Here are the football locks for betting the NFL Week 4 and college football Week 5. This week’s locks include Ezekiel Elliott running wild against the league’s worst rushing defense, Ole Miss’ N.W.O. making enough big plays to keep it close at LSU, Hawaii staying hot against a winless San Jose State and the Patriots avoiding only their second three-game losing streak of the Tom Brady era.
Cowboys (–3) vs. Lions
This week, Dallas needs to feed Ezekiel Elliott and ride their workhorse running back to a home win. Detroit ranks last in run defense, allowing 149.3 yards per game on a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry and the second-most rushing TDs (three) through three games. Zeke has not had 20 carries in any game this season. Prior to this three-game drought, he had never gone more than one game without at least 20 carries. Despite fewer touches, Elliott was still tied for the league lead in rushing, with 274 yards heading into Week 4. The Lions are also coming off a short and emotional week. First-year coach Matt Patricia earned his first career win against his mentor, Bill Belichick, on Monday night.
Ole Miss (+9.5) at LSU
There is plenty of action on this Deep South showdown in prime time at Death Valley. According to gambling website The Action Network, as of Friday morning, 34 percent of bettors backed Ole Miss, but 54 percent of the total money is backing the Rebels — indicating that whales and sharps favor Ole Miss. As a result, the line has moved from +13.5 to +9.5. In an SEC West matchup usually decided in the trenches, LSU is dangerously thin along the offensive line, with four starters set to either miss the game or play through recent injury. But the real X-factor will be Ole Miss’ receivers, the N.W.O. (Nasty Wide Outs) led by veterans A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf and DeMarkus Lodge.
Hawaii (–10) at San Jose State
The Rainbow Warriors struggled to stop Army’s ground game in their only loss of the season thus far, a 28–21 defeat that took place nearly 5,000 miles from Hawaii and kicked off at 6 a.m. island time. Hawaii allowed 303 rushing yards and four TDs on the ground against Army’s triple-option. The good news? Winless San Jose State ranks No. 129 (out of 129 FBS teams) in the country in rushing offense. The Spartans are 0–3, with an embarrassing loss to the Big Sky Conference’s UC-Davis. This will be Hawaii’s shortest trip to the mainland. And Hawaii QB Cole McDonald has been red hot this season, with 20 TDs and just one INT.
Patriots (–7) vs. Dolphins
New England is coming off of back-to-back losses — at Jacksonville, 31–20, and at Detroit, 26–10, on Monday night. Since Tom Brady took over as the Patriots starting QB in 2001, New England has only lost three straight games once, in 2002, when the Pats actually went on a four-game slide with a bye week mixed in. In that same time, Miami has only won at New England twice, in 2008 against Matt Cassel when Brady was injured and in Week 17 of the 2005 season, when Brady only attempted eight passes before sitting to prep for the upcoming playoffs. The ball has been bouncing the Dolphins’ way this year, as they lead the league in average drive start (31.7-yard line) and are second in turnover differential (+4). Expect that good luck to end this week in Foxboro.