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Protect Your Unit Season Wrapup

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 06 Lendingtree Bowl - Louisiana v Miami OH
Believe it or not, this play decided this season’s winner.
Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

And the winner of Protect Your Unit 2019 is Undercoverbull, with a grand total of $2856.61!

The National Championship Game actually had no impact on our contest. Even though Undercoverbull picked Clemson, opening the door for any LSU bettors, no one wagered enough to catch the leader even if he lost.

The last major challenge to Undercoverbull’s win came from way back in the field. AndrewPina made a $400 parlay on Tulane, Louisiana, and LSU all to cover. It was worth $2,400 if it hit, possibly enough to launch Andrew into first place depending on Undercoverbull’s results.

But halfway through the fourth quarter of the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, after a replay review, Louisiana took over possession leading Miami of Ohio 24-17. One more touchdown would match the minus-14 Andrew took on the Ragin’ Cajuns, and give him a chance to win going into LSU-Clemson. Louisiana had fourth-and-short at the 17 yard line, but an offsides on Spencer Gardner forced them to settle for a field goal. They didn’t pad their score later and failed to cover, breaking AndrewPina’s big play.

That was a theme this year; running hot and cold on parlays. Third-place finisher jrjs got off to a slow start, and couldn’t make up the lost ground. Speruche led most of the season and got his total over $3,000, but couldn’t hit late and finished up with only $1,186.00, good for fifth. Even our winner Undercoverbull was third from last after five weeks, having lost $400 already. But he created a bit of lore:

In the Week 6 picks thread, our champion pre-emptively blamed failed his selections for that week on a new brand of gin he’d been sampling. Instead of losing, he ended up winning $520 on a parlay including Maryland and, of all teams, USF (to cover against Connecticut). That started his hot streak that ran most of the reason of the season.

And, it gave us a new traditional prize for the winner: a 750ml bottle of the silver gin in question.

I hereby proclaim the trophy the Protect Your Unit Gin Bowl, which is less dumb than at least five actual bowl games. Non-alcoholic alternatives will be available for anyone who would prefer that. I have contacted this year’s winner, and last year’s winner jrjs who hadn’t been paid off yet, and prizes and instructions are on the way.

The most 1980’s thing about that video isn’t the hair, clothes, colors, or production values. It’s that the band Loverboy got top billing ahead of The Police and The Who. In an attempt to return things to their correct order, here are this season’s final standings:

undercoverbull 2856.61 285.68
Danj725 2201.76 -90.91
jrjs 1634.80 -149.79
GaryStephen 1215.43 147.73
speruche 1186.00 -1185.99
camweed12 1123.48 0.00
Oak1787 1008.88 702.00
carlzee 988.43 0.00
HerdCountry941 982.98 -350.26
mmmmsnouts 938.83 0.00
mcgies852 874.02 0.00
briank19 838.46 0.00
andrewpina 739.77 -50.98
Snafu13 722.09 0.00
Gibbsak 717.07 146.36
anthonyvito 706.72 -375.00
ElliotMoore 661.62 50.91
Defdans 607.54 -137.27
jjlovecub 544.00 0.00
gym399 496.26 0.00
McIntyre2K7 454.72 -468.12
BrianMartin 315.00 0.00
BullsOnParade96* 254.81 0.00
E-Dogg42* 91.00 -500.00
LrdNorman 52.68 0.00
Julmisteforheisman 0.00 -5.46
ULhothot 0.00 0.00
dsidwell31 0.00 -379.00

Big winners in bowl season were: Oak1787, who parlayed $280 on LSU/under in the national championship game. He won $702 overall, and got into the black for the season, jumping all the way to $1008.88 and 7th place. Despite losing on Clemson, Undercoverbull won $285.68 overall, enough to protect his lead. Yours truly (147.73) rounds out the top three. GibbsAK (146.36) and ElliotMoore (50.91) also had a profitable bowl season.

One interesting proposition wager was made on bowl season. McIntyre2K7 wagered $1 fake dollar on both teams in every single over-under. I suspect the theory was that underdogs win more often in bowl season. Overall, this lost a grand total of $8.12 across 37 games. For fun, I ran this strategy over the course of the entire season, and it lost $82.92 over the 789 games that had money lines. (Almost exactly ten percent, the typical house edge.) This strategy seems more viable during the regular season, where the occasional big upset can push you into the black, whereas bowl games are pretty evenly matched. But this is an interesting idea, and I intend to study it some more.

And that’s it for this season! Thanks again to everyone for playing. It’s always a pleasure for me to run the season. I intend to be back next year, with some more new and interesting features. Hope you all will too. We’ll be ready for Notre Dame-Navy on August 29. Until then, may the gambling gods favor all that you do.