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Alex Smith favored to win comeback player award

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Washington quarterback Alex Smith is defying the odds again.

The veteran quarterback, who on Sunday played in his first game since suffering a gruesome leg injury two years ago, is now the odds-on favorite to be named NFL Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press at FanDuel’s sportsbook.

Smith is the favorite at -330, followed by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, who are each listed at +420.

Two weeks ago, Smith was a 10-1 long shot to win the award at FanDuel, but the book trimmed his odds to 4-1 after Washington benched starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins in favor of Kyle Allen. Smith moved him into the role of favorite when reports surfaced that he could ultimately end up as the Football Team’s starter.

Smith replaced Allen late in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams and played the entire second half, completing 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards in his first action since Nov. 18, 2018, when he broke his fibula and tibia in his right leg.

Washington coach Ron Rivera has said that Allen, if healthy, remains the Football Team’s starting quarterback.

The shift in Smith’s odds was based more on his increased chances of playing time than any flurry of bets, FanDuel said.

“While Smith’s numbers may not match those of others in the market, it is incredible that he has returned to the field and we think the current odds reflect how voters are likely to view it,” Kevin Hennessy, spokesperson for FanDuel, told ESPN.

Newton has attracted the most bets to win the award at FanDuel, followed by Roethlisberger.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith is 14-1, with Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt next at 20-1. Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is 32-1, along with Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles.

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Augusta National to host College GameDay during Masters

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built By the Home Depot show has originated from dozens of college campuses across the country since 1993.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, the show will combine two of sport’s greatest traditions — college football and the Masters.

ESPN announced on Tuesday that College GameDay will originate from Augusta National Golf Club, which is hosting the postponed Masters Tournament next month, Nov. 12-15.

Top matchups that day are No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 13 Michigan and No. 2 Alabama at LSU.

“Any time College GameDay travels to a new destination, it’s special, and the opportunity to be on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters is extraordinary,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “As this iconic event coincides with the college football season for the first time, we look forward to getting fans ready for a football Saturday while also showcasing the Masters and the greatest golfers in the world.”

Longtime ESPN hosts Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and others will broadcast from the par-3 course from 9 a.m. to noon ET.

In its 13th year at the Masters, ESPN will once again televise the first and second rounds, Nov. 12-13, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. There will also be expanded coverage on ESPN+, including exclusive practice-round coverage Nov. 10-11.

Golf fans will also be able to watch featured holes coverage on ESPN+ on Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in each of the four rounds of the Masters.

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Follow live: Bayern Munich

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Saves 1

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Lakers’ Green: Expect vets to rest if Dec. 22 start

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With the Los Angeles Lakers just coming off having won the NBA championship on Oct. 11, Danny Green doesn’t expect LeBron James and some of his other veteran teammates to be on the floor every night if the new season begins on Dec. 22.

“If we start in December, I think most guys [are like], ‘I’m not going to be there,'” Green told The Ringer NBA Show podcast on Monday. “If I had to guess, because we have a lot of vets on our team, it’s not like we have a lot of young guys or rookies … to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect see [LeBron] there. I wouldn’t expect to see him probably for the first month of the season. He’ll probably be working out with us … but I just don’t expect guys to want to be there, or show up willingly.

“I think at this moment, and it might be different in two weeks when guys are like, ‘All right, I’m gonna get back in the gym, start working out.’ When we get back in the gym, it’s not right to basketball. It’s, ‘All right, let me start getting into shape’ — lifting a little bit, start running around a little bit. Then I’ll pick up a ball.”

The NBA shared plans for a pre-Christmas Day start and a 72-game regular-season schedule in a call with the league’s board of governors last Friday, and the league plans to move quickly to complete negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association to implement the plan, sources told ESPN.

Other changes include a play-in tournament and the likelihood of no All-Star Game or All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, sources said. The league is considering a two-week break at the midway point of the season, sources said.

James, who turns 36 on Dec. 30, has not commented on the league’s plans.

Green, 33, wasn’t the only Lakers player to suggest that they would rest by either sitting out games or playing fewer minutes if a late December start date is approved.

“The show will go on, just don’t cry a river when stars sit out TV games … esp Top teams that played a longer full season,” Jared Dudley, who is a 35-year-old free agent after winning a ring with the Lakers, tweeted Monday.

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