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Protect Your Unit Season Wrap-Up

So who won all the fake money?

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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

College football season is over, and it’s time to declare the winner of Protect Your Unit 2018. Your final standings are.... drum roll please...

x-BullsOnParade96 2127.62
jrjs 2052.72
andrewpina 1326.42
x-mcgies852 1209.20
jjlovecub 1046.37
x-ucscott 1008.59
ULhothot 899.28
x-collin 865.21
HerdCountry941 766.89
carlzee 759.09
GaryStephen 758.50
x-mmmmsnouts 738.97
Gibbsak 692.92
Defdans 657.34
E-dogg42 547.66
x-Lrdnorman 386.26
x-gym399 316.55
Snafu13 293.60
x-BrianMartin 220.42
x-dsidwell31 167.69
anthonyvito 151.44
ElliotMoore 110.91
McIntyre2K7 0.00
undercoverbull 0.00

Players with the x- indicator didn’t play the required number of weeks, so our 2018 winner is jrjs, with an impressive $2,052.72 in fake money! Second place goes to andrewpina, who came up with a strong run late. jjlovecub finishes third, and is the only other full participant to be in the black this season.

After Week 10, the race was pretty tight:

E-dogg42 1,396.90
jjlovecub 1,383.37
jrjs 1,332.25
gym399 1,319.19

While most other players chased big parlays to their own detriment, jrjs took the slow-but-steady approach: avoiding parlays, making a lot of small bets, and pouncing on favorable lines where they existed. A split bet on West Virginia -120 and Syracuse +240 paid off big, and provided the winning margin. Andrewpina had a shot to get within $150 or so in the national title game, but took Alabama. jrjs, risking a drop below $2,000, correctly took Clemson. Much like Ted Williams on the last day of the 1941 baseball season, the man doesn’t rest on a made goal.

This was the Year of the Parlay. The website was updated to make parlay betting easier, and people took advantage. A total of 371 parlay wagers were placed, more than all previous years combined. Of those, 66 won a total of $10,786.99 in fake money. The rest lost $15,366.97, making parlays a losing proposition overall.

Interestingly, our players were better at picking straight bets than parlays. Individual bets within parlays won 472, lost 470, with 9 pushes - almost exactly .500. Straight bets of the same types (point spread, money line) went 693-642-25, for a winning percentage of about .519.

In fact, let’s break down the entire bet pool:

Parlays: 66-305 (.178), -$4,579.98
Pointspread: 547-506-17 (.519), -$1,129.25
Over/Under: 146-136-8 (.518), -$77.89
Money Line: 139-337 (.292), -$609.22

Conventional wisdom is that you need to win 11 out of 21 (.5238) to break even, as that success rate covers the standard bet cost of $110 to win $100. So a little below the mark there.

We also added a new feature this season: the Gambletron 3000, which picks a random game and offers a favorable -102 point spread. Only 80 bets were made on it, which did win $329.60 for our players. I’m working on ways to improve this feature for 2019.

BullsOnParade96 $780 (bet $300)
Over 64.0 points in the Washington State-Oregon State game (Washington State 56, Oregon State 37)
Under 58.0 points in the California-Arizona game (Arizona 24, California 17)

BullsOnParade96 $600 (bet $100)
Central Florida -13.5 points over Florida Atlantic (Central Florida 56, Florida Atlantic 36)
Notre Dame -7.5 points over Wake Forest (Notre Dame 56, Wake Forest 27)
North Texas -12.0 points over Liberty (North Texas 47, Liberty 7)

BullsOnParade96 $600 (bet $100)
Texas Christian -21.5 points over Southern Methodist (Texas Christian 42, Southern Methodist 12)
Houston -4.0 points over Arizona (Houston 45, Arizona 18)
Army -9.0 points over Liberty (Army 38, Liberty 14)

BullsOnParade, who had to drop out after week 7, sweeps the board. The bets are ranked by amount won, then by how correct the bets were, in terms of total points.

BrianMartin $247.50 (bet $99)
Virginia Tech +250.0 money line to beat Florida State (Virginia Tech 24, Florida State 3)

BrianMartin $245.48 (bet $270)
Cincinnati +25.5 points over Connecticut (Cincinnati 49, Connecticut 7)

jrjs $199.99 (bet $83.33)
Syracuse +240.0 money line to beat West Virginia (Syracuse 34, West Virginia 18)

Yes, Cincinnati was a 25.5 underdog to Connecticut, due to a data entry mistake by the real-life sports books. If life gives you a dodgy line, jump on it. (There will be fewer opportunities to do so later.) As mentioned above, jrjs also had West Virginia at -120 as a hedge; when the underdog won, he pocketed $100 that put his lead out of reach.

bullsonparade96 (lost $250)
Over 64.5 points in the Central Florida-East Carolina game (Central Florida 37, East Carolina 10)
Over 67.5 points in the Oregon-Washington State game (Washington State 34, Oregon 20)

BrianMartin (lost $250)
Florida -7.0 points over Vanderbilt (Florida 37, Vanderbilt 27)
Kansas State 31, Oklahoma State 12 (Oklahoma State -7.0 points over Kansas State)
Central Florida 31, Memphis 30 (Central Florida -4.0 points over Memphis)

bullsonparade96 (lost $250)
Under 54.0 points in the UCLA-California game (UCLA 37, California 7)
Virginia Tech -6.0 points over North Carolina (Virginia Tech 22, North Carolina 19)
Under 59.0 points in the Virginia Tech-North Carolina game (Virginia Tech 22, North Carolina 19)

dsidwell31 also lost $250 on the Army-Navy game (Army -7/Over 41), but this was the least wrong wager of the three, so it takes fourth place. He’s off the hook for an ignominous medal. (This will become relevant later.)

jjlovecub lost $220
Oregon -2.5 points over Michigan State (Oregon 7, Michigan State 6)

McIntyre2K7 lost $200
Connecticut +3000.0 money line to beat Syracuse (Syracuse 51, Connecticut 21)

BrianMartin lost $200
South Florida +245.0 money line to beat Houston (Houston 57, South Florida 36)

JJLoveCub didn’t have a good bowl season. High-scoring Oregon giving up only 2 12 points seemed like a good play; who knew the teams wanted to recreate the 2008 Sun Bowl? (The Oregon State-Pittsburgh game that ended 3-0, not the game where Oregon stomped USF.)

McIntyre2K7 ran low on units early, and made a big bet on a long shot that would have won him the competition by a mile if it came in. There are worse plays when you’re low on chips, but UConn turned out to be one of the worst FCS teams in recent memory, while a then-questionable Syracuse team turned out to be Top 20. UConn lost by 30, and that was one of UConn’s better performances. There are no real challengers for Floyd’s Money Team Degenerate Bet of the Year. McIntyre2K7, please accept your consolation prize.

Snafu13 also lost $200 on Central Florida +260 over LSU. But since that bet was the least wrong of the three single plays that lost $200, he takes fourth place in the category.

Cincinnati +25.5 over Connecticut (Cincinnati 49, Connecticut 7) - dsidwell31, BrianMartin
Wake Forest +12 over Duke (Wake Forest 59, Duke 7) - GaryStephen
Army +3 or +4.5 over Houston (Army 70, Houston 13) - E-dogg42, andrewpina
Iowa - 14.5 over Illinois (Iowa 63, Illinois 0) - GibbsAK

Houston +3.5 or +5 over Army (Army 70, Houston 13) - ULhothot, HerdCountry941
Ohio State -13 over Purdue (Purdue 49, Ohio State 20) - gym399, CarlZee, UndercoverBull, GaryStephen, HerdCountry941
Wake Forest +20.5 over Clemson (Clemson 63, Wake Forest 0) - gym399

Over 68.5 points in the Houston-Texas Tech game (Texas Tech 63, Houston 49) - GibbsAK, anthonyvito
Over 51.5 points in the Miami (OH)-Buffalo game (Buffalo 51, Miami (OH) 42) - E-dogg42
Over 71 points in the Houston-Texas Tech game (Texas Tech 63, Houston 49) - UndercoverBull, carlzee

Under 48.0 points in the Louisiana State-Texas A&M game (Texas A&M 74, Louisiana State 72) - anthonyvito

Missed it by 14 touchdowns. Ouch. This is probably the worst loss of all time.

Under 69.5 points in the Liberty-Massachusetts game (Massachusetts 62, Liberty 59) - HerdCountry941
Under 72.0 points in the Liberty-Massachusetts game (Massachusetts 62, Liberty 59) - E-dogg42

Oregon State +1350.0 money line to beat Colorado (Oregon State 41, Colorado 34) - ULhothot
Akron +1100.0 money line to beat Northwestern (Akron 39, Northwestern 34) - GaryStephen
Hawaii +650.0 money line to beat Navy (Hawaii 59, Navy 41) - ULhothot
Temple +650.0 money line to beat Maryland (Temple 35, Maryland 14) - Defdans, McIntyre2K7

Auburn -620.0 money line to beat Tennessee (Tennessee 30, Auburn 24) - Gary Stephen
Kentucky -225.0 money line to beat Tennessee (Tennessee 24, Kentucky 7) - gym399
Michigan State -185.0 money line to beat Arizona State (Arizona State 16, Michigan State 13) - gym399

One of my offseason projects is to build a CSV file of all the bets going back to 2013, so you can perform your own analysis of this type. And of course, other new features and improvement which I’m sure you will all enjoy.

Thank you all for playing! We intend to be back in 2019 with even more fun and features. We appreciate that you all took time this season to play, banter, and have a little fun. See you all against in August.