Kennesaw State Owls vs. Liberty Flames Pick – NCAAM January 8, 2021

There is a full college basketball card on Friday in the NCAA. This is a day reserved for the small conferences. It’s a lot of basketball, but you aren’t going to find much in the way of ranked action. The Michigan State Spartans are the only ranked team in play on Friday. I’m not so sure Michigan State deserves to be ranked at No. 23, but nevertheless, it’s a Big Ten matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers.

It should be a decent matchup, though neither Purdue or Michigan State look like contenders in the conference right now. Tom Izzo tends to have his team peaking at the perfect time, so we’ll see if there’s any magic left in his bag of tricks. I don’t see much that I like in East Lansing, so will divert my attention elsewhere on the Friday slate. The Kennesaw State Owls from Georgia are in Virginia for an ASUN showdown against the Liberty Flames.

Out of all the games on the schedule, I’m sure Kennesaw State and Liberty doesn’t exactly stick out for many people, but it doesn’t matter to me how small of a conference is when it comes to sports betting. I don’t care at all about Kennesaw State or Liberty, but when it comes to dollars and cents, now we’re talking. Liberty basketball is on the map thanks to what their football program did this past season, or at least for people that aren’t diehard college basketball fans but follow football.

Liberty basketball doesn’t have the accolades of the football program, but a trip to the NCAA Tournament may not be out of the equation for the Flames again. They reached in 2019 and pulled off a 80-76 upset over Mississippi State. It was their first win in the NCAA Tournament after going 0-3 in their previous three attempts.

They were undoubtedly on their way to another trip a season ago before their 30-4 season was cut short because of Covid-19. The Flames finished 13-3 in the ASUN. They’ve already matched their loss total from that season, with a record of 9-4, but are still in a good spot to win the conference. Kennesaw State will look to get off a five-game losing streak on the road in Virginia tonight. It’s been a rough campaign for them, as they go into Friday with a record of 3-7. Head below for our free Kennesaw State vs. Liberty pick on January 8, 2021.

Kennesaw State Owls vs. Liberty Flames NCAA Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • Kennesaw St. +21 (-115)
  • Liberty -21 (-105)
Moneyline:

  • Kennesaw St. OFF
  • Liberty OFF
Total:

  • Over 130.5 (-110)
  • Under 130.5 (-110)

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Kennesaw State vs. Liberty Prediction:

Kennesaw State hasn’t had much go their way this season. However, they’ve been much better so far than we saw from the Owls last season. Kennesaw State was absolutely terrible and one of the worst teams in the NCAA. They finished with an abysmal record of 1-28 and winless in the ASUN with a record of 0-16. When you look at them this season, a record of 3-7 in early January is a step in the right direction for the owls. They’ve more than doubled their win total from a season ago.

In any event, there is still a lot of work left to do for Kennesaw State if they are going to compete. Keep in mind that the three teams Kennesaw State beat were Carver Bible College, Toccoa Falls, and Dalton State. If you’re wondering how Kennesaw State went from one-win through a full schedule a season ago to three wins already, there is your answer against schools that aren’t eligible for the NCAA Tournament.

The Owls head into this evening with an average of 68.1 points per game for 260th in the NCAA. Their offense just hasn’t had enough pop to put them over the top against better teams. I don’t believe this aspect is going to go well for them on the road at Liberty. The Flames have a lockdown defense and can certainly give Kennesaw State a lot of headaches tonight.

Note that Liberty has allowed an average of just 59.3 points against per game for 13th in the NCAA. Only three teams have been able to score more than 70 points against Liberty. The offense has been solid, with 76.3 points scored a game, but it’s really the defense that has allowed the Flames to win nine games. Three touchdowns seems like a lot, but in Liberty’s return home after splitting against Lipscomb on the road, expect the Flames to win in a blowout.

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LIBERTY FLAMES -21
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.