UCLA Bruins vs Virginia Tech Hokies betting odds: Sun Bowl preview, pick

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The computer is picking a high-scoring Sun Bowl and the odds favor UCLA to beat Virginia Tech by six points. This post provided to SB Nation by Oddsshark.com

Despite owning just a 4-4 record over their last eight bowl games, the Virginia Tech Hokies are 6-1-1 against the spread over that stretch.

But they are challenged to repeat that profit run as underdogs to UCLA on the Sun Bowl betting odds menu at OddsShark.com, whose computer is picking a 35-29 result in favor of the Bruins.

UCLA is just 1-4 straight-up in its last five bowl games and is coming off an embarrassing blowout loss in last year's bowl game against Baylor. The Bruins are a seven-point favorite in this year's Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas with a total at 47 in early wagering.

The Virginia Tech Hokies (ACC, 8-4 SU, 4-6-2 ATS, 5-7 OU) had one of the best defenses in football this season, ranking third in the nation in total yards allowed with just 269.6 yards per game and eighth in scoring defense allowing just 17.4 points per game.

Unfortunately for the Hokies, they also had a terrible offense, ranking 96th in the country by averaging just 23.4 points per game. A 6-1 SU and 3-2-2 ATS start went by the wayside as the Hokies finished the season up 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS.

The UCLA Bruins (Pac 12, 9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS, 5-7 OU) couldn't quite get it done in their big games. UCLA was a perfect 5-0 straight-up and against the spread before running into back-to-back road games against Stanford and Oregon, a road trip that just about any team in the country would come out of at 0-2.

The Bruins finished 4-1 straight-up and 3-2 against the spread with impressive road wins over Arizona and USC, but couldn't beat Arizona State at home to win the Pac-12 South. Overall, it was a successful year for the Bruins, who finished 24th in the country in scoring with 36.5 points per game.

Underdogs are 6-1 ATS over the last seven Sun Bowls, and that trend could easily continue with a defense like Virginia Tech's getting seven points. But after being embarrassed in last year's bowl game, UCLA should come into this one with a chip on its shoulder.

The quarterback battle between Logan Thomas and Brett Hundley will be an interesting side story in this one as this game could impact each of their NFL draft statuses.

Computer Prediction: 35-29 UCLA (game would be Hokies cover and OVER bet if this is accurate)

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