2012 Holiday Bowl Prediction
Baylor (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS, 8-3 O/U) is coming off three straight wins, including at 41-34 win over Oklahoma State at home to end the season on Dec. 1. UCLA (9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS, 9-4 O/U) has lost two straight, both two Stanford, including the Pac-12 championship game on the road, 27-24, getting 9.5.
LINE MOVEMENT: The Bruins opened as a 1-point underdog but the spread has completely flipped and now UCLA is a 3-point favorite. The total also shot up after opening at 74.5 points. It's now as high as 82.5 at some sports books, although most places have settled in at 82.
PUBLIC BETTING: Of the current wagers placed on tonight’s game, 53% of College Football public bettors currently favor the UCLA. This information is subject to change, however, so make sure you click on the link provided to get the most updated public betting numbers.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL PICK: Take Baylor. According to latest college football trends, Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. UCLA is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
This should be an exciting game. Baylor is playing in a third straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Baylor leads the nation in total offense at 578.8 yards per game and ranks fifth in scoring (44.1). UCLA is 20th in total offense (474.5) and 28th in scoring (35.1). Senior quarterback Nick Florence leads the nation in total offense at 387.7 yards per game. Florence has passed for 4,121 yards and 31 touchdowns while being intercepted 13 times. He has a great target in senior receiver Terrance Williams, who set a school-record with 1,764 receiving yards. Williams has 12 touchdowns among his 95 receptions. Sophomore running back Lance Seastrunk (874 yards) has played well down the stretch. Sophomore middle linebacker Bryce Hager has a team-leading 115 tackles, which leads the Big 12. Junior weak-side linebacker Eddie Lackey has a team-high four interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. Baylor has faced a tougher schedule in the Pac-12, which should prepare them for this game. UCLA's pass defense allows 255.5 ypg and won't be up to the task against Florence and the superior Baylor offense.
2012 HOLIDAY BOWL FREE PICK: BAYLOR BEARS +3