Archive for December 27th, 2012

2012 Holiday Bowl Predictions & Picks: Baylor vs. UCLA 12/27/12

December 27th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2012 Holiday Bowl Predictions & Picks: Baylor vs. UCLA 12/27/12
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Bowl Betting

Holiday Bowl2012 Holiday Bowl picks are going to be entertaining to make this year, as we have two teams that are going to be going at it against each other in what could be an unpredictable game in the UCLA Bruins and the Baylor Bears. Join us for our Holiday Bowl keys to the game, complete with our 2012 Baylor vs. UCLA predictions, only right here at Bankroll Sports.

2012 Holiday Bowl: UCLA Bruins vs. Baylor Bears
2012 Holiday Bowl Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
2012 Holiday Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, December 27th, 9:45 p.m. (ET)
2012 Holiday Bowl On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: One of these teams has to play some defense
It’s the obvious statement to make in a game when the ‘total’ is as high as any bowl game has ever seen at 82.5 (and rising), but it’s the truth in this one. We have seen UCLA play in some games like this one in the past, and the key to beating the Arizona Wildcats and the USC Trojans was the fact that the defense came up with two of its better games of the year in those victories. Baylor too, was only able to win games this year in which the defense at least made a few plays, such as allowing 34 points to the Oklahoma State Cowboys or 24 to the Kansas State Wildcats. It was really sad to think that this club scored 63 in a game and still lost by a touchdown to the West Virginia Mountaineers and then turned around three weeks later, scored 50 in Austin and still lost to the Texas Longhorns. It’s not going to take total Herculean efforts on either side to win this one, but whichever team can make a play here or a play there to help quell what would have been a touchdown drive in all likelihood will be the one that ultimately goes on to beat the Holiday Bowl odds.

Holiday Bowl Odds at BetGuardian Sportsbook
UCLA Bruins -3
Baylor Bears +3
Over/Under 82.5
Click Here to Bet Your Holiday Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The Baylor defense has to have an answer for Johnathan Franklin
About the only good news that the Baylor ‘D’ has to bring to the table in this game is that the club “only” ranks 90th in the NCAA in rush defense at 190.8 yards per game. Of course, a lot of that is because the teams in the Big XII are generally a lot more based upon the pass than the run, and the Bears themselves aren’t much of an exception to that rule. That being said, the Bruins would much rather keep the ball on the ground. QB Brett Hundley gets the job done with his feet, but the bell cow of this offense is RB Johnathan Franklin. With 1,701 rushing yards already under his belt, Franklin still has a chance to lead the nation in rushing if he can get over 200 yards on the ground in his final game. Don’t think that he is beyond doing it either, knowing that he just rumbled for 194 yards on a fantastic Stanford Cardinal defense in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Franklin has 4,370 rushing yards and a total of 34 TDs in his career, and he has put together 10 rushing TDs in his last seven games, including scoring at least twice in four out of those seven. This is a man that Baylor simply has to contain, knowing that Franklin has had at least 160 rushing yards in four of his last six.

BetGuardian

Key #3: Terrance Williams has to be the best receiver in the nation
No man had more receiving yards in the regular season this year than did Williams, who had 95 catches, 1,764 yards, and 12 TDs. He had eight of those scores in his first five games of the year though, which really brings up some questions down the stretch. Williams also only had a total of 24 receptions in his last four games, and he only exceeded 91 yards once in those four outings. We have seen this man explode before, as he has had four games this year with double digits worth of receptions, eight games with at least 130 yards, and four games in which he averaged at least 21 yards per catch. Williams has the talent to do anything that he wants to against this unit, but in the end, we have to remember that the Bruins, for all of their flaws defensive, did hold WR Marqise Lee to a relatively tame 9/158/1 stat line, most of which was picked up in the second half of that game against the Bruins. This secondary definitely doesn’t stink as bad as Baylor’s does, and that could make this a huge challenge for the Bears.

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