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Protect Your Unit Week 4 Results

In which we investigate homerism.

Bureau Of Engraving And Printing Prints New Anti-Counterfeit 100 Dollar Bills
USF against the spread has been like printing money the last few years.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

(DISCLAIMER: This contest is for entertainment purposes only. No actual money is being wagered. The photograph above does contain actual money being printed, but that’s it.)

I’ve been running the Protect Your Unit game through my poorly-built web site since 2013. As a result, I now have a database packed with three-plus years’ worth of fake betting data, and I can run some interesting queries on it.

In last week’s results thread, I speculated that our local degenerates were winning a lot of money because they tend to bet on USF, and USF has done very well against the spread as of late. In fact, USF is 12-4-1 against the spread since 2015, the fourth-best record in FBS during that time. (Actually 13-4 for our purposes, since we had them down as a 4.5 point favorite over East Carolina, in a game they won by 5. Line shopping matters!)

But my accusations of homerism turn out to be unfounded.

Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the players are beating the house to the tune of 8,635.58. That includes overcoming the house vigorish, so that’s pretty impressive. However, our players are actually losing money on games involving USF, to the tune of -486.54. Why is this?

  • Not everyone is betting on USF. Of the 173 wagers made on USF games since the beginning of 2015, 22 of them were over/under plays, and 36 of them were against USF.
  • But they should be. Of those 36 bets, only 3 of them won: dsidwell31 on Florida State last weekend; ULhothot on Western Kentucky in the Miami Beach Bowl; and mmmmsnouts on Maryland last season. Our players on aggregate lost -1,402.48 betting against the Bulls, and won 901.56 betting on them. (Over/under plays were pretty much a wash, at a net 14.37.)
  • Players who bet on USF tended to bet more on games USF lost. USF’s four losses against the spread since 2015 were: at Maryland, at Navy, the bowl game against Western Kentucky, and Florida State just this weekend. The handle (total amount bet) on those four games was pretty high: 2862.42, compared to 3158.19 wagered on the 13 games USF won ATS. The former includes a whopping bet of 921.56 made by bullmartin for the Miami Beach Bowl.

So there you have it. Interesting facts about fake betting to get you through your Monday. If there’s anything else you’re curious about, let me know and I can collect the data.

On to this week’s action.

First, there was one invalid bet: I erroneously had Virginia Tech down as +425 instead of -425. I had to void dsidwell’s play on that, as per rule 13.6 of the official rules. I hate doing this - mostly because I hate making mistakes that cause such situations in the first place - so next year I will implement a new rule that will help address these situations. I don’t think it’s fair to do mid-season, but trust me, you’ll like it.


bullmartin 1798.10 -18.18
diddybull32 1597.28 84.55
bullbard 1584.44 227.27
lrdnorman 1518.64 189.74
BullsOnParade96 1459.44 480.91
ElliotMoore 1355.05 -130.47
mmmmsnouts 1254.24 -56.82
eastcoastbull 1211.47 -203.59
defdans 1168.75 10.00
Snafu13 1156.27 96.43
ULhothot 1149.83 -103.28
jjlovecub 1135.00 0.00
collin 1104.37 0.00
AndrewPina 1088.64 -81.82
USFalum7 1063.64 -350.00
dsidwell31 1049.06 -59.09
GaryStephen 982.82 -124.55
DaGata 969.78 -47.49
gym399 966.91 -129.50
ucscott 918.22 -20.91
Gibbsak 911.32 -59.17
MC3443 788.64 0.00

BullsOnParade hit a two-team parlay for 150 on TCU and Western Michigan, for a win of 390, as part of a total of 480.91 for the week. Not bad. Other big winners were bullbard and lrdnorman.

Not a lot of ultra-degenerate plays this week, so I will give Floyd’s Money Team Degenerate Bet of the Week to AndrewPina for betting the UNC Charlotte game two weeks in a row. That school used to be USF’s rival, you know.

There were more candidates for Randolph and Mortimer Spite Bet of the Week, and almost all of them were by DaGata. Let me see if I’ve sussed these bet amounts out correctly:

  • 20.09 and 17.07 on USF over Florida State (the year of the USF’s win and the score of that game);
  • 20.04 and 12.00 on Florida over Tennessee (the last time Florida lost to Tennessee, and the number of years);
  • 19.80 on Georgia over Mississippi (the last time Georgia contended for a national title, though that was also the year of the Lindsey Scott game, so I don’t know that a Gator fan should be gloating about that);
  • 4.08 on South Carolina-Kentucky. Will Muschamp’s last won-lost record at UF? Kentucky’s won-lost record most years? I’m not 100% sure on this one.

Upcoming attractions: conference play starts, and the big game is Louisvlle-Clemson. The Pac-12 also has a top ten matchup in Stanford-Washington. In the AAC, USF goes to Cincinnati; Houston hosts Connecticut, the only team to beat the Cougars last season; Memphis, who hung 77 points on the board last week, goes to Mississippi; Central Florida, fresh off a win at FIU, goes to East Carolina; SMU at Temple; Navy at Air Force; and Tulane is at UMass.