Citrus Bowl 2022: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for Iowa vs. Kentucky

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 31, 2021

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) is held up by teammate guard Austin Dotson (61) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Louisville in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

The Iowa Hawkeyes and Kentucky Wildcats share plenty of similarities in how they try to win college football games. 

Both teams like to run the ball, and they have similar defensive totals, but there is one difference that could separate the two sides in the Citrus Bowl.

Kentucky has the better quarterback in Will Levis. The Wildcats averaged 225 passing yards per game compared to Iowa's meager 177.7 yards through the air per contest. 

Levis, a transfer from Penn State, could have the same level of success against Iowa as the Michigan Wolverines did through the air in the Big Ten Championship Game. 

Kentucky should use that edge to add a win to the SEC's poor overall bowl record. The conference earned a single win in its first six postseason contests. 


Citrus Bowl Info

Date: Saturday, January 1

Start Time: 1 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app


Game Odds

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Spread: Kentucky (-3)

Over/Under: 44

Moneyline: Kentucky (-145; bet $145 to win $100); Iowa (+125; bet $100 to win $125)


Daily Fantasy Tips

Put Full Trust In Will Levis

Will Levis made one of the best transfer decisions in the Power Five by moving from the Penn State Nittany Lions to Kentucky.

Levis gave the Wildcats the aerial threat at quarterback that was missing over the last few years, and he helped the already-strong rushing unit gain 206.1 yards per game.

Levis holds the clear advantage over the Iowa quarterbacks in the Citrus Bowl, and he could be the reason why Kentucky comes away with a much larger win than the point spread suggests. 

The junior quarterback is coming off back-to-back four-touchdown performances. He ran for four scores in the 52-21 win over the Louisville Cardinals, and he had four touchdown passes in the blowout win over the New Mexico State Aggies. 

Levis totaled 15 touchdowns with his arm and legs in November, which was far and away his best month in a Kentucky uniform.

The Kentucky offense could follow a similar game plan to how Michigan torched the Iowa defense in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wolverines put 250 passing yards and scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to break the game open. 

Levis will challenge Iowa in most facets of the offense, and he should find plenty of success behind an offensive line that conceded four sacks in the last five games. 

Wan'Dale Robinson, who is also a former Big Ten player from his time with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, is Levis' top target, and he could run rampant in the Iowa secondary. Robinson had nine catches for 75 yards against Iowa in 2020.

Levis and Robinson are the perfect pairing for a small daily fantasy football lineup stack across Saturday's five-game bowl slate. 


Go With Running Backs From Both Squads

The two Citrus Bowl participants can run the ball with plenty of success.

Kentucky is a much better team on the ground at 206.1 yards per game compared to Iowa's 119.8 yards per contest. 

Levis and 1,200-yard rusher Chris Rodriguez formed a great pairing in that part of the offense for Kentucky.

Iowa will call on its depth at running back to test the Kentucky defense. Leading rusher Tyler Goodson declared for the 2022 NFL Draft and opted out of the Citrus Bowl. 

Gavin Williams and Ivory Kelly-Martin were second and third on the Iowa rushing yards chart, but neither player had more than 210 yards. 

Iowa must approach the first half with a patient game plan that can allow the running backs to find a rhythm without Goodson in the fold. 

Kentucky's defense is not perfect since it allows 337.1 rushing yards per game, but it could swallow up the Iowa running backs if they can't establish a rhythm.

Iowa's backups are worth the shot in DFS contests because of their expected volume, but similar to the quarterback position, it may be best to trust the Kentucky star.


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