Arkansas vs Kansas Liberty Bowl 2022 Predictions, Picks & Best Bets
Dan Kilbridge | 5 mins
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A few quick words for college football betting fans that have grown too cynical this time of year – Shut up. Stop complaining. There’s no such thing as too many bowl games. This is our time to lose track of the days and bet on whatever matchup is on at 2 p.m. on a given afternoon, and some of us happen to like it.
Also, try telling Kansas that the Liberty Bowl matchup with Arkansas doesn’t matter. The Jayhawks have been a national laughingstock for more than a decade and finally clawed their way to six wins and a bowl appearance for the first time since 2008.
This is a huge deal for Kansas, which earned it the hard way under second-year coach Lance Leipold.
This is also a huge deal for bettors in both states - Kansas and Arkansas each passed legal sports gambling in 2022 and this is a great opportunity to get a little action and take advantage of any promo codes or bonus offers on Kansas betting apps.
While it might not look like much on paper, this is a narrative-rich game from a matchup and gambling perspective. We’re certainly not complaining.
Liberty Bowl Spread Prediction
According to the latest college football lines, Arkansas is the slight favorite at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis, but Razorbacks fans aren’t throwing any parades. This was a massively disappointing season and it feels like the Liberty Bowl got a little cheeky with its selection given Arkansas’ 21-19 loss to Liberty last month. The Razorbacks also ended the year with a 29-27 loss at Missouri, one of four losses this season by a field goal or less.
One can look at that as an indicator that Arkansas is undervalued here, but it’s also indicative of a lack of poise in crunch time after a full season. Motivation is always a factor in bowl games and we don’t love Arkansas in that regard. The Razorbacks are coming off a 9-4 season in 2021 and New Year’s Day win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Any title hopes this year were shot midway through the season and now it’s back to the drawing board for 2023. There’s not a lot of mojo here.
On the other sideline, this might as well be Kansas’ Super Bowl. The Jayhawks are 6-6 with a chance to finish the year with a winning record for the first time in 14 years. The fact that they lost six of seven to end the season was obviously disappointing after the 5-0 start, but they competed hard to the end.
This is one of the few times when you’re certain one team wants it more than the other, and that can make all the difference during bowl season.
With our best Kansas betting promo codes lined up for our bonus money, we’re putting it on Kansas to cover +2.5.
Liberty Bowl Moneyline Prediction
This matchup is dead even on paper. They’re almost statistically identical in most categories. The difference is Kansas should be close to full strength, while Arkansas’ roster has holes all over the place.
Quarterback Jalon Daniels played a huge role in that 5-0 start before going down to injury. He returned to play the final two weeks of the regular season but didn’t seem fully healthy. That month off will be big for Daniels and this entire roster, which needs all the practice reps it can get.
It looks like Arkansas will be without roughly 1/3 of all starters due to players leaving for the transfer portal or opting out to focus on the NFL Draft. They’re particularly decimated in the defensive secondary and will be without a lot of key contributors - including defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who left to take the head coaching job at UNLV. The special teams unit didn’t even stay intact, as punter Reid Bauer entered the portal. Not good.
The Razorbacks rushing attack is the big challenge for Kansas, but Arkansas will be missing starters up front and the Jayhawks should have success on the ground as well.
We’re on Kansas moneyline at +135.
Liberty Bowl Over/Under Pick
Oddsmakers have pegged this as one of the highest-scoring bowl games of the year, with the total hovering just under 70. It’s a big number. It’s also highly possible these teams could trade touchdowns all afternoon and blow past it.
We rarely jump at the big totals and wouldn’t recommend a large play on this one. A month ago we would have absolutely loved the Under. But Arkansas’ defense wasn’t that great to begin with and is now down several starters and a coordinator.
Kansas’ defense was also overmatched late in the year, giving up at least 43 points in three straight losses to Texas Tech, Texas and Kansas State. We do think this will be a wild game, with turnovers and coverage busts and all sorts of tomfoolery. We’re leaning slightly on Over 69.