Here\'s who to take in The Masters and best bets for more MACtion

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Good afternoon, you glorious subscriber you. I hope you're having a great day. Mine's been pretty good, thanks for asking. It's also an exciting day because, while we've got three more MAC games to enjoy tonight, I know that the Masters starts Thursday morning.
I've always enjoyed The Masters, even though I wasn't much of a golf fan growing up. My grandfather loved golf, and he frequently tried to teach me how to play it, but it was hard, and I sucked. It's one thing to throw a ball or hit it with a bat. I was able to pick up on the finer points of those rather quickly, but for some reason, hitting a golf ball was a mystery my body could not solve. As a result, I didn't get into the sport, though something about The Masters always stood out. It was a combination of the course's beauty with the sense of how important it was to everybody playing that drew me in.
As I've grown older, I still suck at golf, and I still love watching The Masters. I'm also fond of betting on it (it just makes everything that much more fun) and you know I've got some picks for you this weekend coming up in this newsletter. I've also got picks for each of tonight's three college football games. Before we get to them, though, let's catch up on today's news.
  • Make sure you read what our golf experts think about the Masters.
  • The game between Georgia and Missouri became the fourth SEC game to be postponed this weekend.
  • You have to read Dennis Dodd on the Marshall plane crash that took 75 lives as we approach its 50th anniversary.
  • The most overrated and underrated teams in college basketball's preseason AP Poll.
All right, it's time for some MACtion and Mastersion? Is that a word? I just typed it, so it must be!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Eastern Michigan at Ball State, 7 p.m. | TV: CBS Sports Network
The Pick: Eastern Michigan +8.5 (-110)
: Going into last week's season-opener, I was skeptical about Eastern Michigan. The Eagles were replacing QB Mike Glass, who had served as nearly the entirety of its offense in recent seasons. The concerns were put to rest quickly. Although the Eagles lost to Kent State 27-23, it was an impressive performance. As seen on Tuesday night, when it beat Bowling Green 62-24, Kent State has one of the more explosive offenses in the MAC. Eastern Michigan's defense held it at bay last week, and offensively, Preston Hutchinson not only played well but showed a penchant for being able to move the ball vertically in the passing game.
That should come in handy against a Ball State defense that was picked apart a bit by conference rival Miami's passing attack last week. After only one game, Ball State ranks ninth in the MAC in defensive success rate against the pass and 10th in defensive EPA (expected points added) against the pass. Now, Ball State's offense performed well, and I still think the Cardinals win this game most of the time. I don't see Ball State winning comfortably very often, though, so I like the Eagles to cover.
Key Trend: Eastern Michigan is 23-7 ATS in its last 30 games as an underdog.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: You know what loves MACtion more than any human? SportsLine's Advanced Computer Model, and it's got a few strong leans about tonight's game between the Cardinals and Eagles.
💰 The Picks
🏈 College Football
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois, 8 p.m | TV: ESPNU
The Pick: Central Michigan -7.5 (-110) -- 
If you're more comfortable buying the hook to get the number down to 7, do so, but I don't think it's going to matter. What Jim McElwain has done at Central Michigan in such a short amount of time has been impressive. He inherited a team that went 1-11 in 2018 and immediately improved it to 8-6 last season, reaching a bowl game. He's done this largely thanks to revamping the offense into one of the MAC's better units. Tonight the Chippewas are facing a Northern Illinois team that looks to be in rebuilding mode. It's one of the youngest, least-experienced rosters in the country, and that was noticeable last week when the Huskies turned the ball over five times in a loss to Buffalo. Take the Chips and fall in love with redshirt freshman QB Daniel Richardson .
Key Trend: Northern Illinois is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 as a home underdog.
Toledo at Western Michigan, 8 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Toledo (+120) -- 
To be blunt, I think the wrong team is favored here. I don't mean that as a knock on Western Michigan, but more a compliment of Toledo. Both teams crushed worse teams last week to get off to a 1-0 start, but I trust Toledo more on both sides of the ball. If you're more comfortable taking the points with Toledo, trust your instincts. But mine tell me Toledo's winning this game outright.
Key Trend: Western Michigan is 1-8 ATS the game after its last nine wins.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine expert Mike McClure (up over $11K on golf bets since the PGA Tour restarted) is betting on six players at Augusta, including four longshots of 60-1 or higher. One is getting 150-1 odds, another 100-1.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Jon Rahm -- Of all the heavy-hitters playing at Augusta this weekend, Jon Rahm strikes me as the safest option. He was last seen playing the ZOZO Championship three weeks ago, and he played very well, finishing second in the tournament. He's also second among the Masters field in strokes gained off the tee in his last 24 rounds, as well as third in strokes gained from tee to green. That bodes well for his performance this weekend.
Value Play
J.T. Poston -- When I'm looking for a value play in my PGA DFS lineups, I look for two things: good putters and guys I like to make the cut at a minimum. Typically, if a lower-priced option can get through all four rounds, he's going to deliver surplus value on his price. Well, Poston is that guy for me this weekend. He's been putting well this season and currently ranks 19th on tour in strokes gained while putting. Of course, when we whittle the field down to golfers who have played at least 10 rounds this season, he ranks fifth. 
Full lineup advice
SportsLine's team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the nation's most accurate Fantasy experts last year. Plus, use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
⛳ Masters Props
You didn't think I'd send you into Thursday without some props at Augusta this weekend, did you? We're breaking it down into two areas this week. While I'll still be giving you my favorite (and preferred) top 20 plays, I've also got some value picks to win the whole thing as well. Let's get to it.
To Win
  • Xander Schauffele +1400
  • Tony Finau +2800
  • Webb Simpson +3300
Top 20 Plays
  • Webb Simpson -110
  • Jason Kokrak +225
  • Corey Conners +350
  • Sebastian Munoz +350
  • Lanto Griffin +450
  • Henrik Stenson +550
  • JT Poston +600
  • Adam Hadwin +600
  • Charles Howell III +600
  • Justin Harding +800
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