College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Liberty vs. UL Monroe: First-Half Bet in Play?

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Liberty vs. UL Monroe: First-Half Bet in Play? article feature image

G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Malik Willis.

  • Quarterback Malik Willis and Liberty travel to Monroe to take on the Warhawks.
  • Willis has tossed 13 touchdowns and only three picks so far this season for the Flames.
  • Doug Ziefel dives into this matchup and also offers up his best pick.

Liberty vs. UL-Monroe Odds

Liberty Odds-32.5 (-109)
UL-Monroe Odds+32.5 (-112)
Over/Under57.5 (-112 / -109)
Time7:00 p.m. ET
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The red hot Liberty Flames face off against the UL Monroe Warhawks in what could be a showcase for one of the nation's best quarterbacks.

This Liberty squad has been dominant on both sides of the ball this season. The Flames even gave Syracuse all they could handle in the biggest game of their season so far.

Though they won last week, Malik Willis had a rough day and needs to rebound to put himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

The Warhawks, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back losses that saw them surrender more than 50 points in each. Going up against another potent offense this week may be the opposite of what Monroe needs, but taking the big underdogs could be sharp if adjustments are made.

Liberty vs. UL-Monroe Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
7:00 p.m. ET

Liberty Flames

Liberty Offense

Willis, Pro Football Focus' No. 1 quarterback in the 2022 class, has been showing all his tools throughout the season.

Willis has thrown for 1,327 yards, completed 68% of his passes and thrown 13 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He not only leads his team in rushing but is leading the nation in rushing amongst quarterbacks.

Willis is coming off a poor performance, during which he threw his first interceptions of the year and only completed 57% of his passes, although he did leave us with these two highlight plays:

Malik Willis 2022 Draft QB1 🤯

— PFF (@PFF) October 9, 2021

Willis' passing ability has also benefited his main target, Demario Douglas, who is 16th in the country in receiving yards on only 33 receptions. The Willis-to-Douglas connection should once again be a big factor in this matchup.

Liberty Defense

Liberty has not had the toughest schedule through its first six games, so its numbers may not hold up well in comparison, but credit can't be taken away from this unit for handling the opposition.

The Flames have held opponents to an average of 14 points per game and only 266 yards of total offense. Metric-wise, they pop as well. This unit ranks in the top 20 in Line Yards, pass rush, big plays allowed and defensive Havoc.

Against this Warhawk offense, their impressive numbers should be padded.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

UL Monroe Offense

This Monroe offense has had its share of struggles this season.

After losing starting quarterback Rhett Rodriguez to a scary lung injury, freshman Chandler Rogers has filled in admirably. Before being named the starter, Rogers had been playing a role in the offense as his rushing ability created a new dynamic to their scheme.

Rogers has faced stout competition and has equaled the performance of his predecessor. His counting stats are nothing to write home about, but his 7.3 yards per completion are a large improvement from Rodriguez with a similar completion percentage.

The offensive line issues drastically hamper the production of the offense. Ranking 129th in Line Yards and 127th in pass blocking has produced several sacks and minimal rushing production. It is a good thing that Rogers is mobile since he will have to escape defenders constantly against Liberty.

UL Monroe Defense

Points, points, points. That is all this Warhawks' defense has seen go up opposite them on the scoreboard.

Monroe gives up an average of 36.4 a game, which is tied for the 12th most in the country. The points stem from giving up the 11th most total yards per game, and it could be even worse after facing Willis.

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Liberty vs. UL-Monroe Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Liberty and UL-Monroe match up statistically:

Liberty Offense vs. UL-Monroe Defense
Rush Success27120
Line Yards24128
Pass Success13129
Pass Blocking**2789
Big Play25
Finishing Drives6127
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UL-Monroe Offense vs. Liberty Defense
Rush Success12869
Line Yards12987
Pass Success11711
Pass Blocking**12719
Big Play13112
Finishing Drives5764
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling102110
Middle 810114
SP+ Special Teams83112
Plays per Minute12062
Rush Rate62.9% (21)59.8% (38)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

This game has all the makings of a repeat of UL Monroe's last two games. The defense can not defend the pass.

In this matchup, the Warhawks have to account for a very mobile quarterback.

Add in Willis' motivation to rebound from his three-interception performance last week, and you have a long day for Monroe here.

Liberty vs. UL-Monroe Betting Pick

The spread is so high that the risk of UL Monroe breaking down the back door and covering in the second half will be there.

I'm instead going to count on Willis and this defense dominating early and opening the game up in the first half.

Pick: Liberty 1st half -19.5 (play to 20.5)

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