Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum is looking to double down.
The Canton, Ohio, native proposed a $10,000 bet in a tweet to Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams that the Cleveland Browns will finish .500 or better in the 2020 season.
Williams tweeted that McCollum would have owed him $5,000 because the Browns failed to reach .500 in 2019 (6-10 record), but admitted they didn’t make the bet in a “timely manner.”
Bet I was just making sure. You want to double the bet for this year ? .500 record . 10k https://t.co/3O4IWtu5Le
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) May 4, 2020
Blazers center Jusuf Nurkić referenced a quote Michael Jordan used during an episode of ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance.”
Jordan was asked whether he had a gambling problem.
“I guess they have competition problems,” Nurkic tweeted.
I guess they have competition problems 🔥😂 #TheLastDance
— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) May 4, 2020
Williams confirmed the new $10,000 wager in a tweet with a handshake emoji, and so did McCollum in a follow-up tweet.
“I’ll meet you in Vegas when the season over,” McCollum wrote.
🤝 bet . I’ll meet you in Vegas when the season over ✊🏾
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) May 5, 2020
McCollum’s bet is pretty much a coin flip.
Ahead of the NFL Draft in April, Caesars Sportsbook projected the Browns win total at 8.5 games for the 2020 season.
Before the start of last season, oddsmakers considered the Browns as the favorite to win the AFC North in 2019.
Trading for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. headlined what was a blockbuster offseason.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield regressed in his second season, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
Perhaps McCollum is confident in the Browns’ acquisitions this offseason, which includes signing tight end Auston Hooper and right tackle Jack Conklin.
The team also selected Jedrick Wills with the 10th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, which should shore up the left tackle position that has been influx since Joe Thomas’ torn triceps injury in 2017 and subsequent retirement.
Protecting Mayfield will be integral in 2020, considering he was sacked 40 times last season, which ranked ninth-most in the NFL.
Establishing an effective running game with running backs Nick Chubb (1,494 rushing yards in 2019, second-most in the NFL) and Kareem Hunt (179 rushing yards in eight games) is also key.
The last time the Browns finished a season with a winning record was during the 2007 campaign when the team went 10-6.
However, the 2002 season marked the Browns’ last postseason appearance.
The Browns have the longest active playoff drought in the NFL and the second-longest in North American professional sports behind only MLB’s Seattle Mariners, who last made the playoffs in 2001.
While the Ravens are considered the favorite to win the AFC North in 2020, no team has won the division three years in a row since the NFL reconfigured divisions in 2002.
Headed into 2020, the Ravens are vying to win their third division title in as many seasons.
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