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Protect Your Unit Week 1 Results

In which biases are revealed.

NCAA Football: South Dakota State at Iowa State
If a game is cancelled, but nobody bet on it, did it really happen?
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

(DISCLAIMER: This game is for entertainment purposes only. No actual money is being wagered.)

Whew! That was a long Week 1. A lot of things to report.

  • First, due to a website error, some of you were allowed to make parlay bets that included money lines. The rules have always allowed only over/under and point spread bets, but due to a programming error, you could actually submit one. This error has since been fixed, but I had to resolve the existing bets.

Some of you I was able to contact, and get your parlay changed to something allowable before any games started. For those I couldn’t reach in time, I decided to break each parlay into individual bets. If you bet $50 on a parlay of two money lines, I treated it as two $25 single bets, which were evaluated individually. This was the fairest way I could think of to handle it. I’m really sorry about this mixup. I try to run a smooth game and I hate it when mistakes happen. Thanks for being understanding.

  • Akron-Nebraska and South Dakota State-Iowa State were cancelled due to weather. There was no action on these games anyway, but if there was, the bet would be cancelled. Bets on cancelled games still count towards weekly minimum bet requirements (since it’s not your fault the game was cancelled).
  • North Carolina A&T-East Carolina was postponed from Saturday to Sunday. Any bets made before the postponement remained live. This is in the rules:

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

Also, the game was re-opened as soon as I knew of the rescheduled time, so further bets could be made on it.

Okay, now more website stuff:

  • I added a picks report to the Dashboard page so you can see who you previously chose. This report includes both single bets and parlays. Parlays are grouped, and you can see the outcome of each bet within the parlay.
  • I strongly urge you all to check your dashboard page and make sure everything adds up right. I’m pretty sure it does, but I’ve been looking at this website so long I’m not sure which end is up. Drop me an email if something doesn’t seem to be calculated correctly.
  • I added an All Picks page so you can view everyone’s selections. Picks are only visible if the game has started, or if it is after 12 PM on Friday of game week.
  • Still fixing the status indicators to correctly show your number of bets, parlays, and AAC bets.

On to actual betting news:

  • There were a lot of big middles this week. A middle is a difference between the point spreads available for each team. For example, if the home team is -1 12 and the visiting team is + 3 12 , you can bet both teams, and if the home team wins by 2 or 3, both bets win. If not, one wins and the other loses, so you only take a small loss. A bet of $110 fake dollars on each side either wins $200, or loses $10. It is effectively a $10 bet that pays 20 to 1 if hit. See Jamie’s Gambollllll Glossary for more discussion of gambling terms.

A middle of more than 2 points at the same time is rare. But several Week 1 games, including Central Florida-UConn, had a much as 7. Bowling Green-Oregon was another one. Michigan-Notre Dame at one point had both teams as underdogs. This is all due to differences of opinion among the various sports books that PYU polls to generate is line offerings.

  • Some of you took advantage of the Gambletron 2000, and made wagers that paid minus -102 instead of the usual -110. The first winner was McIntyre2K7, who hit on Boston College -17.5 over UMass. His $20 bet paid $19.61 instead of the usual $18.18. That’s an extra 7 cents paid per dollar wagered. All fake money, of course.

And here’s a tip for you true degenerates: The Gambletron 2000 selects a random team, but it can only select from games that haven’t started yet. So, as the week goes on and the early games start, the number of games to choose from gets smaller. This means that later games are more likely to have a favorable vigorish appear in the Gambletron 2000, once the earlier games have started. So if you know your west coast teams, you are much more likely to be offered a favorable payoff.

This was an unplanned consequence of the new feature. But I’m happy that it drives action on games that start later. These are mostly games outside the AAC and southeast, which are the games I wanted to drive action on anyway. You might say the Gambletron has a little... west coast bias.

  • Elon backdoor-covered against USF (-24). There weren’t a lot of bets on this game, because FBS vs FCS games tend not to have lines until Friday night/Saturday morning. If you like betting those games, and the zany longshot money lines they tend to have, that’s when to check.
  • The new parlay button is popular! We got a total of 16 parlay bets in week 1, not counting those that had to be backed out, as explained above. Two of them hit: mcgies852 (Cincinnati +17 over UCLA, Auburn -2.5 over Washington, Tulane +7 over Wake Forest) and ULhothot (Hawaii +17 over Colorado State, Wyoming -3.5 points over New Mexico State).

Standings as of Monday morning (not including the Virginia Tech-Florida State game):

mcgies852 1233.64
ULhothot 1174.32
E-dogg42 1090.91
undercoverbull 1082.44
ElliotMoore 1082.00
jjlovecub 1043.18
mmmmsnouts 1040.91
HerdCountry941 1020.00
carlzee 1003.18
McIntyre2K7 1002.95
Snafu13 999.45
BrianMartin 993.21
collin 991.46
Gibbsak 984.55
dsidwell31 979.55
jrjs 956.72
Defdans 945.00
BullsOnParade96 940.91
gym399 923.64
Lrdnorman 911.36
GaryStephen 887.73
andrewpina 852.73
anthonyvito 750.00

The two parlay winners are also our first two leaders. These two players also won on the money line: ULhothot hit on Hawaii to beat Navy at +650, while mcgies852 correctly picked Cincinnati at +600. GibbsAK (LSU, Liberty), McIntyre2K7 (North Carolina A&T), and ElliottMoore (LSU) also picked big underdog winners.

The Randolph and Mortimer Spite Bet of the Week Award is shared this week. BrianMartin bet $1 on C. at -4000 to beat UConn, for which he won three fake cents. undercoverbull bet $1 on UConn at +1500. I couldn’t decide which was more spiteful, so they can share the award. I see also that jrjs made the traditional $1 bet against Louisiana Tech.

There were a lot of candidates for the Floyd’s Money Team Degenerate Bet of the Week. but I’ll give it to defdans for taking 40 points in a P5 vs P5 game, having their team score 31 points, and still losing. Ohio State beat Oregon State 77-31. Imagine how many the Buckeyes would have scored if they had Urban Meyer.

Week 2 offers... well, not a lot of big games, as many teams still play outmatched competition. Clemson travels to Texas A&M, though. #3 Georgia has an early conference test at South Carolina. Mississippi State travels to Kansas State, which barely escaped a loss to South Dakota. The always entertaining Iowa-Iowa State is on. Penn State plays at Pittsburgh. Colorado plays Nebraska for the first time since Colorado left the Big XII. UCLA-Oklahoma sounds like a bigger game than it is.

The AAC has a lot of interesting games to choose from. Memphis is at Navy in a conference game. USF will be tested by Georgia Tech’s running game. Houston hosts Arizona of the Pac-12. Tulsa plays Texas. Cincinnati plays its annual rivalry game with Miami of Ohio. SMU, which got rolled by North Texas, now faces rival and Top 25 opponent TCU. Connecticut goes to Boise State. Temple, having lost to local rival Villanova, plays Buffalo. East Carolina lost to North Carolina A&T, and now faces plain ol’ North Carolina. UCF (South Carolina State) and Tulane (Nicholls State) face FCS competition, though Nicholls State did beat Kansas last week, for what that’s worth.

It’s still not too late to join the game and win prizes? You’ll have to take Week 1 as your designated bye week, but you can still participate. Send me an email at and I’ll set you up.