148-of-274 attempts with 16 scores through the air and nine interceptions. He has a 6.90 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 5.01 over the last two games.

The Flames will likely try to maintain the clock by feeding their running backs early and often. In addition to receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden (702 receiving yards and seven touchdowns), Frankie Hickson (545 rush yards, five rush TDs) and Frank Boyd (116 rush yards, three rush TDs) have been focal points in the Liberty offensive scheme.

For the home team, Bryce Perkins has completed 136-of-214 passes for 1,611 yards, 13 TDs and seven INTs. Perkins’ ANY/A stands at 5.90 for the year and 6.64 across his past two outings.

The Wahoos will also try to dictate the game’s pace by turning to their backfield. Bryce Perkins (nine receiving yards) has contributed lately, but Olamide Zaccheaus (33 rush yards, 613 receiving yards, six receiving TDs) and Jordan Ellis (665 rush yards, seven rush TDs) have seen a lot of action recently.

Liberty Flames at Virginia Cavaliers NCAA Tip

SU Winner: Virginia, ATS Winner: Liberty, O/U: Over

Team Betting Trends

  • The Liberty defense has 21 sacks on the year while Virginia has 20.
  • The Virginia offense has lost five fumbles this season while Liberty has let four get away.
  • The Cavaliers have made 10 pass plays of 30+ yards while the Flames have produced 18 such plays.
  • The Liberty defense has allowed 14 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Virginia has given up three such plays.
  • The Liberty offense has created six rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Virginia has created 14 such runs.
  • The Flames defense has allowed 23 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Cavaliers have given up nine such runs.
  • Liberty, as a team, has averaged 3.7 yards per carry over its past three games and 4.4 over its last two.
  • Virginia has averaged 3.8 yards per carry over its last three contests and 3.6 over its past two.