Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Update: The Holiday Bowl has been cancelled due to COVID-19 issues

The 18th-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack will try to cap a dream season with a victory against the UCLA Bruins on Tuesday in the 2021 Holiday Bowl. NC State (9-3) is going for just the second 10-win season in program history and faces a Bruins team that is battling a COVID outbreak. The Wolfpack's only other season with double-digit wins was 2002, when it finished 11-3 by beating Notre Dame 28-6 in the Gator Bowl. The Bruins (8-4) are playing in a bowl for the first time since 2017, and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads one of the top rushing offenses in the nation. It will face a stout NC State defense and one of the top passing offenses in FBS led by QB Devin Leary.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at San Diego's Petco Park. The Wolfpack are a two-point favorite in the latest UCLA vs. NC State odds from Caesars Sportsbook, and the over-under for total points scored is 60.5. Before making any NC State vs. UCLA picks for the Holiday Bowl 2021, make sure you check out the college football predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters the third week of the 2021-22 college football bowl season on a 43-30 run on all top-rated college football side picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen massive returns. 

Now, the model has analyzed NC State vs. UCLA in the 2021 Holiday Bowl from every angle and released its picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's Holiday Bowl 2021 picks. Here are several college football odds and betting lines for UCLA vs. NC State: 

  • UCLA vs. NC State spread: Wolfpack -2
  • UCLA vs. NC State over-under: 60.5 points
  • UCLA vs. NC State money line: Bruins +115, Wolfpack -135
  • UCLA: UCLA is 5-5 ATS in its past 10 bowl games (since 2005)
  • NCST: NC State is 6-3-1 ATS in its past 10 bowl games (since 2006)

Why NC State can cover

The NC State defense will be tough for the Bruins to overcome. It allows less than 20 points per game (18th in FBS) and ranks 33rd against the pass (207.6 yards per game) and 25th against the run (124.1). Linebacker Drake Thomas has a team-high 99 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions. The unit has taken the opposing quarterback down 33 times, with Vi Jones (six) and Daniel Joseph (five) also getting in on the action. The Wolfpack are plus-6 in turnover margin, taking the ball away 17 times, and they are 6-4 ATS as a favorite this season.

The Wolfpack are 19th in FBS in passing offense (288.4 yards per game), and Leary has 4,433 yards, with 35 TDs and five interceptions. He threw for 247 and four TDs in a 34-30 win against rival North Carolina in the season finale. Emeka Emezie (team-high 802 yards), Thayer Thomas (eight TDs) and Devin Carter (17.9 yards per catch) are all dangerous receivers. Ricky Person and Zonovan Knight have combined for 1,389 rushing yards and have 49 receptions between them for another 396. The Wolfpack are 5-0 ATS in their last five bowl games as a favorite.

Why UCLA can cover

UCLA is scoring 36.5 points per game (16th in FBS) behind a rushing offense that averages 219.7 yards (12th). It has scored at least 42 in four straight and is 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven after scoring more than 40 in its previous game. Zach Charbonnet has rushed for 1,137 yards and 13 TDs, averaging 5.6 per carry. Backup Brittain Brown has 616 yards (6 per carry), and Thompson-Robinson has run for 609. Thompson-Robinson also has 2,409 passing yards and 21 TD passes and has big-play receiving options in WR Kyle Philips and TE Greg Dulcich.

The pass-catching duo has combined for 1,464 yards, and Philips has scored 10 TDs while Dulcich averages 17.3 yards per catch. Thompson-Robinson threw for 349 yards and four scores in a 62-33 rout of rival USC last month, and Charbonnet rushed for 167. They also combined for 208 rushing yards in the regular-season finale, a 42-14 victory against Cal. UCLA is plus-7 in turnover margin, and the defense has 12 interceptions, with DBs Jay Shaw and Quentin Lake posting three apiece. It also has recovered seven fumbles and has 26 sacks.

How to make 2021 Holiday Bowl picks  

SportsLine's model is leaning over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 61 points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see the model's UCLA vs. NC State picks at SportsLine

So who wins NC State vs. UCLA in the 2021 Holiday Bowl? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the UCLA vs. NC State spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.