Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Kentucky Wildcats Odds & Pick ATS

by | Last updated Dec 23, 2021 | cfb

Iowa Hawkeyes (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (9-3, 8-4), 1/1/22

When: 1 pm ET Saturday, Jan. 1

Where: Camping World Stadium


Point Spread: Kent -3 (MyBookie – Use bonus code PREDICT100 and they’ll give you a 100% bonus up to $300 on your first deposit!)

Over/under: 44

In one of four Big Ten-SEC match-ups this bowl season, the Iowa Hawkeyes clash with the Kentucky Wildcats in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day in Orlando. Iowa reached the Big Ten championship game this season, only to be embarrassed by Michigan. Kentucky, meanwhile, is shooting for its second 10-win season over the last four years, which is amazing, considering it only had two previous in program history.

The betting lines on this Citrus Bowl opened the Hawkeyes as short favorites, but early betting action flipped the Wildcats into the chalk.

Which way are we going here with our free college football betting pick?

Citrus Bowl Betting Odds

The college football bowl betting lines opened Iowa as a one-point favorite for this Citrus Bowl, with an over/under of right around 45. Early betting action then flipped this game four points, moving Kentucky into -3 territory, and dipped that total to 44.

According to Sagarin’s ratings at, the Hawkeyes should be favored by one point for this game.

Citrus Bowl College Football Betting Preview

Iowa started 6-0 this season, with wins over Iowa State and Penn State, and reached No. 2 in the polls. But the Hawkeyes then looked terrible in back-to-back losses to Purdue and Wisconsin. Iowa then recovered to win its last four games and won the Big Ten West when Minnesota knocked off Wisconsin on the last Saturday of the season. But the Hawkeyes then received a nasty slap to the face when they lost the Big Ten championship game to Michigan 42-3.

Nonetheless, Iowa is back in a bowl after their bowl trip last season got canceled.

The Hawkeyes fell down in that Big Ten title tilt 14-0 on two early long Wolverines touchdowns but only trailed 14-3 well into the third quarter. Iowa then gave up the last 28 points of the game and whiffed miserably against the spread as a 12-point underdog.

The Hawkeyes only out-gained one of their last seven opponents this season and out-rushed just three of their last seven foes. They’re also only 4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS over that span.

Kentucky, meanwhile, started 6-0 this season, with wins over Florida and LSU, and reached No. 11 in the rankings. The Wildcats then lost three games in a row to College Football Playoff qualifier Georgia, Mississippi State, and Tennessee. Still, they won their last three in a row, finishing with a 52-21 romp over Louisville.

So Kentucky is back in a bowl game for the sixth straight season, although last year’s bowl berth was undeserved.

The Wildcats were only tied with the Cardinals 7-7 in the second quarter of that regular-season finale, then scored the following 38 points of the game to win outright as three-point dogs.

Kentucky out-gained and out-rushed each of its last four opponents, averaging 46 points per game in the process.

This Citrus Bowl will be the first-ever meeting between these two programs.

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College Football Betting Trends

  • Over the last six seasons, the SEC is 11-9 SU but 9-11 ATS against the Big Ten.
  • Iowa played 5-3 both SU and ATS against teams that made bowls this season.
  • Kentucky played 5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS against teams that made bowls this season.
  • Iowa is 9-8 both SU and ATS in bowl games under Coach Ferentz.
  • In bowl games, Kentucky is 3-2, both SU and ATS under Coach Stoops.
  • Over the last 10 Citrus Bowls, the SEC is 6-2 both SU and ATS against the Big Ten.

Totals Report

The Under is 7-6 in Hawkeyes games this season, which are averaging 43 total points.

The Overs is 8-4 in Wildcats games this season, which are averaging 55 points.

Free College Football Betting Pick

Kentucky out-rushed opponents by 88 yards per game this season, while Iowa out-rushed foes by just six YPG. Also, while the Hawkeyes’ defense ranks 19th in the country, the Wildcats’ D quietly ranks 26th. Also, we’re concerned about the after-affects on Iowa of that blow-out loss to Michigan last time out. So while we don’t usually like going along with the betting flow, we like Kentucky here. Be sure to check out our Week 16 NFL picks!