Protect Your Unit, Week 8 Results: Press Your Luck

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Who found big bucks, and who got whammied?

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

Press Your Luck is one of the best game shows of all time. It had a simple but successful formula: round up a bunch of broke, crazy people, put them in a random game with gigantic cash prizes, then just sit back and film the resulting cruelty.

Parlay wagers are sort of like playing Press Your Luck. There's a lot of money within your grasp, but one mistake and you lose it all. As our once-leader AndrewPorter found out this week, when he placed $248 on a parlay of Georgia Tech (won in a rout), SMU +3.5 (won the game outright), and... Connecticut +15. FAIL HORN. Cue crappy CGI. Play "boing" sound effect. Instead of winning $1,488 fake dollars, a huge lead, and a spin, our Husky friend crashes down the standings.

He could have taken a lesson from Press Your Luck, which is: when you find a pattern that works, stick with it. No discussion of the show would be complete without the story of Michael Larson, a real-life Bill Murray character who memorized the game board's predictable light pattern and looted the show for $110,000 (almost $250,000 in today's money). Next time you're aimlessly wandering around YouTube, set aside half an hour and watch his reign of terror. I watched it when it first aired in 1984, and it is still one of the most gut-wrenching things I've ever seen on television.

The pattern in our game is that Connecticut is awful against the spread. They're 1-5 ATS this season, the win being their surprisingly close loss to Michigan. Andrew had built a lead making large wagers against UConn every week. But he abandoned that tactic, betting big on the Huskies instead, for two straight weeks. Patterns in sports gambling rarely hold up for long (the line adjusts to them), so you've got to cash in while you can, or get lucky. As Michael Larson did: during his lengthy run of spins, he misfired a couple times, but managed to avoid the whammy.

Here are the biggest winning bets of the season so far:

DEGENERATE GAME(S) BET WON
LeavittTown PARLAY: TEXAS A&M -3 OVER ARKANSAS (WON), ARIZONA STATE -5.5 OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (WON), CENTRAL FLORIDA +7 OVER SOUTH CAROLINA (WON) $100 $600.00
LeavittTown EAST CAROLINA +394 OVER NORTH CAROLINA $100 $394.00
AndrewPorter MARYLAND -6.5 OVER CONNECTICUT $248 $225.46
AndrewPorter BUFFALO +1 OVER CONNECTICUT $248 $225.46
AndrewPorter MICHIGAN-CONNECTICUT UNDER 52 $225 $204.55
ulismyhothotsex NORTH TEXAS -6 OVER LOUISIANA TECH $220 $200.00
CedSaidZed AIR FORCE-BOISE STATE OVER 57 $201 $182.73
iwaswrongabouthowell SOUTH FLORIDA +180 OVER CONNECTICUT $100 $180.00
danj725 SOUTHERN METHODIST +155 OVER MEMPHIS $100 $155.00
chuckycrater ALABAMA -19 OVER VIRGINIA TECH $150 $136.36
RyanTSmith TEXAS A&M -3 OVER ARKANSAS $150 $136.36
chuckycrater BOISE STATE -7 OVER UTAH STATE $150 $136.36
chuckycrater OREGON STATE -11 OVER CALIFORNIA $150 $136.36


And the biggest one-off losses of the season:

AndrewPorter CINCINNATI -11.5 OVER SOUTH FLORIDA $248 -$248.00
AndrewPorter CONNECTICUT -4.5 OVER SOUTH FLORIDA $248 -$248.00
AndrewPorter PARLAY: CONNECTICUT +15 OVER CINCINNATI (LOST), GEORGIA TECH -7.5 OVER SYRACUSE (WON), SOUTHERN METHODIST +3.5 OVER MEMPHIS (WON) $248 -$248.00
RyanTSmith IOWA STATE +32 OVER BAYLOR $228 -$228.00
AndrewPorter CINCINNATI -8 OVER ILLINOIS $200 -$200.00
LeavittTown KANSAS STATE +186 OVER TEXAS $200 -$200.00
RyanTSmith CINCINNATI -23 OVER MIAMI (OHIO) $200 -$200.00
GarySJ GEORGIA -280 OVER VANDERBILT $200 -$200.00
LeavittTown FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL +148 OVER BETHUNE-COOKMAN $175 -$175.00
Collin RUTGERS -4.5 OVER SOUTHERN METHODIST $130 -$130.00
diddybull32 GEORGIA -9 OVER MISSOURI $130 -$130.00

The Floyd's Money Team Degenerate Bet of the Week goes to zls44, for his parlay of New Mexico State and Massachusetts. Neither team even came close to covering.

I know it's poor form to do this, but I'm giving the Randolph and Mortimer Spite Bet of the Week Award to myself, since nobody even tried to guess the significance of the $9.07 I wagered against Central Florida. It is the length of the video of Ken Caldwell's pathetic/hilarious explanation of his actions that got the school on thank-God-SMU-happened NCAA probation. I KNOW PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT A CRIME.

Standings:

chuckycrater 1439.83
LrdNorman 1327.25
CedSaidZed 1321.11
Collin 1293.28
LeavittTown 1245.55
Danj725 1235.28
ucscott 1147.77
andrewp 1121.18
jthoma11 1105.45
iwaswrongabouthowell 1089.32
JLLoughren 1050.91
zls44 1013.57
SenatorGiggity 1005.82
MikeNascarella 968.83
fusionpower 956.82
jasonloughren 948.38
JeffNusser 904.07
Snafu13 884.50
ULismyhothotsex 849.51
CBulls08 838.18
diddybull32 803.19
AndrewPorter 760.10
GarySJ 726.73
dsidwell31 701.85
RyanTSmith 685.19

Chuckycrater takes the lead, and LrdNorman continues to slowly climb the standings. But all of our competitors still have a lot of money and time to play with. As always, the first lines for next week's games are posted Monday night. We've got Tuesday night Sun Belt action, three other weeknight games, Louisville at USF, and there will be some interesting SEC lines after Saturday's carnage in that league.

Host Peter Tomarken always ended the show with an awful poem submitted by a viewer. So here's mine: Roses are red, and Clemson just blew. Now watch Florida State lose to NCSU. Good night, everybody!

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