Thirty-one points. That’s what the over/under is set at for the 2022 Music City Bowl between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Kentucky Wildcats – and we can’t think of a better way to sum up what this bowl is likely to offer fans.
That’s not to say that the teams aren’t good or that the game will be boring — far from it. Instead, the Iowa Hawkeyes and Kentucky Wildcats are likely to stage an old-school slugfest, one in which every single point matters (and a single point may well be the margin of victory).
Music City Bowl Betting Odds
Both teams come into this game at 7-5, and the Hawkeyes are also 7-5 ATS (the Wildcats are 8-4). Kentucky’s only hit the over one time all season, whereas Iowa’s somehow done it four times, so 32.0 might be exceedingly generous for these squads.
Both of these teams have struggled moving the football this year; Kentucky’s had issues with injuries, while Iowa…well, Iowa is Iowa. Beleaguered offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz comes into this game on the hot seat, as the Hawkeyes offense mustered a paltry 6 passing TDs all season long.
Is this game going to be a rock fight, or could these two teams surprise us and put up a strong offensive performance? Read on to see what we predict will happen in this edition of the Music City Bowl.
Music City Bowl Info
- Teams: Iowa Hawkeyes (Big 10 #6, 7-5) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (SEC #8, 7-5)
- Date: Saturday, December 31
- Time: 12 p.m. EST
- Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
- Channel: ABC
Where to Bet on the 2022 Music City Bowl (Iowa vs Kentucky)
If you’re planning to bet on any college football bowls this year, we’d advise sticking to major sites like BetOnline and Bovada. These college football betting sites have been around for decades, and they’ve survived because they’re secure, reputable, and player-friendly.
Large gambling sites like BetOnline can offer you:
- Dozens of sports: While football betting is all the rage right now, you can find something to bet on 365 days a year at major online sportsbooks. Everything from major sports like the NFL and NBA to super-niche international competitions is on tap here.
- Competitive odds: Regardless of your sport of choice, you’ll get up-to-the-minute odds anytime you like. This is great, no matter if you’re an early bettor or someone who likes to wager during games, as you’ll always have the most accurate price possible.
- Generous rewards: When you deposit, most major sites will give you a sizable bonus of some kind (like the 50% match offered by BetOnline). It’s a great way to stretch your gambling dollar, and sportsbooks are constantly thinking of new ways to reward loyal players.
Claim a Bonus to Bet On the 2022 Music City Bowl (Iowa Hawkeyes vs Kentucky Wildcats)
If you want to spice up your Music City Bowl-watching experience, then BetOnline currently has a deal where they’ll match 50% of your first deposit up to $1,000 if you use the code BOL1000 during registration.
This promo can give you a massive boost on your first deposit, allowing you to make several wagers on the Music City Bowl — or spread your action out on the rest of the college football postseason.
Transperfect Music City Bowl History
A relatively young bowl, the Music City Bowl debuted in 1998 at Vanderbilt Stadium before moving to its current home, Nissan Stadium, the following year.
The bowl has had several conference tie-ins during its brief history. It started out as an SEC – Big East contest before replacing the Big East with the Big 10 in 2002. Four years later, the Big 10 was out, and the ACC was in, and in 2019, the bowl signed a deal with both the Big 10 and SEC to host teams from those two conferences for the next 6 years.
Last year’s game was an instant classic, with Purdue outlasting Tennessee 48-45 in overtime. Beyond that, though, this bowl has been notably light on dramatic matchups, and it has a propensity for upsets, with the underdogs winning straight-up nearly half the time.
This will mark the sixth bowl season the Wildcats have earned a trip to Nashville, while it will be Iowa’s first appearance in the game. Kentucky is 2-3 in this game so far, with their most recent appearance being a 24-23 loss to Northwestern in 2017. Head coach Mark Stoops was on the sidelines for that one, and he’ll be guiding his team this bowl season as well.
While these teams have never played against each other in the Music City Bowl before, this will be the second straight year they come face-to-face in the playoffs, as Kentucky beat Iowa 20-17 in last year’s Citrus Bowl matchup.
What a difference a year makes, though, as these teams are much different from the ones that played in that game — and 20-17 might seem like a thrill-a-minute shootout by the time the Music City Bowl’s all over.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs Kentucky Wildcats Predictions (Music City Bowl 2022)
This is the sort of game that would seem to be ripe for jokes — such as the first team to play offense loses. However, while it’s true that neither of these teams will ever be mistaken for an offensive juggernaut, there’s plenty of intrigue here all the same.
And, more importantly, there’s plenty of value here for the savvy bettor.
Iowa Will Win the 2022 Music City Bowl If:
- Their Backups Are Better than Kentucky’s Backups: This is the key to the game, right here. Neither of these teams are devoid of talent — but much of the talent in this one has either opted out or been relegated to the injured list.
Iowa’s going to be on their third-string QB for this one, as starter Spencer Petras is out, and backup Alex Padilla has entered the transfer portal. Kentucky has a likely first-round QB on its roster in Will Levis — but he’s opted out as well.
Oh, and Levis’s backup? He’s in the transfer portal, too — so this is a third-stringer vs. third-stringer matchup.
If you go up and down either roster, you’ll see a lot of talent and experience that won’t be on display here. It’s a matter of whose backups are best — and that means you can pretty much throw out the records in this one.
- Kaleb Johnson has All the Stamina He Needs: The QB position has been an Achilles’ heel for this team all season, but as per usual, Iowa has a stud running back to rely on. This year, that mantle falls to true freshman Kaleb Johnson, who has had several big games toting the rock for the Hawkeyes.
In his last game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Johnson went over 100 yards, and also boasts a 200-yard outing against Purdue this season. Iowa will likely need him to at least hit the century mark if they hope to win this one.
Of course, the Wildcats are probably going to be loading the box rather than respecting Iowa’s third-string QB, so Johnson will have to be up to the pounding he’ll take on every single down here.
- The Defense Puts Points on the Board: The Hawkeyes are second nationally with 5 defensive TDs in this one, and any help their D or special teams can give their offense will be sorely needed.
There’s a good chance that Kentucky will be following the most vanilla gameplan possible in order to avoid giving Iowa anything for free, but if the Hawkeyes can get a big turnover from Kentucky’s third-string signal-caller, it could be the difference in this game.
Of course, it could also be the only scoring in this game, but let’s try to be positive here.
Kentucky Will Win the 2022 Music City Bowl If:
- The Dual-Threat Option Doesn’t Come Back to Bite Them: As noted above, Kentucky will also be relying on its third-string quarterback, but theirs is a dynamic dual-threat option named Destin Wade.
Wade, a true freshman, will be seeing his first action of the season in this one, but he’s dangerous enough with his legs that he might be able to keep the Iowa defense honest. If he can make a play or two, that might be all it takes for Kentucky to win this one.
Of course, dual-threat QBs are notorious for being a threat to their own teams as well, so if he tries to force something and causes a turnover, he could sink his team’s hopes in a hurry.
- The Element of Surprise is On Their Side: Not only will they be giving a true freshman QB his first snaps of the season, but the Wildcats will also have a brand new play caller steering the ship here, as offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello was replaced by Vince Marrow at the end of the regular season.
That means that Iowa has little idea what it’s going to be in for when Kentucky has the ball, as there’s no film on these two at this level. Will that be enough to get the Wildcats the win?
Perhaps — but the inexperience could hurt Kentucky just as easily. This will be a fascinating aspect of this game that bears monitoring for in-game bettors.
- They Get a Special Teams TD: Kentucky’s offense really hasn’t been much more impressive than Iowa’s this season — but it’s been the butt of far fewer jokes as well. Don’t expect the same type of desperation on defense from the Wildcats that you’ll feel from the Hawkeyes.
This should extend to special teams as well. Expect Iowa to completely sell out on several punts, hoping to get a block for a momentum-changing play. If Kentucky can take advantage of that and put a few good returns together (or even find the end zone), it could be the margin of victory here.
Guide to Betting on the 2022 Music City Bowl (Iowa vs Kentucky)
Looking to get in on the action while watching the Music City Bowl? Here are some of our favorite Music City Bowl betting odds, courtesy of BetOnline:
Kentucky +2.5 Spread @ BetOnline (-110)
There’s just no way to know what to expect in this, so we’d take the points. We also feel like dual-threat QB Destin Wade has the potential for a big play or two, which is more than we can say for the third-stringer on the other side.
Under 31 @ BetOnline (-110)
That’s right — we’re taking the under. This is the lowest O/U we can ever recall seeing in years of watching bowl games, and yet it still feels too generous for these two teams.
We would not be the least bit surprised if the kickers were the only ones that scored in this one.
First Score of Game is a Touchdown: No @ BetOnline (+109)
This isn’t a great price for a prop like this, but it feels somewhat unlikely that any score in this one would be a touchdown, so why should the first score be?
Why Bet on the 2022 Music City Bowl?
Trust us, when you’re three quarters into this game and the score’s 3-2, you’ll be glad you had a little something on the outcome in order to make it interesting.
While this game will likely be quite entertaining in its own way, there’s a good chance it will also benefit from a little pick-me-up. Here are a few more reasons why we’d want to have some action on the 2022 Music City Bowl.
- It’s incredibly convenient: Placing a bet is as easy as whipping your cell phone out and pressing a few buttons. You don’t even really need to take your eyes off the game (and it gives you something to do during the commercials).
- Two established teams: Despite anything else you might say about Kentucky and Iowa, we know who these teams are. Grind-it-out, defense-first behemoths. That makes it easier to bet on this game than most of the other bowl options.
- This could be a wild game: When’s the last time you saw two third-string QBs duke it out in a bowl game? There’s no telling what will happen in this one — which means Vegas’s guess is as good as yours.
Previously in the NFL & NCAA:
- Michigan-Ohio State spread
- Utah vs USC betting odds
- Chiefs vs. Bengals betting odds
- Packers vs bears odds
- Saints vs Buccaneers
- TCU vs. Kansas St. betting odds
- Jaguars vs Jets
Guide to Betting on Music City Bowl
Who is Playing in the 2022 Music City Bowl?
The 2022 Music City Bowl will pit the Iowa Hawkeyes against the Kentucky Wildcats. This is the second straight year these two teams have played each other in a bowl, as Kentucky won by a field goal in last year’s Citrus Bowl.
Which Team is Favored to Win in the Music City Bowl?
Iowa is favored to win by 2.5 points. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why Vegas likes the Hawkeyes in this one, as this feels like a true pick ‘em to us — which is why we recommend taking Kentucky and the points.
Who Typically Plays in the Music City Bowl?
The Music City Bowl has been all over the place in its brief history, but for the past few years, it’s been a Big 10 – SEC matchup.
Where is the Music City Bowl Played?
The Music City Bowl is played in Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. The stadium doubles as the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
- Sports betting in Texas
- Tennessee sports betting
- Montana sports betting
- Kentucky sports betting sites
- Mississippi sports betting
Ready to Bet On Iowa Hawkeyes vs Kentucky Wildcats (Music City Bowl 2022)?
We’ll be honest with you — a Kentucky-Iowa rematch wouldn’t be really high on our list of dream bowl games. However, that doesn’t mean that you should skip this one, as there are a whole lot of weird little quirks to this one that could make it memorable.
Given all the injuries and opt-outs on both sides, this will be like watching two brand-new teams (which is good because the old teams weren’t the most entertaining in college football this year). The opportunity is here for some fresh faces to make big names for themselves in a hurry.
And, of course, if the score is 5-3 going into the fourth quarter, you can always make a few quick prop bets to spice things up.
We’re taking the under-31 bet at BetOnline on this one.
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