Holiday Bowl Pick – Baylor vs. UCLA
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Date/Time: December 27th, 7:00 pm EST
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Holiday Bowl Pick – December 27th
The Holiday Bowl is expected to be one of the highest scoring games on the bowl schedule this year, and college football betting fans are going to be entrenched in this one for the Baylor Bears and the UCLA Bruins.
The Bears played in the Alamo Bowl last year and ultimately put up a whopping 67 points in a bowl game that featured 123 points. It was a showcase game for QB Robert Griffin III, who left Baylor on a high note. Last year in that game, WR Tevin Reese had 101 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards, while WR Terrance Williams had six catches for 62 yards. Of course, at this point, these two were the second and third receivers for the team, and now, they are the highlights for QB Nick Florence. Florence actually had numbers this year that were comparable to those that RG3 put up in his Heisman campaign. The senior threw for 4,121 yards and 31 TDs and rushed for 531 yards and nine scores. Williams had 95 catches, 1,764 yards, and 12 scores, while Reese had 889 yards and eight trips to the end zone. The problem is that the Bears have a defense that has been ranked 120 or worse in virtually every category, and they are clearly going to have to win this game in the form of a shootout if they are going to do so.
The Bruins went to the Pac-12 Championship Game for the second straight year this year, but this time around, they were a heck of a lot better of a team. Last year’s club finished out at 6-7 and only made it to the league title game because USC was on a bowl ban, and the only reason the team went to a bowl was because of the fact that it filed a waiver to go to a bowl game in spite of its sub-.500 record. Head Coach Jim Mora Jr. did just the trick for the Bruins in this, his first year of coaching the team. Mora decided to keep both QB Kevin Prince and QB Richard Brehaut on the bench in favor of rookie QB Brett Hundley. Hundley threw for 3,411 yards and rushed for 365 yards, accounting for 35 total touchdowns against 11 picks. RB Johnathan Franklin was still a rumbling back, as he bulldozed his way to 1,701 yards and 13 scores. This is a team that has some talent at the receiver position as well. WR Shaq Evans had 53 catches, 795 yards, and two TDs, while TE Joseph Fauria had 40 receptions, 561 yards, and 11 TDs.
This is one of the toughest games to handicap a winner in the whole bowl season. We tend to think that UCLA has the better of the two defense, but the whole freshman quarterback thing scares us. As a result, we’re going to recommend the ‘over’, think that there are going to be at least 80 points on the board when push comes to shove. UCLA 45 – Baylor 41