clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Protect Your Unit 2017 Official Rules

Since I have not done so yet, I am hereby posting the official rules for the 2017 Protect Your Unit contest.

They’re pretty much the same as previous years, except that a few things are codified:

  • A definition for “erroneous” lines. PYU reserves the right to disallow bets made on erroneous lines. But we don’t like to do this, especially when it isn’t our error. So the rules now explicitly state that if a line appears in a published line history at least twice, it is considered valid.
  • Clear limits on when edits are allowed. I will generally allow players to email me for a do-over if they make a mistake. However, this will not be allowed if the lines have moved in the interim. So if you mis-entered something, let me know right away.
  • Re-betting cancelled/postponed games. If a game is cancelled or postponed, bets on it will be set to 0, and you may re-use that money. However, you don’t have to; the original bet will count towards your weekly requirements if you don’t re-bet it.

Beyond that, the changes are just minor rewordings, and section 1 is re-written to describe the game schedule for this season. Any questions, please ask.

1. THE SEASON: The 2017 contest begins Saturday, August 26 (the first game of the season) and will run for all 14 weeks of the regular season, through the Army/Navy game on Saturday, December 9. The entire bowl season will be week 15 of the contest.

1.1. Week 1 includes “week zero” games played on August 26, and week 1 proper, which runs from Thursday, August 31 through Monday September 4. (As a result, several teams, including USF, have two Week 1 games.)

1.2. Week 14 consists of regular-season games on December 2, the Army/Navy game on December 9, and all conference championship games.

1.3. Week 15 consists of all bowl games, including the National Championship Game.

2. WEEK: The week begins on Tuesday morning (for all you MACtion! degenerates) and ends Monday night, except as noted in 1. above.

3. THE SITE: The game collects real lines from a variety of online and brick-and-mortar casinos.

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. Any combination of legal bets is allowed.


7.1. All point spread and over/under bets are -110. That means you must bet $110 to win $100, or $100 to win $90.91.

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

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

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

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

7.3.3. 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. 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.


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

8.2. Your bet maximum is 25% of your bankroll, or $250, whichever is greater.

8.2.1. This amount 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, this does not increase the maximum you may bet on games later in the week.

8.3. The minimum bet is $1. These $1 bets are typically made out of spite, and we encourage this wholeheartedly.

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

8.4.1 (added 2017) If you have less than $250 fake dollars remaining, you may bet it all on one wager, if desired.

8.5. 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.

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

8.5.2. If a parlay wager includes at least one wager on an AAC game, it fulfills this requirement.

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.

9.1. 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.

9.1.1. Corrections will not be made if any lines have changed since your bet was entered (added 2017).

9.2. 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.

11.1. You may not use one of your bye weeks during the bowl season.

11.2. 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.


13.1. UPDATING: 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.

13.2. LINES OFFERED: We select odds from a variety of real live and online sports books. We will offer the most favorable -110 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 favorite at -5 or the underdog at +6.

13.2.1. 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 lines that are more/less favorable at the same price.

13.3. OPENING/CONSENSUS LINES: Will not be used.

13.4. OFFICIAL LINES: Only lines appearing on may be wagered. If a more favorable line appears elsewhere, you may not request it. We try to keep our odds current, but we can't maintain a constant vigil over it, and live feeds are expensive.

13.5. ERRONEOUS LINES: 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. Any disallowed lines will be announced on Any wagered money will be returned, so you can place a different bet if desired.

13.5.1. In general, if a line can be found in the line history of a real casino at least twice, it will be considered valid. (added 2017)


13.6.1. If a game is cancelled, wagers placed on it are set to 0, and you may re-use this money to bet on a different game. If a player does not wish to re-bet, the original bet will still count towards meeting weekly bet requirements. (added 2017)

13.6.2. If a game is postponed to a later week, any bets placed do not carry over to the later date. You must re-bet if you want to make the same bet again.

13.6.3. If a game is moved to a later date/time within the same week, any bets placed will stand.


13.7.1. A football game that ends early is considered complete if 5:00 or less remains on the game clock.

13.7.2. A game ended before 55 minutes have been played is considered incomplete, and all bets on it are voided (even bets that would have won, such as over bets). The money wagered is neither won nor lost.

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

13.7.4. If a game is shortened by mutual agreement of both teams, it is considered complete, even if more than 5:00 remains on the clock. (added 2017)

13.8. OTHER: 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.