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NC State vs. UCLA Odds, Date: Opening Spread, Total for 2021 Holiday Bowl

NC State vs. UCLA Odds, Date: Opening Spread, Total for 2021 Holiday Bowl article feature image

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

NC State vs. UCLA Odds

NC State Odds-1
UCLA Odds+1
DateDec. 28
LocationPetco Park in San Diego, California

NC State is set to take on UCLA in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Find our expert’s projected odds, a recap of each team’s seasons, plus more information on the Holiday Bowl below.

NC State vs. UCLA Projected Odds

NC State Spread-2.5
UCLA Spread+2.5

These NC State vs. UCLA projections are based on Collin Wilson’s college football power ratings, which help power our PRO Projections — they compare all of his projections to real-time college football odds in order to easily identify betting edges.

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How NC State Reached the Holiday Bowl

While its 2021 season was certainly a success, evidenced by a 9-3 overall record, NC State also left some wins on the table.

A 1-point loss at Miami and a 3-point loss at Wake Forest could easily have gone NC State’s way, turning the Wolfpack’s season into an 11-win campaign.

Still, anytime NC State beats rival North Carolina, fans are happy and that’s exactly what this team pulled off this season.

From a college football betting perspective, the Wolfpack grinded out a 54.5% against-the-spread (ATS) win rate this season, but did post some relatively drastic home/away splits.

For example NC State was a healthy 4-2 ATS at home this year, but just 2-3 ATS away from the friendly confines of Carter-Finley Stadium.

How UCLA Reached the Holiday Bowl

Chip Kelly has UCLA bowl eligible for the first time since he became the Bruins’ head coach in 2018. That feels sort of odd to say, considering there have been talks about Kelly’s job security.

This was the first season that UCLA felt like a top team in the Pac-12. The Bruins got off to a rousing start, beating LSU in a game that surprised everyone at the time but doesn’t seem like a shock looking back at it.

The Bruins finished the season with an 8-4 record. They also covered in every game they won and failed to cover in any game they lost, finishing with an 8-4 record against the spread.

UCLA got it done with running the football on offense and stopping the run on defense. That’s typically a recipe for low-scoring games but not many of its games were of that variety this season. The Bruins ranked 17th in the nation in rushing yards per game with 215.2.

UCLA finished the season ranked first in the Pac-12 in scoring offense while scoring 36.5 points per game. The Bruins’ biggest flaw is the pass defense, which ranked last in the conference in passing yards allowed per game.

NC State vs. UCLA Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how NC State and UCLA match up statistically:

NC State Offense vs. UCLA Defense
Rush Success90110
Line Yards3842
Pass Success1460
Pass Blocking**4692
Big Play4469
Finishing Drives4149
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UCLA Offense vs. NC State Defense
Rush Success86
Line Yards2533
Pass Success336
Pass Blocking**631
Big Play2929
Finishing Drives6146
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling3762
Middle 84627
SP+ Special Teams4479
Plays per Minute95100
Rush Rate45.6% (122)60.8% (23)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Holiday Bowl Date, Time, TV, More Info

  • Date: Dec. 28
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Petco Park in San Diego, California
  • TV Info: FOX

The NCAA has utilized baseball stadiums for postseason matchups on occasion, and a pair of programs get the luxury of stepping foot on the Padres’ Petco Park for a late-night, Holiday Bowl clash.

The Big Ten received an invite in six straight years from 2014-20. It went a blistering 5-1 over the Pac-12, which has sent a program to the Holiday Bowl every year since 1997.

The Big 12 and WAC also have previous tie-ins.

Last year’s Holiday Bowl was wiped due to COVID-19. The most-recent winner was Iowa, which beat USC 49-24 in 2019.

BYU (11) has more than double the number of appearances in the Holiday Bowl than the next-closest team.

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