Holiday Bowl 2021: NC State vs. UCLA

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college_football
BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Dec 20, 2021, 9:27 AM

Two offensive juggernauts will slug it out in the 2021 Holiday Bowl when UCLA and NC State square off.

According to the latest college football odds, NC State (-1.5) will enter as a slight favorite. I expect a lot of offense in the Holiday Bowl, with the over/under set at 59.5.

Holiday Bowl Game Information:

  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 28th
  • Time: 8:00 P.M. EST
  • Venue: Petco Park in San Diego, CA
  • Participants: NC State vs. UCLA

Here are some bets to consider for this compelling matchup:

NC State -1.5 (-110)

Both offenses have been explosive, ranking in the top 35 in average points scored. However, this game may be decided by which defense can slow down the opposing offense first.

NC State appears to have an edge on the defensive side of the ball. The Wolfpack defense allows only 19.7 points per game, while the Bruins defense gives up close to a touchdown more on average at 26.75.

NC State quarterback Devin Leary has been impressive all season, throwing for 35 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

NC State ranks 19th in the FBS in average passing yards. Meanwhile, UCLA has been vulnerable against the pass all season, conceding more than 260 yards per game (111th overall).

UCLA went 0-3 against other top Pac-12 teams in Oregon, Utah and Arizona State. In those games, the defense struggled mightily, conceding an average of 40 points per game.

The Bruins have a prolific rushing offense that averages over 200 yards per game. However, NC State may be up to the task of slowing them down with a 25th-ranked rushing defense.

In a game where defensive stops may be at a premium, I believe the Wolfpack defense will find more success getting key stops and getting off the field.

Over 59.5 (-110)

Despite the high total, the over seems like a decent play with high-powered offenses on both sides.

The UCLA Bruins enter with the 16th-ranked scoring offense, averaging 36.5 points per game. NC State trails only slightly, averaging 33.1 points per game.

While NC State has some defensive advantages, the Bruins’ high octane offense will be difficult to shut down completely.

Here are some trends to consider when betting the total:

  •  NC State is averaging 39 points scored in its last three games
  •  UCLA is averaging 49.3 points scored in its previous three games
  •  NC State has scored at least 27 points in eleven of its twelve games
  •  UCLA has scored at least 30 points in nine of its twelve games

If both offenses can find some rhythm, I believe that they will eclipse 60 combined points.

NC State To Win and Over 48.5 (+140)

This moneyline/total combination parlay is an intriguing option if you like NC State to win while getting plus-rated odds. Adjusting the over/under to 48.5 gives it a significantly better chance to hit, given the prolific nature of both offenses.

Also, five of NC State’s last eight games have gone over 48.5, while seven of UCLA’s last eight have gone over that number.

Holiday Bowl Bets

There is a lot to consider when sizing up Holiday Bowl betting options. However, NC State appears to have some key advantages that might tip the scale in their favor. Whoever ends up winning, you can expect plenty of fireworks.

Check BetMGM’s online sports betting for the latest odds on Holiday Bowl 2021. Then, create an account to bet on all of this season’s bowl action.

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.