Taxslayer Bowl: Iowa vs Tennessee NCAAF Betting Preview
The playoff games promise a pair of match-ups filled with finesse football, but don’t expect to see too much of that at the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. The game features Iowa and Tennessee, neither of whom really did much to stand out during the course of the regular season. Despite what this pair did or didn’t do during the regular season, they will enter the game hungry for a win, which opens a chance for college football betting fans to expand their betting options beyond January 1st.
There were many who believed that the Iowa Hawkeyes could be a player in the Big 10 Conference this season, what with so many players returning and a schedule that was not what you would call all that challenging. Instead, what they got was a team that huffed and puffed their way to a 7-5 record. They are coming into this bowl game on a downward spiral, having lost 3 of their last 4 games in the regular season. Two of those losses were tough one at the hands of Wisconsin and Nebraska, but the other was a total demolition at the hands of Minnesota. They are likely going to have to rely on solid defense and good team discipline to win this one.
— TaxSlayer Bowl (@taxslayerbowl) January 1, 2015
Since the awful end to the Lane Kiffin era, any talk about the Tennessee Volunteers is all about how they are rebuilding. This season saw the Vols actually begin to show some signs of those efforts paying off. Things really started to turn around for them when they put Joshua Dobbs in at QB.
That lit a fire under the offense, who finally started to match the solid work put in by the defense all year. Few teams finished the season on a hotter streak, as Tennessee walked away with wins in 3 of their last 4 games, including victories over the South Carolina Gamecocks 45-42 and the Kentucky Wildcats 16-50. A win here could build confidence and set them up for the 2015 season.
The hot finish to the season was enough to give the Volunteers a 3.5-point edge in this one. Tennessee went 6-6 ATS on the season, which included being 3-3 ATS as a favorite. Iowa had the same 6-6 record ATS on the season, but did manage to go 2-0 ATS after having a couple of weeks between games.
IOWA: +3½-110, OV 51 ½ -110, ML +150
TENNESSEE: -3½-110, UN 51 ½ -110, ML -170
The problem that Iowa faced towards the end of the season was a complete inability to get the job done, despite keeping it close. Tennessee were the polar opposite of that at the end of the season. I think the Vols win, but I like Iowa to cover.