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Protect Your Unit Game - Week 2 Picks

Sep 6, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Munchie Legaux (4) runs for yardage during the first half against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Sep 6, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Munchie Legaux (4) runs for yardage during the first half against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

(DISCLAIMER: These picks are for entertainment purposes only. No actual wagers are being made. Except for the ones being made legally in a Reno sportsbook.)


Sometimes Vegas screws up real bad and gives us something like "Cincinnati -4.5 vs. Pittsburgh." Needless to say, this has already been a very profitable week for almost everybody in the game.

It looks like we got everyone who's going to play to make their picks this week, so we have a lot to get to. We'll start with the current leader, which is... oh, that's me.

Here are my picks:

- $75 on Cincinnati -4.5 vs. Pittsburgh. I'd fake bet more if this didn't seem like such a trap.

- $100 on Kansas State -7 vs. Miami. EcoKat rides again! I was a lot more excited for this fake bet at -6.5 (I hope I can get that price in Reno this weekend for real betting) but I'll still hammer a touchdown here. Bonus fact: RonP signed the Wildcats for this game. Another bonus fact: Bill Snyder probably thinks Jimmy Johnson is coaching the Hurricanes.

- $20 on Nevada -1.5 vs. USF. Oh me of little faith.

- $30 on Texas A&M -1.5 vs. Florida. When you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.

So I got to my hotel and guess what the line is here? -6.5!!!! I'm doing this post as fast as possible so I can run downstairs and lock that bet in with a possibly irrational sum of money.

Here's WVUIE97 from The Smoking Musket, the only other contestant to actually win fake money last week:

I wanted to bet against Pitt on principle last week, but I didn't see the line listed if it was. This week I'm betting against them out of greed.

$248 parlay on Cincinnati -4.5 and OK St. -10.5
$1 Texas A&M -1.5
$1 Iowa St +5

Many, many more picks after the jump:

Now for the contestants who jumped into the game this week, starting with Chris Lane of the newly-named VUHoops:

*($100) Cincinnati -4.5 *-- As I wrote earlier this week on VUhoops, being an FCS program has its privileges, basically not doing what Pitt did on opening weekend.

*($25) Penn State +10* -- Virginia way overvalued after a not-so-big win over a crappy Richmond team. Penn State undervalued. Bad luck against Ohio.

*($50) Texas A&M* -1.5 -- Only because of the billboard A&M fans put up in Gainesville and the sick preview that Good Bull Hunting executed.

*($25) UCLA +5.5 *-- Underrated team. Gambler coach gone = :(

Next is our own Collin, who has some hot speechifying to do.

I write this on a plane to Reno, where Jamie and I will actually be able to put some scrilla down on this ourselves. Naturally, this means every zig we pick will of course zag, because that’s Gambling 101. You can follow our inevitable pain on Twitter: remember comedy equals tragedy plus not covering at the time.

$25 Penn State +10 over Virginia
Look, Penn State is not good. But they’re not as bad as their home loss to MACtion last week either. Killer turnovers are generally just bad luck, so you would think the Lions should fare better over the long haul. Plus, I’m excited for The Key Play to send a "YOU LOST TO A SCHOOL WITH NO PLAYERS LEFT" jokes on Twitter. That guy is awesome.

$25 Ohio State -18 over UCF
Who doesn’t love an early season Ineligibility Bowl! Also, I’m hearing things out of UCF this year that would make Randy Edsall cringe. Like they might have a mass exodus of players at any point. It’s about to get shitshow ugly in Oviedo. I couldn’t be more excited, and I for one am willing to work with the clubhouse lawyers on that team pro bono.

$75 K-State -7 over Tha U
Because obvious line to crush is obvious. This might be the worst line of the year so far. EcoKat should double his net worth, and have enough left over to floss out. And thinking about EcoKat with a grill makes me beyond happy.

Point of order... EcoKat is a she. I don't have a weird and totally unexplainable thing for the mascot. Willie Wildcat is disturbing. Not as bad as the Oklahoma State mascot, but still disturbing. Moving on. Quickly.

$25 Temple +10 over Maryland
In this era of social media and players with Twitter accounts, the FBS football team that doesn’t actually finish a season because too many players quit or walk out is going to happen. Those players will be encouraged by fans, friends, troll-baiters that want to get a coach fired, and friends/followers at other schools saying "hey, transfer here... we’d love to have you." The Terps might be the first team to cross this line, and the fallout will change college athletics long into the future.

At some point, football players are going to rise up and realize that if a BCS school doesn’t play several games, the athletic department loses tens of millions of dollars. The student-athlete’s have all the power in this scenario, and the administration would be literally powerless to stop them. Remember, scholarships are already guaranteed for Fall and Spring, so if a player quit tomorrow he’d still have a full ride for two semesters before he figured out where to transfer.

Maryland might become the test case for what happens next in this scenario. I always root for chaos, insanity, truth to power, and college athletics administrators shitting themselves in fear. Terp Fail 2012, please happen.

$25 USC -26.5 over Syracuse
DOCTOR Daryl Gross returns home! Shame New York’s Home Team is, ya know, bad at football

$25 Nevada -1.5 over USF
On the road, at elevation (someone that used to live out there told me that I’ll be fine during the 5k I’ll run tomorrow... until about two minutes in when the lack of oxygen hits. And then I’m going to want to die), east to west, and Chris Ault just doesn’t lose these games at home. Plus the pistol isn’t something we haven’t seen much of even though our front four looks pretty good. If we can overwhelm them at the point of attack, I think the Bulls can win. If BJ can control the game with his feet and his arm, we can win. But it just seems like a lot of obstacles to overcome, especially when this is a bit of a trap game ahead of Rutgers Thursday.

$50 Duke +15 over Stanford
I saw the Devils in person last week, and I can’t believe I’m saying this… but they actually have weapons at multiple positions. Conner Vernon is for real (he broke basically every Duke career receiving record last week, and still has 11 career games to go), and they can get after it a bit on D. FIU isn’t terrible, and they got their doors blown off at Wallace Wade. This team might actually dominate the crappy end of the Wheel of Destiny.

That really padded the old word count, thanks Collin.

Also from our blog, GarySJ returns for another year of fake bets.

Nothing too fancy this week:

$50 Cincinnati -4.5 over Pitt
$50 Ohio State -18 over UCF
$50 East Carolina +21.5 over South Carolina
$50 UMass +14 over Indiana

And let's welcome back Scott from Bearcats Blog, the 2010 Protect Your Unit champion.

I am not a fan of the team I root for being on the "Let's all jinx them by betting on them and losing" bandwagon. That said...

Cincinnati -4.5 for 100
Notre Dame -14.5, USC -26.5 and LSU -23.5 parlay for 50
Auburn +3 for 25
Miami +7 for 25
Indiana -14 in the "I have never seen Indiana as a 14 point favorite" game for 25
Iowa - 5 for 20
Arkansas St -23 in the Memphis bet of the week

So happy to see the Memphis bet of the week back. Getting 23 points from a Sun Belt team, what a disgrace. That better be one hell of a basketball team.

Time to join back up with last week's contestants, from most money left to least. First is Kevin from The UConn Blog.

$150 Purdue (+14.5) over Notre Dame

$75 PARLAY: Iowa (-5) over Iowa State, Florida (+1.5) over Texas A&M, Texas Tech (-18) over Texas State

$50 NC State (-5) over UConn - Best of both worlds - either UConn wins or I win fake money! /NC State wins by a field goal

$24 Temple (-10) over Maryland - Edsall always plays Temple about 10 points closer than he should, which means Maryland should lose 42-0.

$1 USC (-26.5) over Syracuse - ALL OF THE TOUCHDOWNS

Another staple of Protect Your Unit in that USC bet -- the "Hedge With Hate." I love the Hedge With Hate.

Mike, our newest writer, what do you have?

I think it's time to start breaking out of my conservative shell this week. I really wanted to put another $10 on the money line for USC or Ohio State like my Louisville bet last week, but the handicappers wouldn't have it. So I guess I'll have to work my way back $2 at a time somewhere else.

First, I'm throwing my hat into the ring for the Degenerate Bet of the Week award by putting $30 on the FAU @ Middle Tennessee State game going under 48.5 points. One of these teams lost to an FCS team last week, and the other beat their FCS team 7-3.

Then, I'm going into a "Teams I just want to see lose" parlay of Texas A&M (-1.5) over Florida and Ohio State (-18) over UCF for another $30.

And then a West Coast loser special for my Big East game/can't lose game: USF on the money line, and OK State (-10.5) over Arizona for $30 again. I'm really going against my conscience, betting on my own team, but that's the way it has to be.

P.S. Betting against UCF two weeks in a row is purely a coincidence at this point, but I haven't ruled out the possibility of that becoming a weekly thing.

P.P.S. I really wanted to bet on the Cincy game, but I'll be at the USF soccer game tonight instead and my TV will be home alone with no one to yell at it.

Here's an interesting situation. There is no money line on the USF game, at least not when the lines locked. Since it's only a 1.5-point spread, though, there wasn't going to be much of an advantage to betting the money line, maybe like +$115 or something. So I'm just going to turn that fake bet into USF +1.5, because that way I don't have to unravel a parlay, or cancel all his fake bets because he would only have two legal fake bets, or whatever the rules tell me to do. OK? OK.

On to Andrew from The UConn Blog, who was the only person to figure out how to bet the Cincinnati game and still lose.

Let's start with my Big East Thursday Parlay: Cincy -4.5 and Cincy vs. Pitt OVER 48.5 for $100

I'll homer it up with UConn +5 and UConn/NC State UNDER 49 for $25

And in my taking-too-much-from-one-game parlay: Vanderbilt -3.5 over Northwestern, USC -26.5 over Syracuse, and Syracuse and USC OVER 59. I'll do that for $125.

Up next, the great gunsby's picks:

$75 on Cincinnati (-4.5) over Pitt
$50 on Louisiana Tech (-3.5) over Houston
$25 on Kentucky - Kent State over 44
$20 on Wisconsin (-8) over Oregon State
$10 on Oklahoma State (-10.5) over Arizona

Almost at the end here... here's John from Owlsblog with his picks:

I know I said I was going to bring the funny this week but I lied.

$75 on the Bearcats at -4.5
$50 on Utah at -7.5.
I will put $25 down on the under in UMD/Temple.

Finally, bringing up the rear after one week is ULismyhothot from Card Chronicle. But he makes up for it with a classic story of beer muscles:

$63 Texas State teased up to +24
This is stupid b/c Tech's offense will destroy TXST's D, but I owe it to myself & this contest to roll with the Bobcats + points until it loses. Also, Tech had the worst run D in CFB last year & State runs the option quite well, so that's a thing. Furthermore, this will be TXST's first game in their renovated WE HAVE FBS FOOTBAW stadium so that there crowd fixin' to be Texas rowdy, y'all.

$22 Cincinnati -4.5
Yeah, this line is f***ing weird, man. Usually the WTF Big East games happen at the end of the season, so I think Cincy is safe here.

$44 North Carolina -10.5
Just a hunch bet. Also a "Wake Forest, they suck right? I have no idea. Probably." bet.

$33 Arizona State -3.5
Looked more than 3.5 points better than the Illini last weekend.

$33 Akron +23.5
I think FIU wins by 18-21 here but am interested to see them defend Terry Bowden's spread offense. The Cristoballin' Panthers were pretty bad vs. Duke last weekend & Akron's turnovers made that UCF score look a lot worse than it should've been. I don't want FIU to lose b/c they play Louisville soon, but I think this could be a close game in the 4th quarter.

$33 Air Force +21.5
When I was stationed at an Air Force base in Florida, I lived with an F-15 pilot for a year or so. Once I found out he had previously been the Air Force Academy's starting kicker -- and probably the best they'd ever had to that point -- I challenged him to an impromptu FG kicking contest on a beach. I was three Yuengling's to the wind & he destroyed me [/end of story nobody cares about]. This pick's for you, Boz.

$22 NC State -5
F**k UConn.