Liberty vs Coastal Carolina Odds, Lines and Spread

CJ Marable breaks away

Coastal Carolina’s CJ Marable (1) runs for a long gain against Texas State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in San Marcos, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
  • 8-1 Liberty takes on 9-0 Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 5th (ESPNU, 2 p.m. EST)
  • Two of the nation’s top G5 QB’s square-off between Liberty’s Malik Willis and Coastal’s Grayson McCall
  • Read Below for complete analysis, odds and a pick on the game

Finally, we’ve made it to the game that everyone had circled on their calendar as Week 14’s top matchup between AP Top 25 teams, when No. 25 Liberty takes on No. 14 Coastal Carolina.

All kidding aside, Coastal Carolina has been one of the best stories of a topsy-turvy 2020 season. The Chanticleers are undefeated and in the midst of the best campaign in the program’s short history. The same could be said for Liberty, which has only been a FBS program for three years, and has put together a 8-1 record in Hugh Freeze’s second season as head coach.

Besides the success that each team has had on the field, both programs have been reliable options for bettors this year. Combined, both teams are 14-5 against the spread, and have gone over closing point totals 58-percent of the time.

Liberty vs #18 Coastal Carolina Week 14 Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Liberty +10.5 (-112) +320 O 54.5 (-115)
Coastal Carolina -10.5 (-112) -430 U 54.5 (-105)

CFP Rankings Used for Coastal Carolina. Odds taken from FanDuel on Dec. 2nd

Flames or Fool’s Gold?

What Freeze has been able to accomplish on his redemption tour with Liberty has been impressive. Last year, in his first season with the program, he led the Flames to an 8-5 record with a win in the AutoNation Cure Bowl.

This year, Liberty’s only loss came on November 21st to NC State. Last week, The Flames responded by lighting up UMass, 45-0. That game served as a bit of a metaphor for Liberty’s season overall: Get big results against soft opponents.

Liberty has one of the weakest strength of schedules in college football, and outside of an upset win at Virginia Tech on November 7, the Flames don’t have much else to hang their hat on.

Redshirt junior quarterback Malik Willis has done it all for Liberty, which averages more than 38 points per game and is a top-20 scoring offense, nationally. Naturally, Willis is the team’s top passer, but he’s also its top rusher, with 807 yards with 10 touchdowns on runs this season. Coastal’s defensive front is in the bottom-third of teams this year in stopping the run in passing situations, and Willis should be expected to break containment a couple of times in this one for some big gains.

Winning the Battle in the Air

The Chanticleers have one of college football’s top quarterbacks as well in Grayson McCall. The redshirt freshman missed a game earlier this season, but has completed 67-percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns and just one interception.

Coastal has had a similarly productive offense to Liberty, and has also averaged just over 38 points per game this season. Although Willis has thrown for more passing yards than McCall, the Chanticleers have the more productive duo of wide receivers. Jaivon Heiligh and Isaiah Likely have combined for 1105 yards and 12 touchdowns, which represents more than 60-percent of McCall’s production as a passer.

Liberty’s opponents haven’t consistently challenged the Flame’s pass defense, but statistically, the unit has been one of the best in the country. Liberty has only allowed a scant 171 ypg through the air and a stingy 6.11 yards per attempt.

2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker

Hangups for Coastal

Where things get tricky is negotiating the motivations for each team. Certainly, Coastal would love to see how far it can climb in the national rankings by staying undefeated, but the Chanticleers are headed for a rematch with Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship on December 19th. Coastal handed UL its only loss this season, but the Ragin’ Cajuns have managed to stay in the Top 25 and are going to bring it when they meet again in Conway, South Carolina.

Liberty has a chance to topple the best team that it will have played all year, while Coastal will have to shake off its inclination to look ahead toward its first chance in program history at a conference title. The Chanticleers are the more battle-tested side and have better talent overall, but Liberty’s offense with Willis’ big-play ability should be enough to cover the 10.5 points ahead of Coastal’s Sun Belt title shot.

The Pick: Liberty +10.5 (-112)

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