Liberty Flames Are The Cash Cow Bettors May Be Missing Out On
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Malik Willis
The casual betting market often bets on the teams they want to be on — the traditional powers and the teams that are on the major TV channels. After all, having something on the line while watching a game you were going to watch anyway is fun.
But, in doing this, bettors are avoiding the most profitable team in college football: The Liberty Flames.
Since moving to FBS in 2018, Liberty is 25-13-1 against the spread, leading to a 25.8% return on investment to the bettor. That tops every team and it’s a remarkable cover rate considering that only three schools have a return on investment of over 20 percent of the last three and half seasons — Kansas State (23.8 percent), Virginia (22.8 percent) and Cincinnati (22.4 percent).
A bettor who placed $100 on all of the Flames games over that time period would be up $1,007.
Since bringing on Hugh Freeze after his firing from Ole Miss, the Flames are 17-2 straight up. They are 5-1 this year and have covered the spread in all those wins, including 19.5- and 27.5-point spreads against Middle Tennessee State and Old Dominion, respectively.
But the Flames don’t get the action, undoubtedly because their games are rarely on regular television. This year, for example, two games have been on ESPN3, two on ESPN+, one on CBS Sports Network and one on the ACC Network.
Data from PointsBet reveals that, since 2019, a program like Boise State has garnered 28% more betting volume than Liberty, while UCF and Coastal Carolina have pulled in 32% and 36% more bets, respectively.
Liberty has experienced a bump in attention thanks to its epic overtime battle in the Cure Bowl last year with Coastal Carolina and finishing No. 17 in the final AP poll. They’ve also gotten a boost from quarterback Malik Willis, who has turned heads and is getting mentioned as the top quarterback potential in the 2022 NFL Draft.
When people do bet on Liberty games, they aren’t fading the Flames. PointsBet reports that since 2019 the Flames have an average of 80 percent of the bets on them in games they play.
Liberty has a monumental task this Saturday of covering its biggest spread of the year as 32.5-point favorites against Louisiana Monroe on the road. They won all three games as at least 30-point favorites last year, covering two of them and winning by a combined 131-21.
Liberty has been the best bet in college football over the last few years and those who have bet on them have been given life and successful in the pursuit of happiness.