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Protect Your Unit 2021 is Underway!

Horse Racing: Preakness-Scenes
This picture was taken three months ago.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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

Protect Your Unit, presented by The Daily Stampede, is back for Season... 11, I think it is now? The year 2020 feels like it lasted about a decade.

I’ve enjoyed running this regular feature for all these years, and I’m ready to do it for you all again. Hopefully, game cancellations won’t be as big a problem as they were last season. But we will press on, and continue to changing conditions as needed.

Protect Your Unit - PYU for short - is a simulation of real-life sports gambling, on college football in particular. Everyone starts the season with $1,000 fake dollars, and can place fake bets for up to $250 (or 25% of your bankroll) on each week’s FCS games. Realistic odds are offered, and realistic vigorish (the house fee for winning a bet) must be paid. At the end of the football season, whoever has the most fake money is declared the winner. Point spread, money line, over/under, and parlays are all offered.

The traditional prize is the Protect Your Unit Silver Gin Bowl, a name I introduced at the end of the 2019 season, but forgot to promote during last year’s chaos. In 2019 Undercoverbull lost $400 fake dollars in five weeks, and assumed his Week 6 bets would fail because of a new brand of silver gin he’d been sampling. He won a massive parlay instead (which included USF covering a road game), went on a tear the rest of the season, and won the year by a large margin. This will be delivered to you in gift card form. Alternative prizes are available for those under 21 or who simply prefer a non-alcoholic trophy.

Official rules are at the website. The new and exciting feature for 2021 will be the points race. In additional to the traditional “most money at the end of the season wins” contest, I am instituting a parallel contest where points are awarded for winning the most fake money in each week. The top player each week will get 20 points, then 15 for second place, and then 10-7-5-4-3-2-1. Players must profit during a week to make a profit, and anyone who profits during a week will get at least 1 point for that week. I think this will allow more players to participate in the season-long chase, and reward different betting strategies.

Also, futures betting is back... well, we’re going to try, anyways. Futures were introduced in 2019, but omitted in 2020 due to the unstable nature of that season. We are trying to bring it back, in hopes that the season can be played more or less normally. The betting form still isn’t fixed yet, but you can see the Futures lines at the Futures Page of the website. The betting window is open, but for now you can only emails your picks to me, 2015-style.

Also open is the Week 1 betting window! You can enter your choices for Week 1’s games at the Make Picks page. Please note that Week 1 includes the five games this weekend (Nebraska-Illinois, Hawaii-UCLA, Connecticut-Fresno, UTEP-New Mexico State, and Southern Utah-San Jose State), as well as all of next weekend’s games, and the weeknight games in between. This page is working correctly, as far as I know. So log in and start fake betting already.

If you don’t have a login for the website, want to join the competition, or you forgot your password from last year, send an email to me at this address and I can set you up. We like people to use their SB Nation names so we know who’s who, but please do NOT use the same password as SB Nation website. Any questions, please contact me the same way, or post them in the thread. We also have a Twitter, @protectyouru.

Fans of all schools are welcome to join. On that note, I would like to recognize longtime returning player ULhothot, and thank him for not demanding that I play in at least two Louisville-related contests in return.

But, hey, enough of my yakking. Whaddya say? Let’s boogie!