By The Prophet
Army Black Knights vs. Liberty Flames
This week we’re looking to cash a 3rd consecutive Banker & I’m hoping the boys over at West Point, NY can help us achieve that goal. The Army Black Knights travel to face Liberty University, who are on a bit of a slide of late. Liberty came into this season as the second highest touted Group of Five school, ranked only behind the now #4 Cincinnati Bearcats. Malik Willis is the star man at QB for the Flames & has first or second round draft grades by many.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough in recent weeks to lift Liberty out of their current rut. Liberty (7-4) is just 2-3 in their last five games including a surprise loss to cellar dweller Louisiana-Monroe and a blowout loss last week to Louisiana-Lafayette at home (42-14). I said last week I didn’t think the books had completely adjusted to the Flames dip in form this season in comparison to their great 2020 campaign and that turned out to be the case as Louisiana Lafayette +4.5 was an easy winner.
Army will represent no step down in competition for Liberty this week and in fact I think having to prepare for the prolific Army triple option attack may be the worst-case scenario for the sliding Liberty squad. Army’s only three losses this year came in a three-game consecutive losing run vs Ball State, Wisconsin and Wake Forest, two of which are currently top 25 teams. After that Army got it rolling as they rolled off three straight including an upset of rival Air Force in overtime.
I anticipate the typical Army approach in this matchup, establish the run successfully, play solid defense and control the time of possession. Ironically this was the approach Louisiana Lafayette used to the tune of a 42-14 win over Liberty last week. Another interesting matchup will be Liberty’s run game versus Army’s front seven. Army’s defensive strength has been stopping the run this year and Liberty ranks #2 in the country in EPA in rushing offense. I think Army will do enough to slow down that rushing attack and control the clock on offense with their triple-op approach. Lock in the following for this week’s Banker:
This week we’ll be hoping to cash another big parlay ticket as last week’s +257 two team was a no sweat winner. First leg of this week’s parlay I’m going to go with Wake Forest ML at (-210) versus Boston College. Wake Forest coming off a loss against Clemson. Clemson, while obviously having a disappointing season, they still represent the best defense Wake Forest has played this year. Last week’s 27-48 loss to Clemson was only the Demon Deacons’ second loss of this year’s campaign. Clemson’s defense ranks in the top ten and top five in almost every major defensive statistic and analytical trend.
This week Wake Forest should have no problem getting back to winning ways against a mediocre Boston College team. While defense is technically the strength of the BC squad, they don’t even crack the top 60 in any major statistic. I think Sam Hartman and this prolific Wake offense will have no issues putting up more than enough points to get the win here, lock it in!
Secondly, I’m taking the Oklahoma Sooners as an outright dog to get the job done at (+170) on the Moneyline. The Sooners opened as a +4.0-point underdog and will go on the road to take on Arch-Rival Oklahoma State in a night game in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I know, all of that sounds scary and it kind of is. Stillwater has long been one of the most difficult places to play for opponents and being at night for whatever reason adds another element of home field advantage.
But this is a rivalry game, and it’s a head-to-head that the Sooners have had the better results in not just all time but recently as well. In fact, Oklahoma has won 16 out of the last 18 contests in the Bedlam Series and Oklahoma State hasn’t beaten the Sooners in Stillwater since 2011. Granted, trends don’t automatically guarantee winners, but Oklahoma has seemed to have found their offensive identity with Freshman phenom Caleb Williams at QB and an offensive line that has improved as the season has gone on.
The glaring issue for OU has been the defense this year, but they have experienced major improvement over the last few games as well against good competition. Last week they held Brock Purdy and the Iowa State cyclones to just 21 points and held them to 7 until the late 4th quarter. This will be a difficult task no doubt and will also have major CFB Playoff and Big 12 title game implications, but I think the Sooners are peaking at the right time to go win a hard-fought victory. Parlay the following for +290 odds: