College Football Odds, Picks for Bowling Green vs Liberty: Bet the Falcons?
Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images. Pictured: Scot Loeffler (Bowling Green)
Bowling Green vs Liberty Odds
We made it! Week 1 is finally here, and one of the first games we get to see on Saturday is an intriguing matchup between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Liberty Flames.
Liberty comes into this season opener with optimism. Despite the departure of Hugh Freeze, Jamey Chadwell comes over from Coastal Carolina with an explosive offensive scheme. While the Flames may be able to put up points in this one, that doesn't mean we're counting out their opponents.
The Bowling Green Falcons are looking to build off of last year's bowl appearance and can do so with the help of some big additions from the transfer portal.
Can the Falcons go blow-for-blow with the Flames? Let's dive in to find out.
The Bowling Green Falcons may finally have some momentum entering year five of the Scot Loeffler rebuild. Last year, Bowling Green went bowling for the first time since 2015, and it'll aim to continue its positive momentum in this opening matchup.
The Falcons were a fairly pass-heavy team (throwing the ball over 54% of the time), and we may see that go up this season as they made a big splash in the transfer portal.
Quarterback Connor Bazelak will be at the helm as he comes over after a solid season at Indiana. Bazelak should vastly improve the Falcons' passing attack as the former SEC co-Freshman of the Year is a big upgrade at the position.
Bazlek and the offense will certainly have their opportunities against the Liberty secondary, which lost several pieces to the transfer portal and will be trying to execute under a new scheme. The Flames' secondary coach left the program and was quickly replaced; however, a decrease in talent and a change in philosophy may lead to some holes and mistakes in their first appearance.
The Flames' defense was a strength last season, but with the offensive-minded Chadwell at the helm, the defensive side of the ball appears to have taken a back seat and could put out Liberty's flame in this matchup.
Speaking of Chadwell, he's brought some excitement back to this Liberty program after Freeze left for Auburn. Chadwell comes over with his entire offensive staff from Coastal Carolina, where the group enjoyed tremendous success during their tenure.
Players that fit Chadwell's read-option bases scheme have already begun to enter the program, building on the athleticism that's already on the roster.
The offense will be in the hands of redshirt junior Johnathan Bennett, who showed some mobility last season. However, it will be up to the four backs who will compete for touches to set the tone.
On paper, it appears that the Flames will be in line for success offensively in this matchup. Bowling Green's base three defense didn't have much resistance at the line of scrimmage last season. However, the Falcons have talent on the second and third levels that could help at the point of attack.
Bowling Green vs Liberty
Betting Pick & Prediction
This matchup has a ton of question marks throughout, as there's been a great deal of change on both sides. However, we've seen the market come in on Bowling Green, and it still holds value at the current number.
While it remains to be seen if the Falcons can slow down Liberty on offense, they should have success through the air in their own right, and Liberty's rush-heavy read-option attack will take time off the clock.
With the Falcons being able to score more efficiently, they may not need a ton of stops to hang around in this one.