Memphis vs. Iowa State Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for Liberty Bowl

College football bowl season preview for the 2023 Liberty Bowl between Memphis and Iowa State.

Iowa State Cyclones' quarterback Rocco Becht (3) throws the a pass against Texas during the first
Iowa State Cyclones' quarterback Rocco Becht (3) throws the a pass against Texas during the first / Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA

Memphis will play in front of its home crowd in the Liberty Bowl against Iowa State.

The Tigers and Cyclones will each try to end its season in winning fashion in the 2023 Liberty Bowl. After a controversial offseason, Iowa State rallied to become bowl eligible behind the fine play of freshman quarterback Rocco Becht, can he show up in his bowl game against a high powered Memphis offense.

Here's our betting preview for the 2023 Liberty Bowl, find all of our college football bowl season coverage here with our BetSided Bowl Bash!

Memphis vs. Iowa State Odds, Spread and Total

Iowa State vs. Memphis Betting Trends

Memphis vs. Iowa State How to Watch

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 29
  • Game Time: 3:30 PM EST
  • Venue: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • Memphis Record: 9-3
  • Iowa State Record: 7-5

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Memphis vs. Iowa State Key Players to Watch


Seth Henigan: The third year starter at Memphis has been the engine of the top 20 passing attack in terms of EPA/Pass. Henigan has a 28-9 touchdown-interception ratio while passing for over 3,5000 yards. A traditional pocket passer, Henigan has completed 66% of his passes and the Tigers have been one of the most dangerous offenses in college football, scoring 34 or more in all but three games this season.

Iowa State

Rocco Becht: It took a few weeks, but by the tiem Big 12 play rolled around, Becht was in control of this Cyclones offense, which rose to 33rd in EPA/Pass this season. The team was 10th in explosive pass rate and overall averaged more than six yards per play behind a sturdy offensive line that allowed only 12 sacks.

Memphis vs. Iowa State Prediction and Pick

I'm expecting fireworks here for two of the most explosive passing offenses in the country. As mentioned above, Iowa State is 10th in explosive pass offense and does a great job of protecting the passer. Becht should have plenty of time to generate chunk plays with his arm against a Memphis defense that is outside the top 100 in terms of tackling, per Pro Football Focus.

The Tigers enter this one as a significant underdog despite playing at home, due mostly in part to its leaky defense that is outside the top 100 in explosive play rate and allowing more than six yards per play.

However, the offense should be up to the task, top 30 in yards per play while scoring touchdowns on about 78% of red zone possessions, the third highest mark in the country. While Iowa State's defense has been formidable all season, 32nd in success rate allowed the pass rush hasn't gotten home all season and the unit has been vulnerable to chunk passes. The team is 98th in sacks (21) and is 94th in explosive play rate.

I'm expecting each quarterback to generate big gains through the air and for this game to be far more higher scoring than the modest total indicates.

I'll take the over.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!