• Paul Compton

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs Kansas State

Give KSU some credit for bouncing back from a 6 game losing streak to win their final 3 to secure Bowl eligibility. The truth is they didn't play great ball to their -- they trailed against ISU and WVU and were a bit lucky to win those game. They had 1 "best" and 6 "worst" qualifying performances in those 3 games. Yeah, they just scraped by. ARK, for their part, did what they're starting to become known for -- struggle in the early season while playing very well down the stretch. They were 2 points shy of winning their final 5 FBS games against AUB, MISS, LSU, MSST and MIZZ. That's pretty solid. They had a 6-2 ratio of "best" and "worst" performances in their final 3 games. On top of that, ARK matches up pretty well against KSU. KSU is a run heavy offense and ARK defends the run really well, with my 5th ranked run defense. ARK's pass defense is well below average, and it will be up to KSU to exploit this as much as possible. KSU hasn't faced a pass defense as weak as ARK's since week #2 against UT-San Antonio, where they had their lone "best" game of pass offense on the season. Even if KSU does find some offensive success in this game, it's highly unlikely to match what ARK should be able to do. KSU's pass defense is pretty average ranking 62nd...and that won't be nearly good enough to contain ARK's #1 rated passing game. The only 3 games against 11 FBS opponents where ARK didn't have a "best" qualifying game of pass offense were against the 2nd, 12th and 8th ranked pass defenses of ALA, AUB and MIZZ, respectively. QB Allen and Co. weren't bad in those 3 games, either -- only against ALA did ARK throw for less yards than the opponent, in this case ALA, usually allows, and by just 0.4 yards. KSU will be a defensive disadvantage against ARK's run game as well, though the disparity is not as great as in the passing game. With both teams running more run plays than pass plays and at a slower than average tempo (especially ARK), and with only one team assured of offensive success (ARK), I projected some value on the Under against the opening number of 62.5. Too much of that value is gone on the currently available 59.5, though. I do project ARK to win by 14 points, but wouldn't recommend a play on them unless the line were for some reason drop to below 10 (unlikely).

Recommended investment: Under 62.5 1%