UCLA makes the 12 minute trip South to Inglewood to play in the 2023 LA Bowl betting matchup. That would give the Bruins the proximity edge against MWC champion Boise State, but the Broncos also come into this contest with momentum as winners of four straight.
Oddsmakers have the Bruins as -6.5 favorites, up from a -2 open. Both teams have to navigate through the transfer portal costing them their starting QBs, so with that unpredictability is the correct route here to take the points? 56% of the betting public still like UCLA, banking on them having a significant advantage in crowd support.
Why UCLA Has Value at -6.5
The Bruins should have an advantage sleeping in their own beds and using their own facilities in the leadup to 2023 LA Bowl betting. Being so close to Hollywood could definitely be a distraction for the Broncos, as nobody would ever describe Idaho as being “star studded.”
UCLA also has to be as motivated as any team could be…playing in the LA Bowl. Chip Kelly’s club is not only close to home, but the school is also trying to end a postseason losing streak that goes back to the 2014 win in the Alamo Bowl. The Bruins are also trying to atone for a skid down the stretch that saw them lose three of their last four so in that regards a three week break to recalibrate could be a good thing.
Boise State puts up some points (32.9 ppg) but also lose the maestro of that statistic as QB Taylen Green has decided to enter the transfer portal and head to Arkansas. Their backup has played two snaps all season and while you could say BSU could rely on their #7 rushing attack – the Bruins also boast the #3 rush defense in the country allowing less than 70 yards/game on the ground.
Why Boise State Has Value at +6.5
The Broncos fired their head coach Andy Avalos when the team was 5-5, and the Boise State players responded by closing out the regular season with two victories and then toppling UNLV 44-20 in the MWC Conference Game. That makes the LA Bowl more than just a ho-hum postseason game on the opening day of bowl season – but rather a chance for former interim coach Spencer Danielson to prove the program was right to make him the full time guy on December 3rd.
The loss of Green does hurt the Boise State offense considering they have scored 42+ points in three of their last four, but true freshman CJ Tiller has had time to prepare for his first collegiate start. Not only that, UCLA loses their starting QB as well with former 5-star recruit Dante Moore entering the portal and being rumored to be linked with the likes of Michigan and Oregon.
Tiller has his work cut out for him against a good UCLA defense that was 11th in total yards allowed and gave up just 18.1 ppg. That Bruins unit is also going to be missing Pac-12 Defensive POY Laiatu Latu as he prepares to be a high NFL draft pick as well as coordinator D’Anton Lynn who is headed across town to try and fix the trainwreck USC defense.
Free 2023 LA Bowl Betting Pick
The UCLA defense is going to look a lot different on Saturday – and although the Broncos offense will as well, it’s hard to bank on a Bruins offense that looked so bad over the final month of the regular season.
Free Pick: Boise State +6.5