clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Protect Your Unit Is Back For 2016 (Official Rules)

The betting window is open!
Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Degenerates... it’s that time again.

Our pick’em game Protect Your Unit is back for Season 6, and Season 4 of having its own web tool under

For those not familiar; you get $1,000 in fake money to start the season. You can place fake bets on any game or combination of games you wish. You can bet point spreads, money line, over/under, or parlays of 2 or 3 wagers. All lines are based on real lines, and we charge a house vigorish (fee for placing bets). Every week, we have an open thread to banter about the week’s games. There are prizes at the end of the season.

Anyone wishing to sign up can send me an email with your SB Nation username. (Do NOT send me your SB Nation password. I only want your username so we know which player is which.)

This season starts a little early, because there is one early game. The season proper doesn’t start until next week, but California plays Hawaii in New Zealand on August 26 (this Friday!). That game has lines posted. If you have an existing username and password, you can log in and bet on that game.

The official rules for this season are below. The only major change from previous seasons is that you can place a bet up to 30 minutes before kickoff, instead of 1 hour as before. I also haven’t decided where I’m going to collect odds from; rest assured they will come from a wide sample of odds from various real and internet sports books.

And yes, I am working on some upgrades to the platform. I really, really, really mean it this time. Most of them will be ready for next week.

Any questions or comments, please post them in the comments.


1. THE SEASON: The 2016 contest begins Friday, August 26 (the first game of the season) and will run for all 14 weeks of the regular season, through Saturday, December 7. The entire bowl season will be week 15 of the contest.

1. The California/Hawaii game in New Zealand on August 26th is considered part of Week 1. (As a result, Hawaii has two Week 1 games.)

2. The Army/Navy game on December 10th is considered part of Week 14.

2. WEEK: For you MACtion degenerates, the week begins on Tuesday morning and ends Monday night, except as noted in 1. above.


4. ODDS: We will offer the most favorable -110 line for each point spread and over/under wager, and the most favorable money line wager. Odds will be updated approximately once a day. Only lines appearing at are official. We reserve the right to disallow any bets on erroneous lines. See Section 13, "Odds Fine Print" for full details.

5. BANKROLL: Everyone will start with 1,000 units of fake money.

6. ALLOWABLE BETS: Point spread, money line, over/under, parlays.


1. All point spread and over/under bets are -110. That means you must bet $110 to win $100. (A bet of $100 would win $90.91.)

2. Money line bets are not subject to vigorish. The money line for each wager is what you will be paid.

3. Parlays are not subject to vigorish. Two-team parlays pay 2.6 to 1. Three-team parlays pay 6 to 1.

1. Parlays may only include over/under and pointspread bets (not money lines).

2. Only parlays of two or three bets are allowed.

3. If any bet in a parlay is a push, that bet is removed, and the parlay is recalculated as a two-team parlay or single bet.

1. If a parlay has to be recalculated as a single bet, that single bet is not subject to vigorish. A win pays 1 to 1.


1. You must have between 5% and 25% (or between $50 and $250, whichever is greater) of your bankroll in play each week.

1. Your bet maximum is set at the beginning of each week, and does not change during a week. In other words, if you win a game early in the week, that does not increase the maximum you may be on games later in the week. Your limit for the week is 25% of your amount as posted in the weekly standings thread.

2. The minimum bet is $1. These $1 bets are typically made out of spite and we encourage them wholeheartedly.

3. You must bet at least three games, either individually or as part of a parlay.

4. You must bet at least one game involving a current American Athletic Conference team. Those teams are: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa.

1. The list of teams that count as AAC teams will not change during the season, even if realignment occurs.

2. If a parlay wager includes at least one wager on an AAC game, it fulfills this requirement. (added Sept 18 2016)

9. DEADLINE: The deadline for submitting bets is 30 minutes before the game kicks off. There is no "week deadline." You may continue wagering as long as there is still a game that is more than 30 minutes from kickoff, and as long as you have not exceeded your allowable maximum bet for the week.

1. OFFICIAL BETS: Once a bet is submitted via the website, it is official and may not be changed. If you make a mistake, you must email Gary Stephen immediately for a correction.

2. ALLOWABLE BETS: You may bet any combination of lines that is offered. (This allows for split bets, hedge bets, etc.)

10. SUDDEN DEATH BET: If you burn through your entire $1000, you will have one (1) chance to stay in the game.

The week after you run out of money, you must successfully pick one AAC game against the spread. If you win the bet, you get $500 to continue playing in future weeks (although you are still in the books as -$1000 for the season). If you push the bet or lose, you are out of the game. Only one sudden death bet per customer. If you lose the entire extra $500, you are out of the game. Also, if you run out of money at the end of the regular season, your sudden death bet will be on the first game of bowl season.

11. BYE WEEKS: While it's more fun if you play every week, if you're just not feeling any of the games, you are allowed up to two "bye weeks" where you don't place any bets. If you skip more than two weeks, you're not eligible to win the title but you may continue betting for fun and amusement.

You may not use one of your bye weeks during the bowl season. If you bet during a week, but fail to meet all the betting requirements, that will count as a bye week.

12. POSTING TO THE DAILY STAMPEDE: Friday afternoon, all bets are made public, and will appear in the "Weekly Bets" post. Note that this is not a deadline; you may continue to place bets up until one hour before kickoff. On Monday (or earlier, if all games are ended) results will appear in the "Weekly Results" thread.


1. The first lines will be posted Monday night/Tuesday morning, and will be updated approximately once per day. The date/time of the most recent update will appear on the bets page.

2. We will offer the most favorable line for each wager. If one sports book has the game at -6 and another has it at -5, we will let you bet the the favorite at -5 or the underdog at +6. However, see next item:

3. Only point spreads and over/under wagers with a -110 payoff will be offered. Real sports books will occasionally offer a higher payout in exchange for a less favorable point spread, or vice versa. Since our house vig is always 10%, it's not realistic to offer the more favorable line without also charging the higher price tag.

4. "Opening" lines will not be used. This line does not seem to reflect any real lines offered by the books. It seems to be a very early guess, as opposed to initial lines offered by the sports books.

5. Only lines appearing on are official. If a more favorable line appears elsewhere, but disappears before we get it entered into our system, it may not be wagered. We try to keep our odds current, but we can't maintain a constant vigil over it, and live feeds are expensive.

6. We reserve the right to disallow any wagers made on erroneous lines. We try to get things right, but we may accidentally mis-enter a +300 money line as +300 points, or some such thing. This extends to any errors that may appear on publicly published odds. Any disallowed lines will be announced on

7. A football game that ends early is considered complete if 5:00 or less remains on the game clock. A game called off before 55 minutes have been played is considered incomplete, and all bets on it are voided. The money wagered is neither won nor lost.

1. If a game is cancelled or fails to play 55 minutes, any bets on that game still count towards meeting weekly bet requirements.

2. If a game is shortened by mutual agreement of both teams, it is considered complete. (added Sept 18 2016)

8. In case of any disputes not covered by these rules, The Daily Stampede's ruling is final. We will do our best to be fair to all players.