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VRBO Citrus Bowl – #12 Penn State Nittany Lions vs #14 Kentucky Wildcats

Can Lion O beat Wildcat D?

The VRBO Citrus Bowl will be played at 1 pm ET on Jan 1 at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. This bowl game offers the #12 Penn State Nittany Lions (9-3, 3rd in Big Ten – East) playing the #14 Kentucky Wildcats (9-3, 2nd SEC – East) Our Citrus Bowl free pick has the Nittany Lions at -4.5 and the over/under at 47.5.

Both teams possess 9-3 records with Kentucky playing in the top-ranked conference in the nation and Penn State in the second-ranked conference. Although the Lions beat #18 Iowa 30-24, they had key losses to #4 Ohio State, #5 Michigan, and Michigan State. Along the way to this game, the Wildcats took down #14 MSU but lost to #6 Georgia. Other key losses were to Tennessee and Texas A&M.

Kentucky – Analysis

Our Citrus Bowl free pick notes that Kentucky’s defense, which held teams to 16.3 PPG, was key to their success. The team held opponents to 181.3 YPG in the air and 144.9 YPG on the ground. Their offense generated 26.6 PPG with 201 YPG of 306 offensive yards on the ground. Benny Snell, Jr. (263 ATT, 1,306 YDs, 5.0 YPA, 14 TDs) is this team’s primary offensive weapon. Sophomore QB Trey Wilson completed 67.6% of his passes, tossing 11 TDs and eight picks. Wilson has also rushed for four scores. The Kentucky defense had 32 sacks, 51 PD, and 8 INTs.

Penn State – Analysis

Penn State scored 34.6 PPG while giving up 20.0 PPG. Their offense was good for 209 rushing yards per game and 215 passing. The State defense gave up 168 rushing and 186 passing yards per contest.

Our Citrus Bowl free pick notes that QB Trace McSorely will be a major factor in this game. The Penn State QB has 27 scores, with 16 being through the pass and 11 via the rush. RB Miles Sanders, who accumulated 1,223 yards, averaging 5.9 YPA and scoring nine TDs. The Lions posted 43 sacks and 13 picks with 54 PD.

Five Keys to the Game

  • Penn State sackers will press Wildcats
  • Kentucky’s tight D could hamper McSorely
  • Wildcats rush attack is prime
  • Nittany Lions can option to victory
  • Penn State is deep on both sides

Our Citrus Bowl Free Pick

Our Citrus Bowl free pick is the Nittany Lions at -4.5. We do like the over at 47.5 in this game. If the Cats shut down the Lions, then the over will be the loser bet. But we expect Penn State to put about 30 points on the board and Kentucky to score about 21. There are two more games today with the final one being the Allstate Sugar Bowl between Texas and UGA at 8:45 pm ET. Access all of our free bowl picks here.

Summary #12 Penn State Nittany Lions vs #14 Kentucky Wildcats Picks – PSU at -4.5 and over 47.5


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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