College Football

Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs Iowa 12/31/22 College Football Picks, Predictions, Odds

Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (7-5)
December 31, 2022 12:00 pm EDT
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -2.5 / Iowa Hawkeyes +2.5 Over/Under: 31.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The Kentucky Wildcats and Iowa Hawkeyes clash Saturday in the college football Music City Bowl from Nissan Stadium. Iowa enters this matchup at 7-5 overall. The Hawkeyes are coming off a loss to Nebraska. As for Kentucky, they’re currently 7-5 as well and beat Louisville in their last outing. Check back all season long for free college football picks at SCP Betting.

Iowa went just 3-4 over their first seven games. The losses in that stretch were to Iowa State, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State. The Hawkeyes would then hit a win streak versus Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

The Hawkeyes took another loss back on November 25 versus Nebraska. Iowa was down 17-0 by halftime and ended up losing 24-17 despite some fourth-quarter life. QB Alex Padilla managed 141 yards with one TD and one pick. Kaleb Johnson added 109 rush yards and a score. 

Over on the Wildcats’ side, they went 4-2 over their first six games this year. The losses in that stretch were versus Ole Miss and South Carolina. Kentucky hit a 3-3 run the rest of the way, beating Mississippi State, Missouri and Louisville in that time. 

On November 26 versus Louisville, Kentucky had a 13-7 edge by the break. The Wildcats scored 10 points in the third quarter en route to a 26-13 victory. Quarterback Will Levis managed 188 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Rodriguez rushed for 120 yards on 24 carries. 

The Hawkeyes are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four bowl games and 4-1 ATS in their last five overall. Iowa is 4-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record. 

Meanwhile, the Wildcats are 4-1-1 ATS in the last six versus the Big Ten and 19-5-2 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Kentucky is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. 

PICK: I’ll probably stick with Kentucky. Interestingly enough, these teams met up back on January 1 in the Citrus Bowl. Kentucky took a 20-17 win in that matchup, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a similar score here. The Wildcats are coming off a nice defensive effort against a pretty good Louisville team, giving up 309 total yards (145 passing) with 19 first downs and collecting three turnovers. Kentucky has scored pretty well lately: 21 or more points in three of their last four. 

As for Iowa, their defense really stepped up in comparable games this season. The Hawkeyes have given up 13 or fewer points in four of their last five, but the offense doesn’t necessarily match that output. Iowa has scored just 30 combined points in their last pair. This looks like a low-scoring battle and it should be a fun game to watch. I like Kentucky to eke out a cover in the end. 

Andrew's Free Pick: Kentucky Wildcats -2.5

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Andrew has been writing about college, professional and fantasy sports betting since 2013. Andrew's goal is to break down the complicated numbers and trends into a language that's easily accessible to novice sports bettors and seasoned professionals alike.

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