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Iowa Hawkeyes vs Kentucky Wildcats Odds & Game Pick (2022)

by December 29, 2021
Chris Rodriguez Jr.

It’s always exciting to watch an SEC team take on a Big Ten team. Throughout the years, the debate and conversation are always about which conference is better. While this game won’t dictate that, it’ll help us understand a little bit more of what each conference is all about.

The Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the Citrus Bowl on January 1 at 1 pm ET.

The Hawkeyes went 10-3 on the season and even made the Big Ten Championship game, only to get crushed by Michigan, 42-3. On the other hand, Kentucky absolutely annihilated a rival in Louisville, 52-21, in their final regular-season game and have won three straight games coming into the Citrus Bowl against Iowa.

Can Iowa rebound from a pitiful loss against Michigan in the Big Ten Championship game? Here are our picks and predictions for the Citrus Bowl between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Kentucky Wildcats.

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Details

  • Opening Line: Iowa -1.5, O/U 42.5
  • Current Line: Kentucky -3, O/U 44.5
  • Last meeting: No Previous Matchups

Overview 

Iowa’s offense was always overrated. With Spencer Petras under center, the Iowa Hawkeyes just didn’t have the right quarterback to lead the team this year. I say that after Iowa won 10 games on the year, but in reality, it was the defense that led Iowa to most victories.

Petras threw just nine touchdowns on the season while throwing six interceptions on the year. And then you wonder how Iowa ended up in the Big Ten Championship game. But that’s what happened. Clearly, Iowa didn’t belong, losing to Michigan by more than five touchdowns.

Iowa’s defense didn’t perform against Michigan in the Big Ten Championship, but they’ve been good this year. Iowa has an elite secondary with fantastic all-around play from the defensive line. On the season, the Hawkeyes allowed just 326.9 yards per game while only averaging 297.5 yards on offense. Now you see what the problem is.

Meanwhile, Kentucky scored 33.3 points per game and averaged 431.1 yards per game. The Wildcats ran for over 200 yards and were fundamentally sound on the defensive end. Iowa’s defense is certainly better but Kentucky’s offense has much more firepower in them to score points.

You just can’t say the same about Iowa. Not with Petras slated to start. The run game also isn’t going to be so easy for Iowa, knowing Kentucky has allowed 117.8 yards per game on the ground, which really isn’t a terrible number.

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Trends 

  • Hawkeyes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Over is 4-0 in Hawkeyes last 4 neutral site games.
  • Over is 4-0 in Hawkeyes last 4 games overall.

Bottom Line 

I like Kentucky to get the job done against Iowa. Kentucky’s offense scored 33.3 points per game this season and had to face some really tough defenses in the SEC to get that number. Quarterback Will Levis is used to playing against Big Ten defenses from his time with Penn State and should be able to make the right decisions throughout this game to help lead the Wildcats to victory. He came up big against Louisville and will really win over Kentucky with a win against Iowa in the Citrus Bowl.

Pick: Kentucky -3 (-110)

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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.

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