NCAA Football: Liberty Flames vs. Syracuse Orange Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 24, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8 p.m. ET, Sept. 24, 2021
Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Where to watch: ACC Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Liberty -6; O/U 52.5; Liberty -210, Syracuse +175
BetMGM: Liberty -6.5; O/U 52.5
Caesars: Liberty -6; O/U 52.5; Liberty -220, Syracuse +180

Season record
Liberty: 3-0
Syracuse: 2-1

Team Del Genio was a PERFECT 4-0 in all-sports on Saturday to further a 9 of 11 (82%) HOT STREAK this week, WINNING their 25* NCAA-F Pac-12 Game of the Month with USC and their 25* NCAA-F Saturday TV Total of the Month with the ASU/BYU under! Catch Del Genio’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Liberty - Syracuse preview and analysis

Recent form
Liberty: won 45-17 vs. Old Dominion on Sept. 18
Syracuse: won 62-24 vs. Albany on Sept. 18

The Liberty Flames’ run for continued college football dominance -- AKA trying to make it to the top-25 -- continues Friday when they visit the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome.

Liberty, which won for the 15th time in 16 games Saturday with a 28-point win over Old Dominion, is on the cusp of the top-25 after receiving 56 votes and trailing only TCU on the outside looking in.

Quarterback Malik Willis combined for 319 total yards and accounted for all six touchdowns in Liberty’s 45-17 win for the slight cover (-27.5). Along with four touchdown passes, Willis ran for 77 yards and two scores on the ground.

CJ Daniels caught two of those touchdowns from Willis to finish off a five-catch, 70-yard evening, and the Liberty defense held Old Dominion to 201 total yards. That included 67 rushing yards on 35 carries.

Liberty has held its opponents to a combined 27 points through three games. Outside of only 21 points against the Troy Trojans on Sept. 11, Liberty’s offense has put up 48 and 45 points.

And while the Flames will face another one-dimensional offense this week in Syracuse, trying to slow down Orange running back Sean Tucker is going to be a task. Tucker had only 13 carries, but ran for 132 yards and four touchdowns in Syracuse’s 62-24 win against Albany on Saturday.

While Tommy DeVito is not the most dangerous quarterback, the offensive line is good enough to create some holes for Tucker. No doubt, however, this is going to be Syracuse’s toughest task at home. Liberty, while an Independent squad that has been a top program the last two seasons. The Flames are more than capable of shutting down a team that is run-dominant.

Albany had only 22 pass attempts against Syracuse, but actually completed 14 of 22 attempts. Not to say that we have all the intel in the world on the Danes, but maybe they should’ve tested that Syracuse secondary a little more, especially when the run game was as abysmal as it was.

With Willis back there, that secondary is going to get tested a lot this weekend.


The next six games are very winnable for Liberty. All eyes will be on that Ole Miss matchup against Hugh Freeze’s old program, where it could be two top-15 teams going at it. Expect a SU win for Liberty, and if this line stays where it’s at, a cover is likely, as well. Liberty by 20

Betting trends

Liberty is 12-4 against the spread as a favorite and 15-1 in its last 16 straight up.

Liberty is 9-2 ATS in games following a home win.

Syracuse is 3-8 in its last 11 straight up as a home underdog.

Players to watch

Liberty: Flames receiver Demario Douglas had a pedestrian night with six catches for 60 yards, but he’s still Liberty’s leading receiver.

Syracuse: The Orange went with a two-quarterback system Saturday, and Garrett Shrader played well despite an interception. He threw for 190 yards and a touchdown against Albany.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Malik Willis -- 613 yards, 7 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Malik Willis -- 225 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Demario Douglas -- 185 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Storey Jackson -- 1.5 sacks

Passing: Tommy DeVito -- 388 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Sean Tucker -- 367 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: Taj Harris -- 151 yards
Defense: Cody Roscoe -- 3.5 sacks

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Liberty - Syracuse prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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