West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Army Black Knights Liberty Bowl Betting Picks and Predictions

December 30, 2020

Date:Thursday, December 31st
Time:4:00 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Spread:WVU -7
O/U:41.5

The 5-4 West Virginia Mountaineers will meet up with the 9-2 Army Black Knights at 4:00 PM ET in the Liberty Bowl. The Mountaineers come in as seven-point favorites and we’re expecting a defensive showdown with a 41.5 over/under. You can tune into the showdown on ESPN. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we will have every single bowl game covered.

Trends

  • Mountaineers are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Black Knights are 3-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Under is 6-0 in Mountaineers last 6 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Under is 6-1 in Black Knights last 7 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.

When The West Virginia Mountaineers Have The Ball

The Mountaineers have been up and down all season long, bouncing back and forth between wins and losses from the get go. They’re at 5-4 on the season and are coming off a 42-6 loss to Iowa State in a game that was never close. This is a team that relies on their defense, holding five teams under 17 points and four of them under 10. When the WVU defense is playing well, they single-handedly keep this team in games.

Offensively, West Virginia isn’t so great. QB Jarrett Doege has completed 64% of his passes for 2,428 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s not going to blow anyone away, but he does do a great job of taking care of the football. His primary target is Winston Wright Jr., who’s up to 45 catches for 528 yards and two touchdowns. He’s followed by Sam James and Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who are phenomenal complementary pieces.

West Virginia wants to set the tone with the running game, and Leddie Brown leads the way with 945 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s followed by Alec Sinkfield, who’s rushed it for 327 yards and three scores. If West Virginia can grab an early lead, you will see a ton of these RB’s in this game. All in all, the Mountaineers must play solid defense and they can’t fall behind early.

When The Army Black Knights Have The Ball

The Black Knights have been far more consistent to this point, losing just two games all season. They were to Tulane and Cincinnati, who are two extremely solid teams with elite defenses. They took care of every other opponent and held six of them to single digits. Army has an elite defense and they’ll make everything tough on West Virginia. This game will be a defensive battle. They’re led defensively by linebackers Jon Rhattigan and Arik Smith, who’ve combined for 149 tackles and three interceptions on the season.

Army runs a triple-option and they’ve rushed it for 3,000+ yards on the season as a team. QB Tyhier Tyler leads the way with 502 yards and two scores while HB Jakobi Buchanan has six touchdowns and 474 yards. FB Sandon McCoy has leads the team with 10 touchdowns on top of 250 yards. You never know who will get the ball in this offense and they will eventually wear Virginia down, if they can’t do it immediately.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: West Virginia -7

This is going to be a great game to watch if you love defense. These two offenses aren’t very explosive and both defenses are elite. I have a stronger lean on the total, so would recommended checking that out below. As for against the spread, I lean West Virginia to win this one by more than a touchdown. They should have a good time slowing down the triple option and I think they can do just enough offensively. Army is a one-dimensional team and they struggled when facing defenses as solid as WVU’s. Give me the Mountaineers to win by 10.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 41.5
Final Score Prediction: West Virginia 24, Army 13

My favorite bet in this game is on the under. It’s not unusual for the opponents of these teams to be under 10 points and neither offense is prolific. My expectation for this game is for West Virginia to pick up an early lead while they continue to run the ball and punt a ton. Army will have trouble getting it into the endzone and they will settle for a few field goals. I’m a huge fan of the under and am comfortable laying up to three units.

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