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Kentucky vs. Iowa odds, betting trends, expert picks and predictions

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Who wins the battle of Wildcats and Hawkeyes?

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NCAA Football: Kentucky at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Where did the time go?

It feels like just a few weekends ago that the Kentucky Wildcats were on their historical 6-0 run to start the 2021 season. Now fast-forward six more games, and we’re on the cusp of the Citrus Bowl — a matchup between the No. 22 Wildcats and No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Wildcats finished their regular season campaign at 9-3, while the Hawkeyes, who once found themselves inside the AP top five, finished the year at 10-3 following their beatdown defeat at the hands of Michigan in the Big Ten title game.

Kentucky’s last appearance in the Citrus Bowl was ironically against a Big Ten team (Penn State) and ended up working out pretty well for the Wildcats (27-24).

Now, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops and his team will take the field with hopes of reaching a double-digit win season for the second time during his tenure in Lexington.

Odds

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kentucky is currently a 3-point favorite with the total points scored set at 44 — predicting a tight/low-scoring affair. Kentucky had just three games finish with 44 or fewer total points, while Iowa had eight. ESPN’s Football Power Index is giving Kentucky a 51.4% chance of victory.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Betting Trends

Kentucky

  • Kentucky is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kentucky’s last 5 games.
  • Kentucky is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games.
  • Kentucky is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games this season.
  • Kentucky is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games against an opponent in the Big Ten conference.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kentucky’s last 5 games played on a Saturday.
  • Kentucky is 10-0 SU in its last 10 games when playing as the favorite.

Iowa

  • Iowa is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Iowa’s last 5 games.
  • Iowa is 16-3 SU in its last 19 games.
  • Iowa is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games this season.
  • Iowa is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games against an opponent in the SEC.
  • Iowa is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games played on a Saturday.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Iowa’s last 6 games when playing as the underdog.

Expert Picks

Prediction

With COVID and other bodily injuries piling up, both teams will be impacted by players being held out of Saturday’s game. In addition to injured players playing a role in Saturday’s outcome, both teams haven’t exactly had the most consistent season this year. Both programs had their shining moments but both also had games they’d gladly play again. Saturday, though, is a chance for both teams to end their season on the right note. The Citrus Bowl will be won in the trenches, which could very well play in Kentucky’s favor. Kentucky’s play across their offensive line should go toe-to-toe with the Hawkeyes, allowing the Wildcats to run the ball effectively to control the clock. Their defensive front should also match up well with an Iowa offense that doesn’t scare many teams. Don’t expect a firework show, but instead a classic matchup of physical football in which Kentucky should prevail.

Final Score: Kentucky 26, Iowa 21