Protect Your Unit, Week 6 Picks Thread: Non-Essential Personnel

Yay! People are paying attention to us! - Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

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

As we are all no doubt tired of hearing, the federal government shut down this week due to the lack of a budget agreement. Those with jobs considered "essential" remained at work, while the "non-essential" were furloughed. This even extended to college football, with the Army-Boston College and Air Force-Navy games being at risk of cancellation. Happily, it's "game on" at both sites.

But it got me thinking: what are the most essential, and non-essential college football teams? I'm sure we all have strong opinions on that, but I meant in terms of our weekly pick'em contest. So I put together some reports, on which teams have seen the most and least action so far this season:

WAGERS PLACED UNITS WAGERED
MOST LEAST MOST LEAST
SOUTH FLORIDA 49 SAN DIEGO STATE 1 SOUTH FLORIDA 1676 NEW MEXICO STATE 2
CENTRAL FLORIDA 33 NORTH TEXAS 2 CONNECTICUT 1489 MASSACHUSETTS 33
FLORIDA 31 WYOMING 2 CENTRAL FLORIDA 1174 NEBRASKA 35
MIAMI (FLA.) 30 NEW MEXICO STATE 2 MIAMI (FLA.) 1111 RICE 36
LOUISVILLE 28 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 3 CINCINNATI 1109 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 47
MICHIGAN STATE 27 NEW MEXICO 3 FLORIDA 987 SAN DIEGO STATE 50
TENNESSEE 27 ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM 3 SOUTH CAROLINA 976 WESTERN MICHIGAN 50
FLORIDA STATE 26 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 3 LOUISVILLE 928 DUKE 51
SOUTH CAROLINA 25 RICE 3 MICHIGAN 816 EASTERN MICHIGAN 55
CINCINNATI 23 NEBRASKA 3 MARYLAND 737 LOUISIANA-MONROE 55

Most of this is not surprising. USF, and other in-state and conference teams, attract the most action. Small, obscure, faraway schools attract the least. It's fun to wager on games we already care about, and it's prudent to wager on teams that are familiar to us. A couple things I do find surprising:

  • Nebraska attracting so little gambling interest. They used to be one of the most powerful, consistent, and clearly-defined teams in the sport. I suspect the lack of action is due to how damn flaky they are anymore.
  • Louisiana Tech and Connecticut, the targets of so many spite bets, not being in the Top 10. (They're #11 and #12.) UConn is 2nd in units wagered, thanks to AndrewPorter's large bets against them.
  • Only two fake dollars have been wagered on New Mexico State games all season. I was surprised to see one team so far behind the others in this regard. They play so many body bag games, and fare so badly in them, you think more people would have taken Texas -40 or whatever it was against them. And in a year when interest in the state of New Mexico is at an all-time high. That poor program can't even succeed at failing.
  • Despite going to the Orange Bowl last year, nobody wants to get involved with Northern Illinois, giving them less action than other MAC teams.

I'll try to put together more little charts of this sort of the course of the season. Do our local degenerates fare best on point spreads, money lines, or over/unders? Which teams have been best and worst ATS? All coming soon. Feel free to make suggestions as to what sort of data mining you'd find interesting.

This week's picks:

PARLAYS (not included in above chart):

  • LeavittTown, $100, UCLA -4 over Utah, Central Florida -10 over Memphis, Cincinnati -11.5 over South Florida
  • diddybull32, $100, Minnesota +20.5 over Central Florida -10 over Memphis, Cincinnati -11.5 over South Florida
  • ulismyhothotsex, $35, Texas State +10.5 over Marshall, Ohio State -5.5 over Northwestern
  • ulismyhothotsex, $20, LSU -9 over Mississippi State, Ohio State -5.5 over Northwestern, Central Florida -10 over Memphis
  • ulismyhothotsex, $20, Texas-San Antonio +14.5 over Marshall, Central Florida -10 over Memphis, Clemson -12.5 over Syracuse

Yes, I'm still working on integrating the parlays into the straight bets. My database is not designed as well as it could be, and I don't want to completely rebuild it during the season. Hopefully an improvement by next week though.

As always, this is not the deadline to make selections. You may submit selections via protectyouru.net at any time up until one hour before kickoff. Use the comments section to talk up your picks. Happy fake gambling!

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