Citrus Bowl Prediction: Iowa vs. Tennessee Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    Will Iowa or Tennessee end the season in style in this showdown? Step this way for the latest odds, DFS picks, and a Citrus Bowl prediction.

    College football bowl season winds up Monday, with the final non-College Football Playoff matchup seeing the 10-3 Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten take on the 8-4 Tennessee Volunteers of the SEC in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.

    Who ends the season in style? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Citrus Bowl prediction.

    Citrus Bowl Betting and DFS Preview

    All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Citrus Bowl odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.

    • Spread
      Tennessee -6
    • Moneyline
      Tennessee -238, Iowa +195
    • Over/Under
      35.5 points
    • Game time
      1:00 p.m. ET
    • Location
      Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      68 degrees, 6 mph winds, sunshine and clouds
    • How to Watch
      ABC, FuboTV

    Hoping the Hawkeyes can hustle the Vols on Monday afternoon? Is Tennessee the team to take if you’re looking to taste success to end bowl season? If you’re going to take advantage of the Citrus Bowl odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.

    There have been just three previous matchups between Iowa and Tennessee, two of them coming in bowl season, with the Vols holding a 2-1 advantage thanks to a win in the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl. Josh Heupel’s team are favored to extend that head-to-head advantage. While that hasn’t always been a status they’ve excelled in this season, Tennessee should be able to get the win.

    MORE: College Football Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    Tennessee hasn’t covered the spread in their last three games and is only 6-6 on the year. Iowa has also covered twice as an underdog this season. However, they’ve failed to cover as a losing underdog — defeats to Penn State and Michigan — this year. When Tennessee wins, they usually win big, with just one of their eight wins this year coming by six or fewer points.

    Wrapping up the Citrus Bowl odds, hammer the under. It’s Iowa. Hammer the under. This isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. It’s Iowa. Hammer the under. The Hawkeyes haven’t covered the spread since the first week of October. It’s Iowa. Hammer the under. Tennessee is also missing both their leading rushers. It’s a low line. It’s Iowa. Hammer. The. Under.

    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

    Iowa Depth Chart | Tennessee Depth Chart

    • QB Deacon Hill, Iowa
    • QB Nico Iamaleava, Tennessee
    • RB Leshon Williams, Iowa
    • RB Kaleb Johnson, Iowa
    • RB Jaziun Patterson, Iowa
    • RB Dylan Sampson, Tennessee
    • RB Cameron Seldon, Tennessee
    • RB Khalifa Keith, Tennessee
    • WR Nico Ragaini, Iowa
    • WR Kaleb Brown, Iowa
    • WR Seth Anderson, Iowa
    • WR Squirrel White, Tennessee
    • WR Ramel Keyton, Tennessee
    • WR Chas Nimrod, Tennessee
    • TE Addison Ostrenga, Iowa
    • TE McCallan Castles, Tennessee
    • TE Jacob Warren, Tennessee

    There are five college football games on Monday to compile your DFS team. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel Superflex contests require you to select a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a “Superflex” that can be any of the above or a tight end.

    With all due respect, your Citrus Bowl picks are unlikely to feature any Iowa players unless you’re playing in a bowl-specific IDP format created by a monster with too much time on their hands. The Hawkeyes leading fantasy scorer this season is linebacker Jay Higgins. Leshon Williams has 99.2 points as their leading offensive points scorer. It’s a bleak situation.

    MORE: NCAA Football Bowl Games By Conference Record

    Tennessee will be without starting QB Joe Milton and running back Jaylen Wright, who are their top-scoring fantasy assets from the 2023 college football season. Backup Nico Iamaleava is hugely talented, but it might be too big an ask for the true freshman to carve up a strong Iowa defense to the level that would warrant him being the starting QB for your DFS lineup.

    In fact, the Hawkeyes defense makes any picks from the Citrus Bowl a cautionary tale. However, running back Dylan Sampson will likely shoulder a heavy load and already has eight total touchdowns this season behind Wright and Jabari Small. Meanwhile, Ramel Keyton’s nose for the end zone makes him a more reliable bet than the high-target volume of Squirrel White.

    Prediction for the Citrus Bowl

    Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the Citrus Bowl odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction. Kirk Ferentz has a winning record in bowl games as the head coach of Iowa, will he extend that run with a win on Monday? Or can Josh Heupel lead Tennessee to a second successive bowl win for the first time since 2015-2016?

    Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker rightly won the Broyles Award as the nation’s best assistant coach after engineering a 10-3 season. That latter part might sound disingenuous or disrespectful to Iowa head coach Ferentz, but there isn’t a team in the country that has had as much success purely based on how good their defense is.

    MORE: 2023 All-SEC College Football Team, Honors

    The Hawkeyes have allowed just 13.2 points per game, ranking fourth in the nation for scoring defense. They’ve given up just four rushing touchdowns, allowed just 3.00 yards per carry, conceded just 10 passing touchdowns, and restricted opposition QBs to 5.0 yards per pass attempt and 56.0% completion.

    Between ruthless defensive execution and exceptional special teams performance, they’ve been able to overcome a diabolically ineffective offense. In stark contrast to their defensive success, Iowa ranks 130th for points scored, averaging just 16.6 points per game. Although they got to 10 wins by scoring just enough, in the biggest games that just hasn’t worked out for them.

    Tennessee hasn’t been the same offensive juggernaut that they were last season, averaging almost 15 points less per game. That cause won’t be helped by the loss of their top two running backs for the Citrus Bowl. However, introducing true freshman quarterback Iamaleava should give them an offensive spark for this final game of the year.

    Meanwhile, the Tennessee defense has allowed just 22.0 points per game and has done a decent job of stopping the run — Iowa’s only form of offense — this year. They’ve allowed just 13 rushing scores and 3.20 yards per carry. Given Erick All leads the Hawkeyes in receiving yards and touchdowns despite not playing since mid-October, they won’t need to worry about an air attack.

    Prediction: Iowa 7, Tennessee 17

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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