New Mexico State vs Liberty Odds, Prediction: How to Bet Conference USA Championship

New Mexico State vs Liberty Odds, Prediction: How to Bet Conference USA Championship article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Liberty head coach Jamey Chadwell.

  • The Conference USA Championship takes place Friday night, as New Mexico State faces Liberty.
  • Liberty comes into the game as a -10.5 favorite, as the over/under sits at 57.5.
  • Check out our betting preview and predictions for New Mexico State vs. Liberty below.

Let's dive into the New Mexico State vs. Liberty odds and find a prediction for Friday night's college football Conference USA Championship.

New Mexico State Aggies vs Liberty Flames Odds

Friday, December 1
7 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
New Mexico State Odds
Point SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Liberty Odds
Point SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Two Conference USA newcomers meet Friday night in Lynchburg, Virginia, as Liberty and New Mexico State battle for the CUSA Championship.

The Flames wrapped up a perfect regular season last week and enter this matchup after cracking the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time in school history.

Meanwhile, the Aggies overcame a rocky start by rattling off eight straight victories to book their spot in a conference title game for the first time since 1960.

This contest has plenty of storylines and star power, so let’s dive into the game to find the best betting value.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

New Mexico State Aggies

After losses to Hawaii and UMass in the opening five games, nobody expected New Mexico State to play in this game.

However, veteran coach Jerry Kill has his team surging and playing for a conference title.

The ending of this run has been most impressive.

The Aggies went on the road to defeat preseason Conference USA favorite Western Kentucky. They followed that up with a dominant 21-point victory at Auburn in a game that was never close. They capped it off by beating now two-loss Jacksonville State on a walk-off field goal.

With a top-20 scoring defense nationally and a veteran playmaker at quarterback in Diego Pavia, Kill’s squad is one of the best in the Group of Five.

Liberty Flames

Jamey Chadwell's first season in Lynchburg has been a memorable one.

The Flames have already set the school record for wins (12) and home wins (seven) in a season. A triumph on Friday night would make them only the third Conference USA team ever to win 13 in a year.

One of the keys to the strong season has been the play of quarterback Kaidon Salter. He's one of just five FBS signal-callers responsible for 40-plus touchdowns this season.

The other part of this potent offense is the rushing attack, which leads the nation in yards per game (295.4).

Running back Quinton Cooley leads the way with 1,251 yards, while Salter is just 101 yards away from joining him as Liberty’s first pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season.

New Mexico State vs Liberty

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how New Mexico State and Liberty match up statistically:

New Mexico State Offense vs. Liberty Defense
Rush Success660
Line Yards630
Pass Success4828
Finishing Drives5052
Quality Drives3432
Liberty Offense vs. New Mexico State Defense
Rush Success390
Line Yards278
Pass Success2027
Finishing Drives2542
Quality Drives1742
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling8927
PFF Coverage889
Special Teams SP+5.48.8
Middle 84864
Seconds per Play30.9 (129)28.8 (97)
Rush Rate58.1% (29)70.2% (4)

New Mexico State vs Liberty

Betting Pick & Prediction

The key to this game will be which team can win in the trenches.

I expect both to succeed, which keeps me away from a side, and I'd rather avoid betting a high total between two teams with slow tempos.

This leads me to the player props market, where I like Cooley to fly over his rushing total of 90.5 rushing yards at Caesars.

On the season, New Mexico State ranks 78th nationally in Defensive Line Yards and 90th in Rush Success Rate allowed. That bodes poorly against a Liberty offense that ranks in the top five in both metrics.

Looking over the last four weeks, the Aggies’ defense is in the bottom 10 among Group of 5 programs in Defensive Stuff Rate and Defensive Line Yards.

Cooley has gone over this total in seven of 12 games this season, which includes the first matchup, where he eclipsed the century mark with 106 yards.

It's clear that NMSU is much better at defending the pass, so I trust Chadwell to attack its weakness on the ground with plenty of Cooley.

Plus, there should be plenty of opportunities for the running back to chew up yards and time late to seal the victory for a big favorite at home.

Pick: Quinton Cooley Over 90.5 Rushing Yards (Play to 97.5)

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