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Cactus Bowl Betting Preview: How Will UCLA Respond After Firing Mora?

Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for the 2017 Cactus Bowl, as Kansas State and UCLA will renew acquaintances for the right to be called champion on December 26.

MyBookie opened the Bruins as 3-point underdogs with a total of 63.5.

Shark Bites
  • UCLA is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of UCLA’s last 15 games against the Big 12.
  • Kansas State is 2-7 SU and ATS in its last nine games in the postseason.

UCLA had a disappointing campaign and fired head coach Jim Mora shortly after it ended. Chip Kelly has replaced him on the sidelines, so things are going to get a lot more interesting in California. Josh Rosen is an excellent quarterback but ultimately chose to skip the game due to lingering concussion symptoms. 

Kansas State has appeared in the postseason for eight straight years and has become a solid bet to beat more talented teams in that span. KSU is great at pounding the ball on the ground, but it still possesses one of the slowest-paced offenses in the country.

The Bruins have perfected the art of coming back late in games. UCLA began the season with a ridiculous come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M after the Aggies were up 44-10 midway through the third quarter. Rosen led the Bruins to a 45-44 victory thanks to 491 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

OddsShark computer score prediction models picked a possible 32-27 win for the Wildcats early in the week. That score may change during the week, if injury or weather factors alter the numbers, so check the college football picks page before game time. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NCAAF matchups here.

Kansas State Wildcats vs UCLA Bruins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

UCLA battles the Kansas State Wildcats, currently with a 7-5 mark (5-7 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, important for totals betting, are 7-4-1 for the Bruins and 6-6 for the Wildcats. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and UCLA vs Kansas State injuries news.

The OddsShark Power Rankings have the Bruins at No. 78 and the Wildcats at No. 88 heading into this contest.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits UCLA's No. 32-ranked offense, averaging 33.75 PPG, against a Kansas State defense that ranks No. 59 this week at 25.83 PPG. The UCLA aerial game is averaging 345.33 yards per game, more than the Kansas State secondary allows through the air, 310.25 YPG per game.

Defensively, the Wildcats feature the league's No. 6-rated road run defense, allowing 100.4 yards per game. UCLA, meanwhile, ranks No. 115 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Wildcats grabbed a Week 13 victory over the Cyclones in their last game, winning 20-19 at Snyder Family Stadium.

Jordan Lasley was good for 227 receiving yards in the Bruins' most recent action, helping his team to a 30-27 victory over the Golden Bears.