The college basketball season continues Friday night with a bunch of interesting matchups around the country even though only one top-25 team takes the floor, so here’s my best betting pick for the ASUN Conference showdown between Kennesaw State and Liberty along with the latest odds updates on BetAmerica Sportsbook.
The Liberty Flames have owned the Kennesaw State Owls over the last few years, winning all their four encounters while covering three times in the process.
The Owls are winless since December 12, 2020
The Kennesaw State Owls (3-7; 0-2 Conf.) are riding a five-game losing streak following a couple of home losses to Jacksonville in the first two days of the new year, 62-57 and 72-66. They failed to cover on both occasions as slight underdogs, while the Owls are 1-1-1 ATS in three road games this term.
Kennesaw State is No. 320 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings and No. 350 in the KenPom rankings. The Owls score only 86.9 points per 100 possessions (353rd in the country) while yielding 107.4 to their opponents (305th).
Junior guard Spencer Rodgers tops the Owls’ scoring chart, averaging 16.3 points on 48.3% shooting from the field and 42.6% from beyond the arc. He doesn’t get a lot of help from his teammates, as only freshman guard Chris Youngblood tallies more than ten points per game, averaging 13.4 points and 3.2 rebounds a night.
The Flames search for their seventh straight home win
As well as their next opponents, the Liberty Flames (9-4; 1-1 Conf) started the new year with a back-to-back set. They lost at Lipscomb 77-70 as a 6.5-point road fave on New Year’s Day but bounced back with a 66-50 victory as 5.5-point road favorites on January 2.
Liberty is now No. 70 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 103 in the KenPom rankings. The Flames mostly lean on their offense, scoring 105.8 points per 100 possessions (96th) on 49.4% shooting from the field (26th) and 39.0% from downtown (24th). They allow 99.1 points in a return (119th) on 42.1% shooting from the field (146th).
Junior guard Darius McGhee leads the way for Liberty, posting 15.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Senior wing Elijah Cuffee tallies 10.6 points and 3.2 boards per contest, while senior PG Chris Parker has 9.2 points and 4.7 assists a night.
[metabet_core_odds_compare query=”ncaab/liberty” size=”300×250″ site_id=”atsio” css=”float:right; margin-left:10px”]Kennesaw State:
- 8-18-1 ATS in the last 27 games overall
- 4-9-1 ATS in the last 14 road games
- 8-1 ATS in the last nine games overall
- 4-0 ATS in the last four home contests
The Winner Prediction
The Owls are winless in their last 30 outings on the road, covering just ten times in that span. According to KenPom rankings, the Owls are the eighth-worst team in the country, so I’m not going to overthink their Friday’s clash against Liberty.
The Flames are a much better team on both sides of the ball. Their offense will be too much for Kennesaw State even though the Owls have had a few solid defensive displays so far. Liberty easily covered in its last three showings as a fave of 20 or more points.
Pick: Take Liberty -20.5 at -110
Although Liberty prefers to play at a very slow pace, averaging just 64.8 possessions per 40 minutes (346th in the nation), the Flames execute extremely well on the offensive end. Seven of their last eight home games went in the over, as well as 13 of their previous 17 tilts overall.
On the other side, the under is 3-2 in Kennesaw State’s previous five outings. Still, I expect the Owls to try their best defensively and push the ball in transition while looking for some easy baskets. That’s the only way they can keep it close against Liberty, so I’m backing the over.
Pick: Go over 130.5 points at -110