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The 2023 Starco Brands LA Bowl features a battle of programs that ended their regular seasons trending in opposing directions as the UCLA Bruins face the Boise State Broncos. The Broncos (8-5) overcame a 3-4 start to their season that included a coaching change and ended the season as Mountain West Conference champions. They will look to finish their memorable season with a bowl victory against a UCLA (7-5) club that failed to meet expectations. The Bruins finished eighth in a loaded Pac-12 and dropped three of their final four regular-season contests. Boise State will be without quarterback Taylen Green, who is transferring to Arkansas, while UCLA quarterback Dante Moore is in the portal as well.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET from SoFi Stadium. The Bruins are 6.5-point favorites and the over/under for total points scored is 47 in the latest UCLA vs. Boise State odds via SportsLine consensus. Before making any Boise State vs. UCLA picks, check out the college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's Josh Nagel.

Nagel is the SportsLine assistant managing editor and a Nevada-based handicapper with more than 25 years of experience in the sports wagering industry. He posted another winning season for SportsLine members this year and has netted his followers a documented profit of more than $1,500 over the past three seasons.

Moreover, he has a strong understanding of the Mountain West Conference and has gone 11-2 in his past 13 Boise State picks for a profit of $880. This includes a current 6-0 streak of Boise State against-the-spread college football picks. This recent stretch includes advising SportsLine members to back Boise State (-3.5) against Utah State in Week 11. The Broncos cruised to a 45-10 victory to give Nagel's followers an easy winner. Anyone who has followed him has seen profitable returns.  

Now, Nagel has set his sights on UCLA vs. Boise State and locked in his picks and CFB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are the FBS college football odds and betting lines for Boise State vs. UCLA:

  • UCLA vs. Boise State point spread: UCLA -6.5
  • UCLA vs. Boise State over/under total points: 47
  • UCLA vs. Boise State money line: UCLA -247, Boise State +200
  • UCLA: The Bruins have covered the point spread once in their past five games.
  • BSU: The Broncos are 1-2-1 against the spread as an underdog this season.
  • UCLA vs. Boise State picks: See picks at SportsLine
  • UCLA vs. Boise State live stream: fubo (try for free)

Why UCLA can cover

Although both clubs already have lost their starting quarterbacks to the transfer portal, UCLA arguably absorbed the tougher blow when Moore, a celebrated prospect, parted ways with the program. However, it didn't come as much of a surprise considering Moore looked uncomfortable most of the season and didn't progress much as the season wore on.

What's more, the program found a capable signal-caller in backup Ethan Garbers, who authored perhaps UCLA's biggest win of the season in an upset of crosstown rival USC. Garbers threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns against zero interceptions in that contest. For the season, the junior has thrown for 984 yards with nine touchdowns against three interceptions and has gone without an interception in his past three starts. Garbers also has added at least 20 rushing yards in three of his past five outings.

Garbers suffered a right forearm injury in the season-ending loss to California that caused him to miss some practice time in preparation for the LA Bowl, but the program listed him as probable, and he is expected to be the starting signal-caller for the Bruins on Saturday. See which team to pick here.

Why Boise State can cover 

The morale of a program is usually a defining factor in the outcome of bowl games, and there's little doubt the edge in this regard lies with Boise State. The Broncos appeared headed toward their worst season in recent memory following their loss to Colorado State. The program parted ways with Andy Avalos and promoted Spencer Danielson, who was the defensive coordinator for three seasons.

At one point, analytics suggested Boise State had a less than 1% chance of winning the Mountain West title. But their late-season surge, coinciding with Fresno State's collapse, gave the Broncos the opportunity to play for the title.

Following the 44-20 victory over UNLV in Las Vegas, the Boise State administration announced in the locker room that Danielson would be promoted to permanent head coach. The players burst into a loud ovation and swarmed Danielson, who became the first interim coach in FBS history to lead a team to a conference championship.

Conversely, several media outlets reported weeks ago that UCLA planned to part ways with coach Chip Kelly. However, following the regular-season finale, the school announced that Kelly will remain with the Bruins. See which team to pick here.

How to make Boise State vs. UCLA picks

Nagel is leaning Under on the total. He's also found a critical x-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. See what it is at SportsLine.

Who wins UCLA vs. Boise State, and which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the UCLA vs. Boise State spread to jump on, all from the analyst on an 11-2 Boise State run, and find out.