Fiesta Bowl – Liberty vs Oregon Free Picks

Oregon Ducks Are On Upset Watch Against Undefeated Liberty in Fiesta Bowl

Liberty Looks To Wrap Up A Perfect Season With A Win in the Fiesta Bowl

Conference USA champion Liberty looks to complete a perfect season when the Flames square off with Oregon in the 2023 Fiesta Bowl. Liberty edged out Southern Methodist to claim the New Year’s Six bowl slot among the teams from the Group of Five conferences. The college football betting lines list Oregon as a double-digit favorite.

Oregon was in a position to secure one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff field with a win over Washington in the Pac-12 championship game. The 34-31 loss sent the Ducks into the Fiesta Bowl while Washington gets to compete for the national title.

This is Liberty’s first NCAAF matchup against a team from the Pac-12 conference. The Flames are 3-13 outright against teams from the Power-5 conferences at the time of the game. Oregon hasn’t had a game versus a Conference USA foe since a 2007 victory against Houston.

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The college football odds opened with Oregon favored by 15.5 points. The Ducks are now listed as 17 point favorites on the way to 17.5 with the Moneyline moving from -550 to -850.

Defensive linemen Kendy Charles and Bryan Whitehead, defensive back Preston Hodge, and backup quarterback Johnathan Bennett are in the transfer portal for Liberty. Linebacker Jerome Jolly and safety A’Khori Jones missed the conference title game.

For Oregon, offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson and running back Bucky Irving have opted out of the game with cornerback Trikweze Bridges among the college football players in the transfer portal.

Oregon is eighth in the College Football Playoff rankings as well as in the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association polls. Liberty is 18th in the AP poll, 20th in the AFCA poll, and 23rd in the CFP rankings.

Oregon was tied for 13th at +4000 in the odds to win the national title when the season began. Liberty was well back at +50000 in the championship odds at the beginning of the season.

Fiesta Bowl

Flames logo Flames vs Ducks Ducks logo

Day/Time:
Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Streaming: ESPN, ESPN+

Salter Takes Aim At Greatest Challenge

Anybody who wondered what would happen to Liberty when Malik Willis headed to the NFL can rest easy.

After losing snaps to Johnathan Bennett during the 2022 NCAAF season, Kaidon Salter had quite the breakthrough season.

He completed 61% of his passes for 2750 yards with 31 touchdowns and five interceptions to go with 1064 rushing yards and 12 more touchdowns to lead Liberty to a perfect 13-0 record.

Salter ran for a season-high 165 yards and completed 80% of his passes in a win over New Mexico State in the Conference USA title game. Keep that in mind heading into the 2023 Fiesta Bowl.

Liberty has covered in 10 of its last 14 NCAAF games.

It’s Mostly All Hands On Deck for Oregon

Those who bet online should be warned to tread carefully when a team that was eyeing a spot in the College Football Playoff field falls short of that goal and gets sent to a college bowl game not part of the CFP.

However, there was been surprisingly little attrition when is comes to the Oregon roster. That could factor into the 2023 Fiesta Bowl.

Center Jackson Powers-Johnson will be missed as will 1000-yard rusher Bucky Irving. However, many of Oregon’s top players are looking good to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

Quarterback Bo Nix will lead the Oregon offense one last time. He had a pretty quiet performance when Oregon edged North Carolina but did throw the game-winning touchdown pass with 19 seconds left to play.

Oregon is 9-3-1 against the NCAA football odds in its last 13 games.

Can Liberty Pull Off The Huge Fiesta Bowl Upset?

It was an interesting dilemma when it came to picking Liberty over Southern Methodist for the Group of Five spot in the Fiesta Bowl. SMU was penalized for two losses to NCAAF teams from the Power-5 conferences while Liberty was rewarded for not playing any Power-5 conference teams.

The Flames have played games against teams from the major conferences before this season. Liberty covered in four of its six games against ACC teams dating back to 2020.

Liberty has covered against the NCAAF spreads in its last five games when listed as an underdog.

When looking at the CFB scores, Liberty is 3-1 in bowl games since making the jump to the Football Bowl Subdivision level in 2018. Oregon is playing in a bowl game for the seventh season in a row. The Ducks are 3-3 in those previous six bowl games with the three wins all coming by one point.

The total has gone over in six of Liberty’s last seven games while 12 of Oregon’s last 18 games finished under the total. The total opened at 64 and is now at 67.

Oregon has been favored in 12 of its 13 games this season. This will be the first time this season that Liberty is an underdog.

Liberty is 9-4 against the spread this season while Oregon covered in nine of its 12 games as the favorite.

For NCAAF betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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