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UCLA Bruins vs NC State Wolfpack Holiday Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks

  • When UCLA has the ball – Reliable passing, rushing game makes Bruins potent
  • When NC State has the ball — Efficient quarterback leads the way for the Wolf Pack
  • X-factors to watch

UCLA Bruins vs NC State Wolfpack Odds

Ucla Bruins Vs Nc State Wolfpack December 28

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  • Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass
  • Bruins are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall
  • Bruins are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog
  • Bruins are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 non-conference games
  • Bruins are 1-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
  • Over is 7-1 in Bruins last 8 vs. a team with a winning record
  • Over is 4-1 in Bruins last 5 games overall
  • Over is 6-2 in Bruins last 8 games following a ATS win
  • Wolfpack are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Bowl games as a favorite
  • Wolfpack are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite
  • Wolfpack are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 Bowl games
  • Over is 9-1 in Wolfpack last 10 neutral site games
  • Over is 4-0 in Wolfpack last 4 neutral site games as a favorite
  • ​​Over is 7-3 in Wolfpack last 10 games overall
  • Over is 9-4 in Wolfpack last 13 vs. a team with a winning record

Bruins Can Live In the Air, on the Ground

Most teams have a strength on offense – either a quarterback they can rely on or a running back they trust to carry the load. One thing that makes the Bruins tough to stop is they have a reliable quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet.

DTR, a senior, had the best season of his career – one that never quite became what the Bruins had hoped it would be. He completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,409 yards and finished tied for 34th in the country in both touchdown passes (21) and interceptions (6).

That said, he has thrown four picks in his past four contests after throwing just two in his first eight.

The other piece of this dynamic offense is the transfer running back from the University of Michigan, Zach Charbonnet, who became a fan favorite during his time in LA.

With good reason, too. Charbonnet was named second-team All-Pac-12 running back – rushing 202 times for 1,137 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns. After scoring in each of his fist four games of the year, Charbonnet ws held out of the end zone over the next four weeks, but responded over the final third of the season with six scores.

UCLA will have a tough task in this one, as NC State comes into play ranked No. 23 in total defense and No. 24 in rushing defense.

Wolfpack Fueled by Reliable Quarterback

He somehow stayed under the radar nationally this season, but those in the ACC – and anybody who has played NC State this season – know quarterback Devin Leary had one of the best seasons of any signal caller in the nation.

He was incredibly efficient this season, completing 65.7 percent of his passes, while top 10 in the nation with 35 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Leary’s thrown for four or more scores in four of his last five games, with his leading receiver Emeka Emezie being the primary beneficiary.

The 6-foot-3 receiver led the team in catches (60) and yards (803) and was tied for second in touchdowns (6).

NC State has two other extremely reliable pass catchers in receivers Thayer Thomas, who caught 51 passes for 596 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns and Devin Carter, the deep ball threat.

Carter needed just 31 catches to rack up 556 yards and six touchdowns – his 17.9 yards per catch was the best on the team.

Clearly, it’s going to be a tall task for a UCLA defense that comes into play ranked No. 71 in total defense (and that’s with a rush defense that is in the top 25 in the nation).

X-factors to Watch

For UCLA, we’re watching Chip Kelly. That’s right, the coach is our x-factor. He was seen as a college football savant decades back in his time at Oregon, but has since looked very mortal.

Now he has his team back in the bowl season and has been known to be a gambler. UCLA is going all out for this game – so expect Kelly to come in with some fireworks.

The Wolf Pack, meanwhile, the x-factor is the rushing game. It’s hard to move the ball on the ground against UCLA, so the Wolf Pack will rely on their tandem to do so. Zonovan nKnight had 753 yards and three scores this year while Ricky Pearson Jr. had 636 yards and a team-best five rushing scores.

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How to Watch UCLA Bruins vs NC State Wolfpack Holiday Bowl

UCLA Bruins vs NC State Wolfpack Holiday Bowl Information
Teams UCLA Bruins vs NC State Wolfpack
Location Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Time Tuesday, Dec. 28, 8:00 p.m. EST
How to watch FOX

 

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Tony Garcia

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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.

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