UCLA vs. Boise State betting lines, props, predictions: Broncos hold motivation edge in LA Bowl

The LA Bowl should have been renamed The Quarterback-Transfer Bowl, as both UCLA’s and Boise State’s regular signal-callers bolted into the portal after the season. Or, The Grass is Greener Bowl?

Taylen Green, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound sophomore who helped guide the Broncos to three key victories, and then piloted the ship in a 44-20 victory over UNLV in the Mountain West title game, hit the road.

He landed at Arkansas on Monday.

For the Bruins, 6-3, 210-pound freshman Dante Moore hit the highway. He tossed three touchdown passes in UCLA’s zapping of rival USC, 38-20, in the Trojans’ Coliseum. The Detroit native has shown interest in Oregon, Michigan State and Michigan.

Their replacements are more accurate than they were this season.

UCLA also will miss two tough defensive backs and junior wide receiver Kam Brown, while Boise won’t have outstanding sophomore receiver Eric McAlister. All took their grievances to the portal.

The biggest question in analyzing UCLA vs. Boise State odds will be the Bruins’ motivation, since they’ll be playing in a bowl game in a stadium that they could just about walk to. Yippee! 

For Boise, a shot at a Pac-12 program—no matter the venue—is a big deal, and that will set the tone in Saturday’s national ABC broadcast that begins at 7:30 p.m.

We make it a push between the quarterbacks, Ethan Garbers of the Bruins and Maddux Madsen of the Broncos.

And we give an edge, and the game, to Boise’s dynamic tailback duo of Ashton Jeanty and George Holani, over UCLA’s backfield combo of Carson Steele and TJ Harden.

UCLA vs Boise State odds: Point spread, moneyline, total

Here are the latest college football betting odds for the Aggies vs. Bulldogs

UCLA betting news: Cheers against USC were rare season-ending positive notes

Despite that raucous triumph over rival USC, for city-bragging rights, the Bruins don’t have much else to bark about.

They failed to cover four of their past five games, and the last six games of their regular season, and eight of the final nine, finished UNDER their projected totals.

It was a flat team that will be even flatter against Boise State, because the magnificent Laiatu Latu, a two-time All-Pac-12 first-team selection, will miss it as to prepare for the NFL draft.

The sophomore defensive end led the country with 22 tackles for loss, according to sports-reference.com. He recorded 13 sacks, and had two interceptions, two deflected passes and two forced fumbles.

Even with some of these bold figures, UCLA registered a poor -0.116 points-per-play margin in its past three games, in the bottom third of the nation.

Garbers began his career at Washington, and in his third season in Westwood he appears to have secured the ballyhooed starter’s spot. He started the first game, but injuries nagged him.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly said he expects Garbers to be available Saturday. Elsewhere, Kelly will be shorthanded on the sideline as he’s lost three assistants—including defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn to USC, for the same post.

Related: Best college football betting sites | Latest college football betting promos

Boise State betting news: This bowl figures to matter much more to the Broncos

The Broncos had a 0.383 PPP margin that ranked third in college football, trailing only LSU (0.539) and Arizona (0.406), over their final three games.

That trio of victories, by a total score of 116-49, came under interim boss Spencer Danielson. Andy Avalos was sacked after a 42-14 triumph over New Mexico; Danielson has since been named permanent coach.

Jeanty ran for 1,262 yards this season, averaging 6.2 per dash and scoring 14 times. His dual abilities — 552 reception yards and five aerial TDs — will sting UCLA.

Even better for Boise, he has pledged his allegiance to the Broncos’ program for the rest of his collegiate career. The 5-8, 210-pound sophomore will be a menace to the Bruins, and 5-11, 210-pound sophomore Holani (117 runs, 5.2-yard average, 5 TDs) will spell Jeanty.

In Prince Strachan (26.3-yard average, 2 TDs), Austin Bolt (29.2, 2) and Jayden Virgin (21.0), Madsen has a trio of young receivers who will test the Bruins’ secondary.

Ahmed Hassanein is a 6-3, 272-pound end who had 16.5 tackles for loss this season, with 12.5 sacks. He’s from Cairo, Egypt, and is one of college football’s more intriguing stories.

A 6-foot, 226-pound weakside linebacker, Andrew Simpson tallied 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. His 60 over tackles were third on the Broncos.

More bowl game previews: Cure Bowl odds | New Mexico Bowl odds

Players opting out of the LA Bowl

Here’s a list of players not available for the LA Bowl for UCLA due to transfer or opt out:

  • QB Dante Moore
  • TE Carsen Ryan
  • DB Kamari Ramsey
  • DL Laiatu Latu
  • DB John Humphrey

Boise State players not playing in the LA Bowl because of transfer or opting out:

  • QB Taylen Green

List of players compiled by VSiN.

LA Bowl: UCLA vs. Boise State prop picks

The Broncos have enjoyed their second quarters this season, averaging 13.1 points. That’s tied for fifth, with LSU, in the country. Lately, however, they’ve poured it on before halftime, averaging a national-best 20.7 points in that quarter.

You’ll have to await the end of the first quarter to nab something on Boise for the second, just keep those numbers in mind. As for the opening half, DraftKings has set UCLA -1.5 for the first 30 minutes. We recommend Boise +1.5, at -112, since the Broncos average 26.3 points, No. 6 in the game, in the first half; UCLA has averaged just 7, in the bottom-20, in its past three games.

UCLA vs Boise State prediction ATS

The Bruins understandably got jacked to play USC in the Trojans’ yard, but three of their other four final regular-season games were quite disturbing. They tallied just a single touchdown apiece in losses at Arizona, and at home against Arizona State and California, and yielded a total of 77 points to those three squads.

Boise won five of its final six, by an average score of 38-14; the defeat was a 37-30 decision at Fresno State. Without Latu on UCLA’s defense, Boise QB Maddux Madsen will have time to execute a game plan that boat-raced UNLV for the Mountain West crown.

Pick: Broncos


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