We present a comprehensive model for predicting the full performance of a second harmonic generation-optical parametric amplification system that aims at enhancing the temporal contrast of laser pulses. The model simultaneously takes into account all the main parameters at play in the system such as the group velocity mismatch, the beam divergence, the spectral content, the pump depletion, and the length of the nonlinear crystals. We monitor the influence of the initial parameters of the input pulse and the interdependence of the two related non-linear processes on the performance of the system and show its optimum configuration. The influence of the initial beam divergence on the spectral and the temporal characteristics of the generated pulse is discussed. In addition, we show that using a crystal slightly longer than the optimum length and introducing small delay between the seed and the pump ensures maximum efficiency and compensates for the spectral shift in the optical parametric amplification stage in case of chirped input pulse. As an example, calculations for bandwidth transform limited and chirped pulses of sub-picosecond duration in beta barium borate crystal are presented.