Liberty (7-5) is playing in the program’s first-ever bowl game. The Flames began playing in the FBS in 2018. The 2019 season started slowly as Liberty lost its first two games by a combined score of 59-14 before reeling off five straight wins to get into the bowl picture. The postseason push also earned head coach Hugh Freeze a multi-year contract extension earlier this month. The Flames feature a dynamic passing attack led by quarterback Stephen Calvert.
Georgia Southern (7-5) is in the postseason for the second straight year but just the third time in program history. The Eagles defeated Eastern Michigan 23-21 in last year’s Camellia Bowl. Tyler Bass kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired. Bass is now a senior on the Georgia Southern roster. The Eagles lost three of their first four games this season before winning six of eight down the stretch. Georgia Southern ranks 8th nationally in rushing with 260.9 yards per game.
ESPN’s FPI gives Georgia Southern a 60.7% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl between the Flames and Eagles.
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Liberty vs. Georgia Southern Game Details
Date: Saturday, December 21
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Orlando City Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
Spread: Georgia Southern -4.5
This line opened at Georgia Southern -6 and has been bet down to Georgia Southern -4.5 with the majority of the bets coming on the Eagles but the majority of money coming in on Liberty. This indicates a slight reverse line move favoring the Flames.
- Liberty is 7-5 SU and 6-6 ATS this season
- Georgia Southern is 7-5 SU and 5-7 ATS this season
- Under is 6-4 in Liberty games this season
- Over is 8-4 in Georgia Southern games this season
Analysis & Pick
When Stephen Calvert plays well, the Flames win. Calvert has 19 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in Liberty’s seven victories this season. Georgia Southern’s defense struggles a bit to stop the pass, ranking 91st in the FBS. If Calvert can stay upright, he might be able to make some noise against the Eagles secondary. Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts is not known for his arm and has only thrown 108 passes all season. Werts is much more dangerous with his legs and has rushed for 676 yards this season with five touchdowns. I expect both quarterbacks to have success moving the ball. J.D. King is the workhorse for the Eagles and has racked up 776 yards this season, with 209 of them coming in the last two games. I think Georgia Southern’s rushing attack wears down Liberty enough to punch in the late score which will push them past the number. Fade the line movement and take the better defense and ground attack.
PICK: Georgia Southern -4.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith