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Kentucky vs. Iowa: Music City Bowl odds, expert picks, and a prediction

For the second-straight year, Kentucky and Iowa will clash in a bowl game.

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Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

This year’s Music City Bowl between the Kentucky Wildcats and Iowa Hawkeyes hasn’t been marketed with many reasons to tune in. Top draft prospect Will Levis is sitting out along with several veteran Wildcats. Iowa also has key offensive pieces out, projecting this game to heavily favor the defense of both teams.

And while Saturday is rightfully expected to be low-scoring, the game will feature highly talented receivers Barion Brown and Dane Key plus younger backups with an opportunity to showcase their abilities.

Even though Kentucky had much higher hopes for their season, it’s still a bowl game appearance against a quality program like Iowa. It’s a chance for fans to learn more about players who are usually farther back on the depth chart and have a glimpse of next fall.

Saturday’s outcome is tough to predict, but below you’ll find the latest odds, betting trends, expert picks and a score prediction.


According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kentucky is a 2.5-point underdog to Iowa. The game total opened at 33.5 but has moved down to 31 and, if it stands, will be the lowest point total for a college football game in history. Iowa’s team total of 15.5 is slightly above Kentucky’s 14.5, with the first half total set at 14.5 combined points.

Betting Trends


  • Kentucky is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games vs. Big Ten opponents.
  • Kentucky is 10-4-1 ATS in its last 15 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in Kentucky’s last 8 games.
  • Kentucky is 11-5 SU in its last 16 games.


  • Iowa is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games vs. SEC foes.
  • Iowa is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Iowa’s last 13 games.
  • Iowa is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games.
  • Iowa is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games played on a Saturday.

Expert Picks


Just because there are a handful of key offensive pieces out for both teams doesn’t necessarily mean this game will be record-low for scoring. Both defenses are excellent and the special teams units should be able to flip the field. There may be several field goal attempts, but points will be scored. Kentucky has a thing for winning bowl games — regardless of their opponent — and are familiar with beating the Hawkeyes. The Wildcats win their seventh game of the season on Saturday and take the Music City Bowl.

Final Score: Kentucky 19, Iowa 16