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Tennessee vs. Iowa - 1/2/15 Taxslayer Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) at Tennessee Volunteers (6-6)

College Football: Friday, January 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm (EverBank Field)

The Line: Tennessee Volunteers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 51.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Iowa Hawkeyes and Tennessee Volunteers play Friday afternoon in the Taxslayer Bowl at EverBank Field.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have lost three of their last four games but are playing in their sixth bowl in the last seven years. Jake Rudock is completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rudock has five total touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and Iowa has 28 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Tevaun Smith and Kevonte Martin-Manley have combined for more than 1,000 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Jake Duzey has nine receptions in his last three games. Iowa’s ground game is averaging 3.9 yards per carry, as Mark Weisman leads the way with 802 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Defensively, the Iowa Hawkeyes are allowing 24 points, 334.5 yards, and they’ve forced 25 sacks and 15 turnovers. John Lowdermilk leads Iowa with 95 tackles and Drew Ott has 12 tackles for loss.

Tennessee vs. Iowa - 1/2/15 Taxslayer Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers have won three of their last four games and play their first bowl since 2010. Joshua Dobbs is completing 61.5 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Dobbs has three total touchdowns and three picks in his last three games, and Tennessee has 22 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Pig Howard and Von Pearson have combined for more than 900 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Jason Croom has a touchdown in his last three games. Tennessee’s ground game is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, as Jalen Hurd leads the way with 777 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Tennessee Volunteers are allowing 23.9 points, 359.9 yards, and they’ve forced 35 sacks and 22 turnovers. A.J. Johnson leads the Vols with 101 tackles and Derek Barnett has 20.5 tackles for loss.

The Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 bowl games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games. The Volunteers are 8-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. 

The Iowa Hawkeyes are always disrespected by oddmakers for whatever reason. While the Hawkeyes aren’t loaded with talent, they’re great defensively and tough on both sides of the ball. This is an old-school football team that just finds ways to win and simply wears down its opponent. I see Iowa winning this one outright which is why I’m taking the ML and saying forget the points.

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Iowa Hawkeyes ML

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