Cactus Bowl Spread: 2017 College Football Bowl Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Dec 21, 2017

UCLA

This is a big game because it’s audition time for the Bruins. Chip Kelly is taking over and a lot of players will be trying to earn jobs for next year. Play well in the Cactus Bowl and they’ll get in Kelly’s good books. This team will be motivated.

AT
December 26, 2017, 9:00 PM ET
Chase Field
UCLA
6-6
Pointspread -7 -105
Moneyline -270
Over / Under o +60.5

70%

Betting Action

30%

Pointspread +7 -115
Moneyline +220
Over / Under u +60.5

70%

Betting Action

30%

The Kansas State Wildcats and UCLA Bruins were both 5-5 after 10 games, which left both schools with no guarantees about their bowl futures. Fortunately, both teams were able to get just inside the cut line for bowl eligibility, and now they will get to play each other. This game has a lot of questions, which you will read more about below:

Wildcats vs Bruins Spread and Betting Analysis

Kansas State opened up as a 2.5-point favorite but we’ve seen a little bit of buy back on the Bruins. The line now sits at -2. As for the total, it opened up at 63.5 but the pressure has been on the over and now the line sits at 65.

Kansas State was 5-1 straight up as a favorite this season but covered the spread in just two of those games. UCLA lost all four times as a dog this season, covering just once.

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State played a lot of close games this season. They played Oklahoma very tough before narrowly losing to the Sooners at home, and they also fell short in tight contests with West Virginia and Texas. The Wildcats were 5-5 through 10 games but then closed the season with a road win over Oklahoma State (a team which finished the regular season 9-3) and a home win over an Iowa State team, which beat two top-five opponents in 2017. Kansas State also learned that longtime coach Bill Snyder would be back for the 2018 season, providing continuity for the bowl season and next year.

They should win because their offense does its dirt on the ground, and UCLA couldn’t stop anyone from running the football this season. The Bruins gave up 3400 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns on the season. All but three of their opponents ran for at least 200 yards. That’s terrible. All the Wildcats need to do is turn around and hand it off or run the quarterback, and they’ll be in great shape.

UCLA Bruins

The Bruins struggle on the offensive line. Accordingly, their top NFL prospect, quarterback Josh Rosen, got knocked out of the California regular season finale due to a big hit in the first half. Rosen is expected to play in this game against Kansas State, which is a bit of a surprise. He’s a sure-fire top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and will have a shaky offensive line in front of him. Protecting Rosen is the Bruins’ biggest key to victory. If the Bruins can do that, they should be able to win easily. That’s because the Wildcats have a very weak secondary. They allowed 370 passing yards or more in six games this year, including Kansas. That’s ugly. Rosen and his soon-to-be NFL arm should have no problems finding the gaps.

Cactus Bowl Prediction

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