The Iowa Hawkeyes are set to face the Kentucky Wildcats this weekend. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our college football odds series, which includes our Iowa-Kentucky prediction, odds, and pick we have laid out below.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here’s the Iowa-Kentucky Citrus Bowl odds:

College Football odds: Iowa-Kentucky Citrus Bowl Odds 

Iowa: +3 (-110)

Kentucky: -3 (-110)

Over: 44 (-110)

Under: 44 (-110)

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Why Iowa Could Cover the Spread 

The Iowa Hawkeyes have had a remarkable 2021 season, finishing with a 10-3 record and 1st in the Big Ten – West. Iowa won their first six games of the season, allowing 20 or less points in each game. The defense has really stepped up again for this football team. They were ranked as high as No. 3 in the country before a two-game skid mid-season. The Hawkeyes ended their season strong, winning four of their final five games and will play Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl on New Years Day. The offense starts with quarterback Spencer Petras who has thrown for 1,669 yards and nine touchdowns. However, it revolves around running back Tyler Goodson finished this season with 1,151 rushing yards and six touchdowns. As a team, the Hawkeyes average 23.9 points and 297.7 yards per game.

Defensively, the Hawkeyes are much more impressive. They forced the most interceptions (24) in the NCAA this year, and the 3rd most turnovers (29). The defense has six different players with multiple interceptions this year and four players with three or more. The Hawkeyes yield 19.2 points and 326.9 yards per game to opponents (13th). They lead the nation in opponent interception thrown percentage (5.45%). Opponents have the 8th fewest rush yards against the Hawkeye defense (3.2), which bodes well because of how Kentucky favors the ground game. In their last five non-conference games, the Hawkeyes are 4-1 against the spread.

Why Kentucky Could Cover the Spread 

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The Kentucky Wildcats have a chance to get to double-digit wins for the fourth time in program history on New Years Day. The Wildcats finished 9-3 and 2nd in the SEC – East. They had a strong start to their season winning the first six games as well. They ended their season with three straight wins, including two blowout victories versus New Mexico State (56-16) and Louisville (52-21). Quarterback transfer Will Levis is a big reason why the Wildcats have been so successful this year. Levis has thrown for 2,593 yards and 23 touchdowns with a 66.5% completion percentage. He has also had an impact on the ground, rushing for 387 yards and nine touchdowns. Kentucky's offense averages 33.8 points and 437.8 yards per game. They are 2nd in the nation in yards per rush (5.6) and 5th in 3rd down conversion percentage (52.00%).

Defensively, the Wildcats excel at open-field tackles and fundamental defense. They allow 22 points and 337 yards per game to opponents (17th). They rank 3rd in the nation in opponent 4th down conversion percentage (29.41%). Kentucky is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games versus Big Ten opponents.

Final Iowa-Kentucky Citrus Bowl Prediction & Pick

Iowa is a tough team to go against in the underdog role because of how dominant their defense can be in games. Iowa is arguably the best at forcing turnovers and one of the better teams at protecting the ball as Kentucky is the inverse, bad at forcing turnovers and very turnover-prone on offense. However, Kentucky is the more balanced team and the offense has been playing better as of late. They will also be motivated to get to double-digit wins as well. I believe Kentucky wins by a field goal or more, buying a half point to get -2.5 would make most sense in this scenario.

Final Iowa-Kentucky Citrus Bowl Prediction & Pick: Kentucky -3 (-110)