Liberty vs. Southern Miss Odds & Pick: Point Spread Off Mark

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According to our most-prized power ratings, the Liberty Flames (-3.5, per odds midweek) should be giving more than a touchdown in this spot at Southern Miss, so that’s one of our main early-season weathervanes. There’s more to it, of course, and we like what Hugh Freeze has been able to sustain in Lynchburg, Va., which produces a funky bar bet:

What’s the lone college football program that’s unbeaten and untied in bowl games? Yes, Liberty, which is 3-0 in bowls.

Since 2010, among programs that have played at least 50 lined games, Liberty is No. 1 with a 67.2% against the spread record (39-19-2). That sustains them as the independent Flames prepare to join Conference USA next season.

Liberty vs. Southern Miss Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline

LIBE Liberty vs SOUM Southern Mississippi Odds NCAAF Odds

NCAAF · Sat (9/3) @ 7:00pm ET

LIBE Liberty at SOUM Southern Mississippi
M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

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Liberty Flames

Charlie Brewer racked up more than 10,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in 47 games over the past five seasons at Baylor and Utah, meaning we aren’t even into a second sentence before rattling off some ridiculous only-in-this-era figures.

May you live in interesting times, indeed, when players get a sixth collegiate season. Brewer might be the poster boy for squeezing every single ounce out of his collegiate career. He has thrown for 68 touchdown passes and run it in for 22 scores.

liberty southern miss odds, Charlie Brewer
Charlie Brewer, here with Baylor, gives Liberty an edge vs. Southern Miss in the college football Week 1 betting market. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Freeze, then, replaces the dynamic Malik Willis with another dynamic player who salivates over all of Freeze’s run-pass options.

“I feel more comfortable in this kind of offense,” says Brewer. “Liberty is perfect. I think I fit the offense pretty well. Play fast, that’s when I’ve been at my best throughout my career.

“What intrigued me, too, is coach Freeze’s track record with quarterbacks. I know some of those guys. There’s been a lot of success. I can get the ball out of my hands quick, which is a lot of what is asked in this offense.”

Brewer’s main target is Demario Douglas, who led the Flames with 52 receptions a year ago. He averaged 13.5 yards per nab and scored six times. In consecutive games, he totaled 284 yards on 10 catches.

Campbell transfer Caleb Snead (an FCS All-America last season), Jaivian Lofton, and CJ Yarbrough should give the Southern Miss Golden Eagles’ secondary plenty of headaches. Yarbrough stepped away from the game last season, but foes shouldn’t forget about one of the top prep athletes in his class and at his position in Alabama.

Dae Dae Hunter, a 5-10 sophomore who accumulated more than 800 yards in two seasons at Hawaii, joins a talented tailback group that includes TJ Green and Shedro Louis, both of whom ran for nearly 500 yards a year ago. Louis also caught 18 passes for an 11.2-yard average and two TDs.

We also highlight the Flames defensive line, which Phil Steele pegs in the top quarter of the nation. The book-end ring leaders are ends Durrell Johnson and TreShaun Clark.

They triggered a stout road defense that allowed only 0.301 points per play last season, the 18th-stingiest rate in the land.

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Southern Miss Golden Eagles

The Eagles got so desperate last season that Frank Gore Jr., namesake son of the former 16-year NFLer, was forced to split time at quarterback with fellow tailback Antavious Willis for their final three games. 

One of 11 Southern Miss players to toss a pass in 2021, Junior went 10-for-16 for 189 yards, four TDs, and one pick at UTSA, at Louisiana Tech, and at home against Florida International.

Not bad. A tiny sample size, but he did achieve that magical double-digit yards-per-attempt that pro scouts seek.

Still, if that happens in this one, Southern Miss is in trouble. Their quarterback room is young and doesn’t possess much experience, so that’s a big factor in Liberty’s favor.

Gore is the valued tailback, who carried 179 times for 801 yards and five TDs. He also caught 20 passes for nearly an eight-yard average.

The Eagles must polish their defense considerably since they allowed opponents nearly 100 more yards of offense per game than their own offense accumulated. That marks the poorest of defenses.

Aaron Odom, a 6-3 and 275-pound fifth-year senior, is an impressive defensive end, but Liberty possesses enough different skilled offensive players to keep him on his heels for three hours.

Southern Miss has a revenge angle, having dropped a 56-35 whopper at Liberty two seasons ago. But coach Will Hall wasn’t there, so he didn’t feel the sting. Plus, he has plenty of other worries going into his second season opener in Hattiesburg.

Liberty vs. Southern Miss Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick

Five consecutive victorious Southern Miss seasons have been interrupted by consecutive downer campaigns. Worse, its 43.5% ATS home mark is 21st from the bottom in college football since 2010.

We give the advantage to savvy veteran signal-caller Charlie Brewer, who’s making the absolute most out of his collegiate career. Tune in to the ESPN+ broadcast just to watch him. We gauge that the Flames should be giving at least a touchdown, so there’s the value.

However, we’re sticking with our Weeks 0 and 1 tack and limiting this to a half-unit play. In the next week or two, we’ll open that throttle as we learn more. Meantime, it’s only prudent to protect the bankroll.

Our Pick: Liberty -3.5 (-110)

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About the Author
Rob Miech

Rob Miech

Rob Miech is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today, covering soccer and producing sports betting features. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. He is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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