The Music City Bowl is a game that will likely only be watched by people who love football or hate themselves. The Wildcats started the season strong but fizzled through the rigors of the SEC schedule and finished fourth in the SEC East with a 7-5 record. Anyone who follows college football odds could see that Iowa was, well, Iowa.
The Hawkeyes, as they always seem to, have a strong defense and a questionable offense. Iowa fought off a tough start to finish a respectable 7-5 and in a three-way tie for second place in a bad Big Ten West Division. This year’s Music City Bowl will be one where both teams are trying to develop momentum for next season.
Kentucky will get a look at a new quarterback, with Will Levis opting out to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Iowa vs Kentucky Props
- First score of the game: Touchdown -145, Field Goal +110, Any other +4000
- A team to score three unanswered times Yes: -125 No: -105
- Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown? Yes: +300 No: -400
First Score of the Game
The Hawkeyes aren’t a team that is usually a threat to cover college football spreads by a wide margin. Iowa, which is 7-5 against the spread, only scores 17.4 points per game, which ranks 123rd nationally. However, the Hawkeyes’ defense limits opponents to 14.4 points per game, meaning opponents don’t score much either.
Iowa has attempted 21 field goals. Hawkeyes starting kicker Drew Stevens hasn’t let his teammates down much. He’s made 16-of-18 attempts. Kentucky kicker Matt Ruffolo has attempted 15 kicks of 40 or fewer yards this season.
Ruffolo is 11-of-15 from inside 40 yards and has made 16 of his 24 attempts overall. Getting plus money on this number in a game with two teams that could struggle on offense makes a field goal being the first score worth a play.
- Pick: Field Goal +110
A Team to Score Three Unanswered Times
Levis opting out for the draft leaves Kentucky with a question of who to start at quarterback. The Wildcats will be turning over the keys to freshman Destin Wade. Looking at scores and odds shows this will be a tough spot for Wade.
Wade hasn’t attempted a pass this season and will be going up against a physical Iowa defense. The Hawkeyes have forced 13 turnovers and are ninth nationally in passing yards allowed at 173.8 per contest. If Kentucky struggles to score, this could be a spot where Iowa is able to string together a few scores to grab the win.
- Pick: Yes -125
Will There Be a Defensive or Special Teams Touchdown?
Many people who do online sports betting will look for a long shot to find bets with longer odds to grab a nice payout. It usually isn’t an every-game occurrence when it comes to defensive or special teams’ touchdowns being scored. Iowa has found a way to do it more than most, especially on defense.
The Hawkeyes have turned four turnovers into touchdowns. Defensive back Cooper DeJean has returned two interceptions for touchdowns for Iowa. In addition, the Hawkeyes have had Joe Evans and Kaevon Merriweather return fumbles for scores as well. Kentucky hasn’t been as productive on defense.
Keidron Smith is the only Kentucky player to score, returning an interception for a touchdown. However, what will help create opportunities is the Wildcats playing a first-time quarterback. Kentucky isn’t sure how its young quarterback will handle the pressure. If the Wildcats’ young quarterback has a tough day, Iowa has the tools to capitalize on his mistakes. This isn’t some worth betting big on, but it has a nice payout for someone chasing higher odds.
- Pick: Yes +300