In this Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, file photo, Army head coach Jeff Monken looks on against Navy during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Point, N.Y., in the 121st playing of the Army-Navy game. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
- Army (9-2) and West Virginia (5-4) face off in the Liberty Bowl on Thursday, December 31st
- The Black Knights campaigned for a new bowl game after the Independence Bowl was cancelled
- See the game odds, spread, and total along with a prediction below
If you’re looking for excitement from the Liberty Bowl you’re going to want to place a wager. Army faces West Virginia on New Year’s Eve on ESPN at 4:00pm EST.
The total is the lowest of the bowl season, so be fully prepared for a defensive battle. Who has the edge?
Let’s take a look at the odds and try to find the best value pick.
Army vs West Virginia Odds
|Army||+6.5 (+100)||+225||O 41.5 (-110)|
|West Virginia||-6.5 (-121)||-286||U 41.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec. 29th from DraftKings
Army Excited for Bowl Opportunity
The Army football program was devastated when the Independence Bowl was cancelled, leaving them without a bowl game. Head coach Jeff Monken lobbied hard to anyone that would listen and ultimately found a new game in the Liberty Bowl.
The good news, the Black Knights found out about their opponent with enough time to prepare. Monken said they would be willing to play even with a couple days notice, but thankfully it didn’t come to that.
Bowl Week Work. #GoArmy pic.twitter.com/tKj9jIkuLe
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 28, 2020
Army finished the regular season 9-2 thanks to their strong run game and great defense. Running backs Jakobi Buchanan and Tyrell Robinson combined for 898 yards on the ground. Two different quarterbacks on the team also rushed for over 400 yards, so expect Army to bleed clock running the ball.
On the defensive side, this is an elite unit that ranked 2nd in all of college football in yards allowed. Part of that is limiting possessions for the opponent, but it still counts. Expect Army to take a real run at a 10-win season by sticking to their brand of football.
2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker
Which West Virginia Will Show Up?
West Virginia had an okay season, finishing with a 5-4 record. The refresher is to remind you about the Mountaineers because, well, you haven’t seen them in what feels like forever. They haven’t played in almost a month and have just one game under their belt dating back to mid-November.
That contest was a 42-6 loss to Iowa State – not exactly the performance you want to have before an extended lay off.
West Virginia’s regular season finale against Oklahoma was cancelled, making Army the next team WVU will see.
Work hard and have fun doing it!#HailWV pic.twitter.com/cxYVEZjE6x
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) December 29, 2020
Both Jarret Doege and true freshman Garrett Greene played against Iowa State and both should see time in this game. To recap, the Mountaineers suffered an embarrassing defeat, had an extended lay off and have a quarterback controversy.
Top all of that with an opponent that runs a triple option offense that causes everyone problems and things aren’t exactly looking up. One bit of good news, just like Army, the West Virginia defense also ranked top five in yards allowed.
Take Army Plus The Points
If you’re feeling gun shy you can consider teasing the line to a full touchdown but it shouldn’t be needed. Enjoy the even money proposition that Army can cover as 6.5-point underdogs. They wanted this game more and the trends of both programs suggest they can get the double-digit season they are looking for.
The Pick: Army +6.5 (+100)
Ryan has been working at TSN for over eleven years, and is now a lead writer and content producer at That’s Hockey. Over the years, he’s launched and hosted TSN’s first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show, and been featured on the likes of TSN 1050, Sportscentre, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.