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Protect Your Unit 2019 Starts August 1. With Futures!

Our long-running college football fake gambling game is back. And we’re adding another new feature.

150th Belmont Stakes
Our virtual payment window.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

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

Protect Your Unit is back for season 9! And we’re making an exciting new addition: futures betting!

First, an introduction for those who may be new: Protect Your Unit (PYU) is TheDailyStampede’s in-house college football gambling game. Everyone starts the season with $1,000 fake dollars, with which they can enter realistic wagers on college football games over the course of the season. The winner gets some minor website glory, and prizes (though a lot of you haven’t collected, more on that in a bit). But for the most part, it’s just for funsies. And so we can chatter about gambling and the college football season in general.

In brief, the rules are:

  • Start with $1,000 fake dollars.
  • Make 3 or more bets for $50-$250 or 5%-25% of your bankroll each week.
  • At least 1 bet must involve an AAC team (this includes UConn, until they stop playing a league schedule).
  • Bet types available are: over/under, money line, and point spread. Over/under and point spreads pay -110 (bet $110 to win $100), except as noted below. Money lines pay the stated amount.
  • Parlays of 2 or 3 over/under and/or point spread wagers are allowed. They pay +260 and +600, respectively.
  • The Gambletron 3000 offers one randomly-selected play, at a more favorable price of -102.
  • Bowl season is the last week of the competition, and the requirements increase to 5 wagers/$250-$500 or 25% to 50% of your bankroll.

If you’re new to it, don’t let the jargon throw you: we’re a chummy lot and will explain everything as we go. Also, Jamie’s Gambollllll Glossary covers the basics. In fact, let’s use that to explain what a Futures bet is:

These are typically offered before a season or a playoff series begins. Common futures bets in college football include team win totals for a season, postseason award winners, odds of making the College Football Playoff, and so on.

The ProtectYourU.Net website will soon be offering a page of such bets. You can bet on:

  • National Championship winner
  • Playoff qualifier
  • Conference Championship winner
  • Season win/loss total (over or under)
  • Heisman Trophy winner (by school)

As with the regular game, these bets will be based on real-life offerings by real-life sports books. We have an ongoing commitment to realism here. Here are the rules:

  • Futures are completely optional. You don’t have to play them if you don’t want to. You also do not have to play an AAC team.
  • Up to $100 of your season bankroll may be wagered on futures.
  • Futures betting opens on August 1, and closes once the first game of the season kicks off.
  • There are no parlays. Single bets only.
  • Any fake money wagered on futures is unavailable until the futures bet wins or loses. In other words, any money you have committed to futures bets is not used in your weekly bet limit calculation. For example, if you bet $75 on futures and win $100 the first week, your Week 2 bet limits are based on $1025 ($1100, minus the $75 you have committed).
  • Futures bets are not resolved until the regular season is complete. In other words, if you bet on Oregon State to win more than two games, and they win their third game in October, you don’t immediately get paid. This is because they must also play their entire season, as scheduled, for the bet to be valid. See Official Rules for details.

What this means is that December and January will have potential to bring major upheaval to the standings. That will be fun. It will also create new ways of playing, such as hedge bets. What’s a hedge bet? For example, if you pick Georgia to win the SEC before the season, and they make the conference championship game, you could place a single-game bet on their opponent such that you’d be assured of winning money either way.

How do I join?

If you played in a previous season, your existing username/password at still works. If you need a password reset, email me at and I’ll take care of it.

If you’d like to join the competition, send an email to the same address and I’ll get you set up with a username and password for the site. That’s the site where you enter all your selections.

Finally, please ping me if you haven’t collected a prize from a previous season. I’ve compiled standings for previous season, so I’ll be revisiting that and reaching out to people as well.

All are welcome to join! Any questions, please ask in the comments or by contacting me!