Authored by College Football Against The Spread Expert Analyst Charlie McDougall and produced by Charliessports.com for their 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl Football game on Friday January 2, 2015 at 3:20 PM EST on the ESPN Television Network.
The (7-5) Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big-Ten Conference West Division will make the trip from middle America to North Florida to take on the (6-6) Tennessee Volunteers of the SEC East Division 2015 NCAA Football action. The teams will play at EverBank Field on the St.Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. This Sports Handicapper believes the Iowa Hawkeyes and head coach Kirk Ferentz have to improve their talent level to compete in the new Big-Ten. Tennessee is building but had a 3-5 record in Conference play. The betting line has Iowa as a Four-point underdog Against The Spread, the betting odds total is 51′ for Friday’s game.
The 2014-15 Iowa Hawkeyes finished a disappointing 4-4 in Conference play after the 8-5 campaign in 2013-14. Iowa lost their last two straight up at home in the regular season, including their final 37-34 to Nebraska. Coach Ferentz is in his 16th season in Iowa City and has been named Big-Ten coach of the year three times. The Hawkeyes offense put up points this season; they return eight players on that side of the football. The Iowa defense struggles a bit but will be better next year. Junior quarterback Jake Rudock threw for 16 touchdowns and over 2,400 yards; his favorite target Kevonte Martin-Manley had only 500 yards receiving. Iowa has a very physical offensive line, it’s been their strength for years, but their rushing attack was suspect. Iowa is 5-1 Against The Spread their last six Bowl games. The betting odds under is 7-1 Iowa last eight on a neutral site. Iowa is 3-2 on NCAA Football Against The Spread Picks away from Iowa City, going over the betting odds total twice and staying under three times. Iowa must dominate the line of scrimmage on offense and put points on the board. The defense will get exposed by Tennessee Speed.
The 2014-15 Tennessee Volunteers finished 5-7 in 2013, and the pressure is starting to mount for coach Butch Jones. Tennessee Volunteers beat Vanderbilt 24-17 on the road in their season finale. The Volunteers lost starting quarterback Justin Worley with a knee injury. Sophomore quarterback Joshua Dobbs took over; he had two interceptions against Vanderbilt. The betting odds under is 4-0 Tennessee last four against non-conference opponents. Tennessee is 5-5 Against The Spread their last ten, going over the betting odds four times, staying under five and have a push. Tennessee plays very well on the defensive side of the football with inside linebacker Al Johnson leading the charge. Tennesse is capable of putting up points and will be able to score on the Iowa defense.
Free Pick: Iowa+4.