UAB vs. Liberty Odds & Picks: Expect Lots of Points in Lynchburg on Saturday
Liberty Flames quarterback Kaidon Salter (7) during a college football game between the Liberty Flames and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Saturday, September 3, at M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. (Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
- UAB and Liberty face off in a game between two college football teams that have been elite against the spread in the last half-decade.
- Charlie Brewer is injured for Liberty, so that could play a factor in this one.
- Alex Kolodziej previews the matchup and offers up his best bet.
UAB vs. Liberty Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
UAB vs. Liberty might not jump off the page when initially looking at the Week 2 college football betting card.
I assure you: Sleeping on this game would be a mammoth mistake.
The Blazers and Flames have actually been two of the better bets against the spread going back the last half-decade, spearheaded by head coaches Bill Clark and Hugh Freeze.
However, it's the UAB vs. Liberty over/under where bettors can find an edge.
Bryant Vincent's crew ran all over Alabama A&M in Week 1.
Jermaine Brown Jr. went off for 114 yards and a score on 10 totes. Lee Witherspoon added 8-53-2 on the ground, while quarterback Dylan Hopkins — who went 10-of-13 with 191 yards, one score and one pick through the air — added a fourth rushing score en route to a 59-0 demolition.
The bad news for Liberty's defense? UAB star back DeWayne McBride — whose 93.1 PFF grade marks the highest for Group of Five backs since 2020 — is back for Week 2, as is wide receiver Trea Shropshire, who led the country in yards per reception last year.
UAB's secondary is experienced and daunting. The Blazers brought back 89% of their pass defense production from last year and immediately balled out in the opener.
The defense picked off Alabama A&M three times and allowed just 137 yards on 16 completions (33 attempts).
Liberty rallied to beat Southern Miss in overtime last weekend — but not without losing a key piece.
Charlie Brewer's stint with a new program hit a roadblock for the second straight year, this time due to injury.
The starting quarterback, who was supplanted at Utah in 2021 after a bright career at Baylor, suffered a broken hand in the first quarter and is out for the time being.
Freeze turned to quarterback Johnathan Bennett in relief, but that was a disaster. Bennett posted a brutal 2.7 yards per attempt on 18 total attempts, including a pair of interceptions.
Once the second was returned for a pick-six, Kaidon Salter took over.
Salter, a former Tennessee Volunteer, went 8-of-13 for 148 yards, two scores and one pick, plus 65 yards on the ground.
If the former four-star prospect gets the majority of reps — and he should — he has all the necessary tools to succeed in his first start.
Liberty returned 90% of its offensive line snaps from 2021 and two-thirds of its receiving production. Receivers Demario Douglas, CJ Yarbrough and Campbell transfer Caleb Snead can stretch a UAB secondary that wasn't tested all in the opener.
UAB vs. Liberty Betting Pick
I wasn't surprised to see "under" money come rolling in earlier in the week after Brewer was ruled out indefinitely.
But I don't think the drop-off from Brewer to Salter is that significant, at least in terms of helping out an over. In fact, Liberty quietly dialed up 85 plays in Week 1, tied for the seventh-most of any team in the nation.
With Salter running the show, the offense will operate at a breakneck pace. And although I doubt the Flames can consistently march up and down the field on a stout defense, the general volume, speed in the skill corps and playmaking ability under center all offer terrific upside on a total that's only half a hundred.
After Liberty coughed up 4.7 yards per carry on 54 rushes to a run-heavy Southern Miss team, and it'll see another heavy dose of one of the best G5 backs in McBride.
There are points to go around here, and I think 52 is fairer than 50.