The AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, promises a high-scoring affair as the potent offense of the Memphis Tigers clashes with the defensive prowess of the Iowa State Cyclones. Setting the stage for a December 29th showdown. Let’s dissect the data, analyze the injuries, and predict the best picks for this intriguing bowl game.

Model Consensus:

The AI models are divided, reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the matchup:

  • BettingPros Consensus: Iowa State -8.5
  • ESPN FPI: Iowa State 58.7% win probability
  • CBS Sports: Memphis 55% win probability
  • Sports Illustrated: Iowa State 58.5% win probability
  • BetQL: Iowa State -8.5, Over 57.5
  • SportsLine: Iowa State -8.5, Under 57.5

Pythagorean Theorem and Strength of Schedule:

Memphis’ 9-3 record translates to a predicted 27.3 wins with 4.7 losses based on their 421 points scored and 277 points allowed. Iowa State’s 7-5 record translates to a predicted 23.8 wins with 8.2 losses based on their 428 points scored and 316 points allowed. This analysis suggests a potent offense for both teams, with Memphis holding a slight edge offensively and Iowa State boasting a stronger defense.

However, strength of schedule paints a slightly different picture. Memphis faced the 128th toughest schedule compared to Iowa State’s 119th. This suggests that Iowa State’s wins might be slightly inflated due to a slightly easier route throughout the season.

Injury Report and Weather:

Memphis suffers the loss of key wide receiver Koby Drake, potentially impacting their receiving corps. Iowa State enters the game healthy, with no major injuries reported.

The weather in Memphis on December 29th is expected to be mild with clear skies and a temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit. This shouldn’t significantly impact the game’s pace or style.

Personal Prediction and Picks:

This game hinges on Memphis’ ability to overcome the loss of Drake and exploit Iowa State’s occasional defensive lapses. Their high-powered offense, averaging 38.3 points per game, remains a dangerous weapon. Iowa State’s defense, allowing 21.7 points per game, is undoubtedly strong, but they’ve been vulnerable against explosive offenses at times.

  • Memphis +8.5 (spread): Taking the points with Memphis offers good value considering their offensive firepower and Iowa State’s occasional defensive inconsistencies. The loss of Drake hurts, but their balanced attack can find ways to score.
  • Over 57.5 (total): Both teams possess potent offenses, and the weather conditions favor an open, high-scoring affair. Additionally, Memphis might attempt to compensate for Drake’s absence with more aggressive offensive plays, potentially leading to a shootout.

Pick: Take the under 57.5 points. ***LOSE***

Enjoy the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and witness the offensive fireworks as the Memphis Tigers face off against the defensive might of the Iowa State Cyclones in Memphis!