Iowa Hawkeyes (10-3) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (9-3)
January 1, 2022 1:00 pm EDT
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -2.5 / Iowa Hawkeyes +2.5 ; Over/Under: 44
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The Kentucky Wildcats and Iowa Hawkeyes clash Saturday afternoon in the college football Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Iowa Hawkeyes have a chance to win at least 11 games for the fourth time in school history. The Kentucky Wildcats look to win double-digit games for the fourth time in school history.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have won four of their last six non-home games. Spencer Petras is completing 56.6 percent of his passes for 1,669 yards, 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Sam LaPorta and Keagan Johnson have combined for 900 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, while Nico Ragaini has 26 receptions. The Iowa Hawkeyes ground game is averaging 120 yards per contest, and Tyler Goodson leads the way with 1,151 yards and 6 touchdowns. Defensively, Iowa is allowing 19.2 points and 326.9 yards per game. Jack Campbell leads the Iowa Hawkeyes with 126 tackles, Joe Evans has 6 sacks and Dane Belton has 5 interceptions.
The Kentucky Wildcats have won three of their last five non-home games. Will Levis is completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,593 yards, 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali have combined for 1,765 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, while Izayah Cummings has 13 receptions. The Kentucky Wildcats ground game is averaging 206.1 yards per contest, and Chris Rodriguez Jr. leads the way with 1,272 yards and 8 touchdowns. Defensively, Kentucky is allowing 22.1 points and 337.2 yards per game. Jacquez Jones leads the Kentucky Wildcats with 82 tackles, J.J. Weaver has 6.5 sacks and Tyrell Ajian has 1 interception.
The Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten. The over is 4-0 in Hawkeyes last 4 games overall. The over is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 games overall.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are a tough team to turn down in the underdog role because you know their defense is going to show up and keep them in games. The issue is Iowa has no offense to speak of, and it’s been on the losing side of all its big games since October. The Kentucky Wildcats are head and shoulders the more balanced team here, and I also believe they’ll be the more motivated side with a double-digit winning season on the line. Kentucky is eager to take its football program to that next step, and wins like this do wonders. I’ll lay the small chalk.