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Free Prediction: Iowa vs. Tennessee Gambling Spreads & Taxslayer Bowl Preview

Hawkeyes vs Volunteers Pick

NCAA Football Bowl Season Betting action sees the Iowa Hawkeyes taking on the Tennessee Volunteers in the Taxslayer Bowl on Friday January 2nd at EverBank Field. Cappers Picks provides free college football handicapping tips all season long.

One of these teams is inflated, and one is deflated, but it should nevertheless be a compelling bowl matchup in the New Year in Jacksonville.

NCAA Football Wagering

2015 Taxslayer Bowl
Iowa vs Tennessee
Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 2 2015, 3:20 pm EST
Venue: EverBank Field, Jacksonville FL
Broadcast: ESPN
Iowa +3.5, Tennessee -3.5
Over/Under: OFF
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With Iowa and Tennessee, a loved Big Ten program hooks up with a loved SEC outfit, which should make for strong fan support in northern Florida.

The Hawkeyes (7-5) are coming off a disappointing campaign; the return of QB Jake Rudock and a talented, experienced offensive line led by NFL prospect Brandon Scherff raised hopes in Iowa City – especially in a down year for the conference.

All things considered, five losses is nothing to write home about. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State were the only teams in the Big Ten worthy of mention in 2014, Iowa thought it was at the big kid’s table, so to speak.

Conversely, Tennessee (6-6) is thrilled to break a three-year streak missing the postseason. Indeed, the Vols haven’t seen any bowl action since a double-OT loss in the 2010 Music City Bowl. No current Volunteer has played a snap in a bowl game.

It is an entirely new experience for head coach Derek Dooley’s young men.


For Tennessee to have success in the Taxslayer Bowl and send their fans back home to Knoxville happy, it must have some success running the football and stopping the run. That was a troubling trend in 2014 for the Vols; it derailed them in conference games this season.

The Vols won three of their last four contests to become bowl-eligible, including beating South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Big games from RB Jalen Hurd and WR Marquez North would do wonders to help the offense.

For Iowa, it must effectively use some of the weapons at its disposal. For instance, senior RB Mark Weisman had an impressive 14 TDs this year, but averaged a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry. Iowa’s supposedly strong O-line should be paving greater yields than that.

The Hawkeyes have been bowl-eligible for 12 of their past 14 campaigns, but long-time head coach Kirk Ferentz may finally be wearing out his welcome. For years, he hung his hat on squeezing maximum value out of his recruits, but Iowa has underperformed more  frequently in recent seasons.

Iowa finished fourth in the Big Ten West division and was only 4-4 in Big Ten play. Grabbing an eighth win in the bowl game would end the year on a positive note, and may even be a pre-condition for Ferentz’s job security.

Tennessee has been mired in a rebuild, but it slowly showing signs of life. This once-proud football program is desperate to get back to SEC success – a 2014-15 bowl win would start to tell that narrative.

In a game that seems like a difference of mindsets – I take positivity over negativity.

4* Free Play On Tennessee 27, Iowa 21

Look for Tennessee to win this ballgame.

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