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BC-AP Sports Preview Digest,1st Ld-Writethru

BC-AP Sports Preview Digest,1st Ld-Writethru

Eds: Updates.

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Sunday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. All times EST:

- MELBOURNE, Australia - Novak Djokovic becomes the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian titles when he beats Andy Murray 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

- SAN DIEGO - Tiger Woods has a two-shot lead and faces a long day in the Farmers Insurance Open. With a day lost to fog, plans call for golf from sunrise to sunset with no winner determined until Monday.

- HONOLULU - The best in the AFC and NFC meet with a mandate that they take the NFL's all-star game more seriously or face the prospect of the game going away. Game starts 7 p.m.

- OWINGS MILLS, Md. - In this age of high-powered offenses, the 49ers and Ravens provide a reminder in the Super Bowl that defense still matters.

- SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Now a backup quarterback for the 49ers, Alex Smith's trip to New Orleans this week is hardly how he envisioned it.

- OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Nothing was going to stop the Ravens' Torrey Smith this season. Beating NFL cornerbacks was nothing compared to coping with the death of his brother in a motorcycle accident.

- NEW YORK - It might be the most interesting TV drama at the Super Bowl. How will Jack and Jackie Harbaugh look as they watch their sons coach in the NFL championship?

- BOSTON - Ray Allen plays in Boston for the first time since signing with the Miami Heat. The Celtics are trying to break a six-game losing streak. Game starts 1 p.m.

- LOS ANGELES - Kevin Durant leads Oklahoma City against a Los Angeles Lakers team that is seven games below .500. The Thunder have the best record in the NBA. Game starts 3:30 p.m.

- CHICAGO - The Blackhawks try to set a franchise record with their sixth straight win to start the season when they play the Detroit Red Wings. Game starts 7 p.m.

- BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Coach Tom Crean squares off against former boss Tom Izzo when No. 7 Indiana faces No. 13 Michigan State in Big Ten basketball. Game starts 1 p.m.

- OMAHA, Neb. - Jeremy Abbott can win his fourth title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but he'll have to hold off Ross Miner and Joshua Farris. Men's free skate starts 1:15 p.m.

- MARIBOR, Slovenia - Slovenia's Tina Maze wins a World Cup slalom before home fans a day after she just missed capturing the giant slalom.

- KITZBUEHEL, Austria - Austria's Marcel Hirscher wins a World Cup slalom, and Croatia's Ivica Kostelic takes the combined for the fourth year.

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Suggs, Smith among six Ravens named to PUP list

Suggs, Smith among six Ravens named to PUP list

The Ravens announced six players placed on the physically unable to perform list Saturday - linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, linebacker Elvis Dumervil, running back Trent Richardson, and cornerback Jumal Rolle.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (knee), cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot), tight end Dennis Pitta (hip), and cornerback Will Davis (knee) were not placed on PUP, indicating they were ready for the team’s first full-team training camp practice Thursday.

Any player on the PUP list can be activated and return to practice at any point prior to the regular season. Once a player is placed on the regular-season PUP list, he must sit out at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

RELATED: WILL SMITH'S BODY BETRAY HIM AGAIN?

Rolle (Achilles injury) is expected to miss the entire season. Here’s the breakdown on the other five PUP list players:

Suggs – He still has not fully recovered from his season-ending Achilles injury suffered in Week 1 last September. Suggs is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday, where further details about his progress should be revealed.

Smith Sr. – Also recovering from a season-ending Achilles injury suffered in November. Smith said he would not care if he missed the entire preseason. His priority is to be ready by Week 1.

Perriman – He suffered a knee injury during minicamp which did not require season-ending surgery. However, Perriman has still not played a preseason or regular season game since being drafted in the first round in 2015. After two knee injuries in two years, the Ravens have every reason to be cautious with Perriman until they think he is ready to return.

Dumervil – He had offseason foot surgery after playing through pain last season. Dumervil missed mandatory minicamp, but did not sound concerned about being ready for Week 1.

Richardson – His lingering hamstring issue could ruin his bid for an NFL comeback. The Ravens are deep at running back, and Richardson needs to get healthy to have any chance to win a roster spot.

MORE RAVENS: FLACCO HAS LONG ODDS FOR MVP

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Best case, worst case scenario for WR Steve Smith Sr.

Best case, worst case scenario for WR Steve Smith Sr.

Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka are taking turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope leading up to veterans reporting to training camp. They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Steve Smith Sr., 37-year-old wide receiver

Best-case scenario for Smith:

He enjoys a typical 1,000-yard season, and he remains the Ravens’ top receiver.

Why it could happen:

It’s dangerous to bet against Smith making a full recovery from Achilles surgery, even in the twilight of his career. Few athletes perform with more of a chip on their shoulder than Smith, who is always driven to prove doubters wrong. He’s a technician at route running, he studies film diligently, and he’s a master at using his body and hands to ward off defenders. Smith never relied on pure speed to be a top receiver. So even if he’s a tad less explosive, Smith has the talent to end his career playing at a high level.

Worst-case scenario for Smith:

Smith’s body betrays him, and the Ravens’ depth at wide receiver reduces his playing time and role.

Why it could happen:

Father Time is undefeated, and may finally be calling for Smith. The older an athlete gets, the harder it gets to recover from injuries. With their deep group of tight ends, and the addition of wide receivers Mike Wallace and rookie Chris Moore, the Ravens may not be as dependent on Smith as they have been. Even if Smith is healthy, his role in the offense might be less prominent.

RELATED: FLACCO HAS LONG ODDS FOR MVP

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Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariota

Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariota

Joe Flacco has been a Super Bowl MVP and has won 10 playoff games. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have played one NFL season.

However, all three of those quarterbacks have been given the same odds (100/1) of winning next season’s MVP award by sportsbook Bovada.lv.

People who think Flacco is an elite quarterback may view that as disrespect. But the Bovada.lv odds throw even more shade at Flacco.

Sixteen quarterbacks are given a better chance of winning the MVP award in 2016 than Flacco. Some of the names you would expect, like Aaron Rodgers, who is the favorite at 4/1, followed by Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1), and Tom Brady (9/1).

But do Blake Bortles (66/1) of the Jaguars or Brock Osweiler of the Texans (66/1) really have a better chance of winning the MVP than Flacco? According to Bovada.lv they do. That’s also an indication that not much is expected from the Ravens overall after their 5-11 season. The better your team does, the better your chances of winning the MVP.

Newton won the MVP last year starting at 50/1 odds. So if you believe in Flacco and the Ravens, those 100/1 MVP odds for Flacco may look like an enticing play.

RELATED: Can Dumervil lead a rebirth of Ravens's pass rush?