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Liberty Flames vs Virginia Cavaliers
Where and when: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, 3:00 pm EST
The Liberty Flames will make a visit to Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia in which to take on the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm EST. The Cavaliers are coming off a huge 23-13 home setback to the surging Pittsburgh Panthers in their last time out as their normally stout defense could find no answers for a Pitt rushing attack that put up 254 yards for the game. The loss also halted a three-game winning streak for Virginia.
On the other hand, the Flames fell by three points on the road to the UMass Minutemen last Saturday as they were outdueled in total yards (777-488) while being torched in their pass defense as UMass put up 540 yards along with four TD passes for the contest. This will be the first-ever meeting amongst these teams, however, each will be looking to get back into the win column after two heartbreaking losses the week prior.
Pitt rallies to beat Cavaliers
Virginian was imply pushed around in their last outing versus the Panthers of Pittsburgh. And for a defense that ranks 29th in the nation in stopping the run, it was very surprising. Darrin Hall rushed for 221 yards along with three TD’s versus a Virginia team that has been stout in every defensive category this year. Nonetheless, with the loss, the Cavaliers lost their top seeding ranking within the ACC Coastal to the Panthers while halting a three-game winning streak.
The Virginia offense has been inconsistent all year long however, as QB Bryce Perkins threw 4 TD’s compared to four interceptions during their three-game winning streak while their leading rusher Jordan Ellis ended their game with the Panthers with 46 yards on ten carries as he has not hit the 100 yard mark either game during their prior three-game winning streak in addition to having only one score.
Their defense, as stated, is as solid as they come. Aside from giving up 254 yards on the ground to a punishing Pitt rushing attack, they allowed only 61 yards in their passing attack as Kenny Pickett went seven of 14 for the game.
Flames look to atone for loss with win
The Flames may be ranked last within the Independent conference; however, they possess a very potent passing attack with Steven Calvert passing for over 2500 yards this season along with 18 touchdowns. The problem is that he has eleven INT’s on the season as he threw four in the Flames’ last outing as they fell to the UMass Minutemen. The Flames kept the game interesting throughout, however, with Calvert passing for 272 yards along with two touchdowns, but, also had four picks in the overtime loss.
The rushing attack was potent in putting up 216 yards as Frankie Hickson ran for 133 yards along with two scores for Liberty. Finally, their leading receiver for the year, Antonio Gandy Golden, led the corps with 205 yards with two TD catches, which marked his fourth straight game with 100 or more yards with at least one touchdown catch. The Flames are averaging 36 points per game this year and will certainly have to work for every yard this week against a UVA defense that will be looking to have a much better performance on each side of the ball.
The defense for Liberty has been the cause of their losing this year as they are ranked at or over the 100’s in college football in just about every defensive category. And with them giving up 38 points per game, the offense has seemingly had to score each time they possess the ball in which to win with consistency. However, with the struggles on offense for Virginia at this time, they may well gain some confidence on the defensive side of the ball on Saturday.
- Virginia Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. INDEP.
- Over is 6-0 in Cavaliers last 6 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Cavaliers last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
- Flames are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. ACC.
- Flames are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Flames are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While the Flames will definitely rack up some yards with their dominating passing attack in this game, look for the Cavaliers to pull out an all-important win after their debacle versus the Pitt Panthers in their last matchup. Also, look for the offense to return to form a bit while gain a bit of confidence versus a Liberty defense that has struggled mightily in stopping their opponents from scoring either in the pass or rush.
Prediction: Pick: Virginia Cavaliers -3000
Full-Game Total Pick
I have the feeling that this will be a shootout to where the Flames will, once again, need to score constantly in which to make up for their defenses inability to stop anyone all season. With that being said, Liberty will get their passing game going early while also utilizing their rushing attack that averages 158 yards per game in which to put points on the board. In all, take the over as the strong play in this matchup as both will find success in working their strengths versus the opposing defense.
Prediction: Pick: Over 50.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
Okay, so UVA gets 23.5 points after being manhandled on both sides of the ball by Pitt. Also, they are heavily favored despite their offense not being efficient in terms of scoring. I simply do not trust UVA on the offensive side at this point in the season. And while they will certainly score versus a terrible Flames defense, look for the Flames to keep this game within the spread as they certainly have an outstanding passing attack that may exploit the Cavaliers pass defense that gives up a tad under 200 yards passing per outing.
Prediction: Pick: Liberty Flames +23.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I happen to believe that with the offense of Virginia being hit or miss from one week to the next, look for the passing attack for the Flames to keep them in this game throughout. Of course, look for UVA’s defense to make timely stops in which to maintain control for much of the game, expect the Flames to cover the two touchdown spread at the half as they will certainly have the Cavaliers on their heels early.
Prediction: Pick: Liberty Flames +14
Half-Time Total Bet
Again, the passing attack for the Flames is dangerous while the defense for the Cavaliers have been shaky lately. With that being the case, look for the Flames to jump out on Virginia in this matchup to put some much needed scores on the board. Virginia will match their intensity while also putting points on the board while controlling much the pace of the game for the first half. It is for this reason that I will back the over at the break in that Liberty will certainly make the game a bit more high scoring than usual for a UVA that have locked down their opponents all year.
Prediction: Pick: Over 32.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Prediction: No line posted