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UCLA vs. Boise State 2023 LA Bowl Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

College football’s bowl season kicks off on Saturday around the country with six games and the marquee one is likely UCLA against Boise State from the LA Bowl. It’s the last time UCLA takes the field representing the Pac-12 ahead of a move to the Big Ten.

UCLA Bruins vs. Boise State Broncos 2023 LA Bowl Game Information

  • When: Saturday, December 16th, 2023, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
  • TV: ABC
  • Radio: AM 1150 (UCLA) // 93.1 FM KTIK “The Ticket (Boise State)
  • Live Stream: CBS Sports
  • College Football Odds: UCLA (-3.5) // Boise State (+3.5)

Why Bet on the UCLA Bruins?

The Bruins closed the regular season with an ugly 33-7 loss at home to Cal on Nov. 25. Moore threw for one touchdown and was 23-for-38 passing with 266 yards. Logan Loya finished the night with nine catches for 88 yards and one receiving touchdown in the loss. Loya moved into a tie for 17th on UCLA’s all-time list for single-season receptions with 58 (tied with Marcedes Lewis, 2005; Danny Farmer, 1998).

UCLA’s four turnovers (2 interceptions, 2 fumbles) equaled the season-high also committed against Colorado. Cal’s 33 points scored were the most allowed this season by the Bruins in a home game. The previous opponent high this season in the Rose Bowl Stadium was 17 by Washington State and Arizona State.

Defensive star Laiatu Latu has won the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and the Lombardi Award which goes annually to the college football offensive lineman/tight end or defensive lineman/linebacker. Latu finished the regular season leading the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.8) and ranked fourth nationally in sacks per game (1.08). His total of 21.5 tackles for loss are the most by any player in the nation this season and the highest mark by a Bruin since Anthony Barr finished the 2012 campaign with 21.5 TFLs. Latu had multiple tackles for loss in seven games during the season and at least 0.5 tackles for loss in each game in 2023.

Latu’s total of 13.0 sacks rates tied for third in the country in the category and is also tied for third on the all-time UCLA list. It is the most TFLs by a Bruin since Barr recorded 13.5 in 2012. His total of 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons is the most by a UCLA player since Barr compiled the same total over the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He has registered at least a half a sack in eight of the 12 games this season.

UCLA’s defense enters the bowl ranked 11th in the nation. The average of 299.0 yards per game allowed is the lowest by a Bruin team since 1992 (297.8). The Bruins lead the nation in rushing defense with a mark of 69.6 yards per game and rate fifth in the country in sacks per game (3.42). UCLA allowed just 2.33 yards per rush to rank second nationally and post the lowest mark by a Bruins team since 1985. The total of 41 sacks on the season is the sixth-most in the country this season and most by a UCLA team since 2012.

This is UCLA’s third-straight season to earn a bowl game invitation and its 39th overall bowl invitation. The Bruins are 16-20-1 all-time in bowl games. They are 47-10-2 all-time against teams that currently make up the Mountain West Conference and last played a MWC team in game two of this season when it defeated San Diego State 35-10 on the road. This will be just the second meeting between the Bruins and the Broncos on the gridiron. UCLA dealt Boise State a 38-7 decision in Rose Bowl Stadium in the 1999 season in the previous matchup.

Why Bet on the Boise State Broncos?

Despite firing Coach Andy Avalos during the season, Boise State (8-5) was the Mountain West champion, which earned interim coach Spencer Danielson the full-time job. Danielson, 35, is the former Boise State defensive coordinator who turned around the program’s fortunes after getting promoted to interim head coach Nov. 12. Danielson led Boise State to a 3-0 record as interim coach, including a 44-20 blowout over UNLV in the Mountain West title game in Las Vegas. Danielson became the first interim coach in FBS history to win a conference championship.

Boise State running back Ashton Jeanty, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, will return to the team in 2024. Jeanty, who leads the FBS in scrimmage yards per game at 164.9, announced last week on social media that he will be “a Bronco for life. Jeanty ranks sixth nationally in rushing yards per game (114.7) and also has 552 receiving yards and 552 receiving yards and five touchdowns for Boise State. He was named first-team All-America as an all-purpose player. Jeanty totaled 1,814 yards from scrimmage and averaged 164.9 all-purpose yards per game this season, ranking second nationally in both categories. He is the only player in the nation with multiple rushing touchdowns of 50+ yards and multiple receiving touchdowns of 50+ yards, scoring two of each.

Bringing the nation’s second-longest bowl eligibility streak into the postseason, Boise State has the opportunity to compete in a bowl game for the 26th straight year. Only Georgia (27), a team which will play in the Orange Bowl, has a longer active streak. Since moving to the Division I-A level in 1996, the Broncos are 13-7 in bowl games and have won four of the past six completed bowl games.

UCLA vs. Boise State Betting Trends

  • UCLA is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • Bruins are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against an opponent in the Mountain West conference.
  • The total went under in 6 of California-Los Angeles’ last 6 games.
  • Boise State is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • Broncos are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.
  • The total went over in 8 of Boise State’s last 11 games.

UCLA vs. Boise State 2023 LA Bowl Expert Betting Predictions

Boise State 23, UCLA 20.

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