Holiday Bowl 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for UCLA vs. NC State

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 27, 2021

North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary plays during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

The Holiday Bowl should live up to its primetime billing on Tuesday's bowl schedule. 

The UCLA Bruins and NC State Wolfpack both feature impressive quarterbacks and they have offenses with potential to go up and down the field at will in San Diego. 

Dorian Thompson-Robinson headlines the UCLA offense. The senior will try to go out with a bang after a few seasons as the program's starting quarterback. The Bruins brought in UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel for next season. 

Devin Leary will try to use the Holiday Bowl as a springboard into an important 2022 campaign for NC State. 

Leary had 35 touchdowns and five interceptions in the regular season and he could use Tuesday's game as a chance to make an early impression on NFL draft scouts looking into the future. 

Leary holds an edge over Thompson-Robinson in the quarterback matchup, but UCLA can even that out with its advantage at running back. 

Both offenses are expected to go back and forth inside Petco Park. The Holiday Bowl has the highest over/under on Tuesday's slate. 


Holiday Bowl Info

Date: Tuesday, December 28

Start Time: 8 p.m. ET 

TV: Fox

Live Stream: FoxSports.com and Fox Sports app


Game Odds

Spread: NC State (-2) 

Over/Under: 59.5

Money Line: NC State (-135; bet $135 to win $100); UCLA (+115; bet $100 to win $115) 


Daily Fantasy Tips

Choose Devin Leary In Quarterback Battle

Devin Leary has better numbers across the board compared to Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

In fact, the NC State sophomore could be the best quarterback on the entire Tuesday slate. 

Leary has four touchdown tosses in four of his last five appearances. He leads a NC State offense that averages 288.4 passing yards per game. 

UCLA's passing defense is much worse than NC State's unit. The Bruins gave up 260.2 passing yards per contest and they conceded at least 34 points in each of their four defeats. 

Thompson-Robinson is a solid quarterback in his own right, but he only has 21 touchdown throws. He also has over 1,000 fewer passing yards than Leary.

The UCLA quarterback runs more than his NC State counterpart, but some of the ground production is taken away by Zach Charbonnet.

Leary has been the more explosive of the two Holiday Bowl quarterbacks and that should be the primary reason why NC State comes away with a victory. 

If UCLA finds a way to stop Leary, the Bruins can come away with a win, but it may end the Thompson-Robinson era with a loss if it gets outplayed through the air. 


Take Zach Charbonnet Over Zonovan Knight At Running Back

Charbonnet is the go-to running back from the Holiday Bowl for daily fantasy contests. 

The Michigan transfer earned 1,137 yards on 202 carries and he produced back-to-back 100-yard performances to finish out the regular season.

Charbonnet scored a touchdown in each of his last four contests and he showcased in his last game that he could be an asset in the passing game as well. He caught six passes for 41 yards in the win over the California Golden Bears. 

UCLA's junior running back is preferred to NC State's Zonovan Knight because of the heavy workload he is expected to receive. Charbonnet carried the ball 20 times in six of his last nine trips to the gridiron.

Knight's production is overshadowed by Leary and the rest of the passing unit. The NC State running back has not had a 100-yard performance since September 18. 

Knight could get more usage against a UCLA defense that gives up 384.5 yards per contest, but Leary will have more focus on his wide receivers. 

Emeka Emezie, Thayer Thomas and Devin Carter are much better lineup stack options than Knight because of their high volume in the passing game. Each of those wide outs had at least 550 receiving yards and six touchdowns. 


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