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Holiday Bowl 2012 Odds: Baylor is a 1.5 point underdog

The odds-makers are giving UCLA the slightest of edges in what is expected to be a high-scoring toss-up.

Stephen Dunn

Baylor was possibly the most unbalanced team in college football this season: No. 5 in points scored (44.1 a game) and No. 117 (38.2 a game) in points allowed.

The result has been an action-packed slate filled with shoot-outs, as the Bears tried to "hold serve" while opposing offenses lit up the scoreboard against their defense. The odds-makers expect that to continue in the post-season, as they've made Baylor a slight -1.5 point underdog to UCLA in a Holiday Bowl match-up with a whopping over/under of 78.5.

That's the highest over/under for any bowl game this season.

UCLA, the Pac-12 runner-ups who finished the year at 9-4, is a more conventional team. Their offense puts up 35.1 points a game, but they prefer a ground game led by star senior RB Johnathan Franklin, who put up preposterous numbers this year: 1,700 yards rushing and 13 TD's on 6.2 yards per carry.

As a result, the Bruins are likely going to try to pound Franklin up the middle and keep the Bears high-powered offense off the field.

Baylor, which won its last three games to shoot up the Big 12's bowl hierarchy and make it to San Diego, will have to hope that the defensive adjustments made at the end of the season have made a difference.

Otherwise, they'll need a nearly perfect game from senior QB Nick Florence in order to match the UCLA offense.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.