LendingTree Bowl 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2021

Liberty quarterback Malik Willis (7) passes against Mississippi during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Mississippi won 27-14. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

The Liberty Flames entered the 2021 college football season as one of the most popular non-Power Five programs. 

Liberty bolted out to a 7-2 start, but it stumbled in November with a three-game losing streak in which its offense struggled. 

Flames quarterback Malik Willis is considered as one of the top quarterback prospects entering the 2022 NFL draft, and he could use the LendingTree Bowl as one final performance to impress scouts. 

Liberty and the Eastern Michigan Eagles have some comparable offensive numbers, but the MAC program is much worse on the defensive side of the ball. 

Eastern Michigan gave up 27.8 points per game, and it was thrashed by a handful of its opponents in conference play. That could be a bad sign for the Eagles against an offense with the potential to put up a ton of points. 


LendingTree Bowl Info

Date: Saturday, December 18

Start Time: 5:45 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app


LendingTree Bowl Odds

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Spread: Liberty (-8.5) 

Over/Under: 58.5

Money Line: Liberty (-350; bet $350 to win $100); Eastern Michigan (+270; bet $100 to win $270) 


Daily Fantasy Tips

Trust Malik Willis and the Liberty Offense

Malik Willis is one of the most talented quarterbacks you will see throughout bowl season. 

The Liberty signal-caller produced 2,626 yards and 24 touchdowns as he rose up NFL draft boards. 

ESPN.com's Tood McShay had Willis as the third quarterback off the board behind Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett and Ole Miss' Matt Corral in his latest mock draft. 

Willis and the entire Liberty offense are in need of a bounce-back performance following a brutal November in which the program suffered three consecutive defeats. 

Liberty produced 52 total points in losses to the Ole Miss Rebels, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and Army Black Knights, all of whom qualified for bowls. 

The Flames eclipsed the 35-point mark against three bowl qualifiers earlier in the season, which is a promising sign for Saturday's performance. 

Eastern Michigan allowed 430.4 total yards, 233.2 passing yards and 27.8 points per game in the regular season. 

The Eagles let up over 30 points in four of their five defeats, and they conceded over 20 points in five of their seven victories. 

Willis has the potential to tear up the EMU defense, and that makes him one of the best quarterback options for Saturday's daily fantasy contests along with Western Kentucky's Bailey Zappe, who is the leading passer in the FBS. 


Keep An Eye On Hassan Beydoun

Eastern Michigan's leading receiver Hassan Beydoun is the best option on the MAC side's roster for DFS contests. 

Beydoun has 86 receptions for 932 receiving yards, and he could be targeted at a high rate if the Eagles play from behind on Saturday. 

Beydoun has three games with 12 or more receptions, and he earned 20 catches in his last three games. 

The biggest issue with Beydoun is his lack of touchdowns. He only has four scores in a passing offense that totaled 19 scoring throws. 

Eastern Michigan could be limited through the air at times since Liberty allows 174.2 passing yards per game, and quarterback Ben Bryant threw a single touchdown in the last three contests combined. 

Bryant was sacked on 16 occasions in the last four games, and if he does not remain upright, Beydoun's production will be hampered. 

If EMU finds a way to compete with Liberty, Beydoun will be the offensive focal point, which makes him a nice under-the-radar play in DFS contests. 


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