Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Picks: UCF Knights vs. Baylor Bears

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 6:58 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 6:58 PM UTC

The Baylor Bears are going to attract plenty of action due to their explosive offense, but the UCF Knights are dangerous underdogs when their balanced attack on that side of the football. 
<p><span style="font-size:1em">Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><span>Join <a href="/college-football/free-picks/sbr-forum-s-ncaaf-bowl-contest-a-35479/" title="Join SBR's NCAAF Bowl Contest at SBR Forum." target="_blank">SBR's NCAAF Bowl Contest </a>and make the most of this year's Bowl season.</span></em></p> <p><b>A memorable season</b></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Baylor concluded its most successful regular season in school history by compiling a school-record 11 wins, with its only loss coming against the Oklahoma State Cowboys as 7.5-point road favorites on Nov. 23.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The Bears feature the nation’s best statistical offense, as the <a target="_blank" title="College Football Team Stats" href="/college-football/betting-stats/">unit averages 53.3 points per game and 624.5 yards per contest</a>, with signal-caller Bryce Petty throwing 30 touchdowns and just two interceptions.</span></p> <p>Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is a dominating 24-3 SU and 19-8 ATS as favorites.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><b>Stepping up in class</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>UCF enters the bowl season with an 11-1 SU and 7-5 ATS record, which led to capturing the American Athletic Conference championship—a distinction that many felt the Louisville Cardinals would finish with at the start of the year.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>The Knights have dropped their previous five meetings against current Big 12 Conference opponents, but they did manage to pick up their first wins over a Big Ten and top-10 team earlier this year—beating Penn State and Louisville respectively.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/college-football-handicapping/" title="Share your thoughts with fellow NCAAF bettors" target="_blank">College football handicappers</a> should not that the squad covered the number in all three of its tries as an underdog this year.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><b>Playing in Arizona</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>The Bears are going to attract plenty of action in the betting market due to their high-powered offense, but they’ve never won in the state of Arizona.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>Baylor suffered a 34-13 road loss against the Arizona State Sun Devils in 1990, while it dropped a 24-0 decision to the Indiana Hoosiers in the 1991 Copper Bowl.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><b>Balanced attack</b></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The Knights feature one of the more balanced offenses in college football, with quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson being the key players to handicap.</span><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>UCF finished the season with 24 rushing touchdowns and 23 passing touchdowns, which was made possible by an offensive line that had only left tackle Torrian Wilson (2) miss a game this season.</p> <p>[gameodds]6/252358/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]</p> <p><b>Prediction</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>I'm going to recommend that readers back the Knights with their <a href="/college-football/" title="Free NCAAF Picks &amp; Betting Odds" target="_blank">college football picks</a>, as they've covered the number in their last five games versus non-conference opponents.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em"><strong>College Football Pick:</strong>  UCF Knights +17</span></p>
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