The Iowa Hawkeyes (9-3) travel to California this week to battle the USC Trojans (8-4) in the 2019 Holiday Bowl. Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM EST on December 27th at SDCCU Stadium and the game will be televised on FS1.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Iowa is currently listed as a 2-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 51.5 points. You can also click here to check out our 2019-20 bowl predictions page.
Holiday Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Iowa vs USC
USC won three straight games to close out the regular season, reeling off impressive victories over Arizona State, Cal, and UCLA. The Trojans were especially impressive on offense their last time out, outscoring the Bruins 52-35 at home for their eighth win of the year. QB Kedon Slovis was fantastic, going 37/47 for 515 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air. RB Stephen Carr led the way on the ground, rushing for 87 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. Drake London and Amon-Ra St. Brown absolutely torched the UCLA secondary, combining for 270 receiving yards and a touchdown on 16 catches. Overall, USC averaged just over 33 points and 450 total yards of offense through their first 12 outings.
The Trojans weren’t nearly as impressive on the other side of the ball this year, giving up close to 30 points and 425 total yards of offense per outing. USC was especially poor defending against the run, allowing almost 170 yards per game on the ground.
Iowa reeled off three consecutive victories down the stretch to finish the year with an impressive 9-3 record overall. The Hawkeyes certainly weren’t at their best against Nebraska at the end of November, barely escaping with a 27-24 road victory for their ninth win. QB Nathan Stanley really struggled through the air, throwing an interception and failing to throw for more than 100 yards. RB Tyler Goodson led the way on the ground, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. As a whole, Iowa averaged under 25 points and 375 total yards of offense per outing during the regular season.
The Hawkeyes were exceptional defensively this year, holding their opponents to under 15 points and 315 total yards of offense per game. Iowa was fantastic defending against the pass, surrendering only 184 yards through the air per outing.
2019 Holiday Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: OVER 51.5
I’m really not seeing a ton of value with either side against the spread in the 2019 Holiday Bowl, as this matchup could easily go either way. While Iowa had the better record outright during the regular season at 9-3, the Trojans were vastly superior against the spread at 7-5. Therefore, the only play I’m seriously considering in this particular spot is the OVER on 51.5 total points scored. Of course, the Hawkeyes offense was certainly not overly powerful during the regular season and often struggled to score more than three touchdowns on a weekly basis. However, USC racked up 148 total points over their final four outings of the regular season, an average of well over 35 points per game.
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It is also important to note that even though the total has now gone UNDER in six out of Iowa’s last eight games overall, the OVER has come through in four out of their last five meetings with opponents from the Pacific 12 Conference. On the other side, the OVER has hit in five consecutive games that the Trojans have been involved in as well – including two straight at neutral sites. I’m going to avoid throwing darts against a very efficient spread in favor of the OVER on 51.5 total points scored in what should turn out to be a very tightly contested 2019 Holiday Bowl.