Protect Your Unit, Version 4.0: Upgraded To .NET

Alan Crowhurst
UPDATE Aug 26 11 PM: The betting window is now open! You can log in to the site and make selections for Week 1. If you don't have a password, or haven't joined up yet, please email me.


(DISCLAIMER: As always, this game is for entertainment purposes only. No actual wagers are being made by any of the contestants.)

The first games of the college football season kick off Thursday, which means Tuesday is the official opening of our fourth annual Protect Your Unit! college football wagering game.

And there's an exciting new feature this year! The Voodoo Five Custom App Development team (i.e., me) has been building a website for you to view game lines, enter your fake-money wagers, and see the results. This automation lets us open the game to a larger number of players, and creates a more challenging and realistic wagering experience.

The website is protectyouru.net. As always, the name honors the gambling advice given by the late Chris Thomas of WDAE. To further this theme, wagers will be made in "units."

The website is pretty basic right now, but enhancements will be added over the course of the season. If you'd like something added, or if something doesn't work right, please let me know. (NOTE: You can't place bets yet. That won't be turned on until Tuesday morning when Week 1 begins.)

This new system will bring on a few rules changes from previous years, though I'm sure you'll find them them all to be for the better. Here's a bullet-point summary, but be sure to read the full rules below as there are some nuances.

  • Oddsshark.com is our new odds provider. Since oddsshark.com is an SBNation partner, it makes sense to use their information. Our former provider sportsbook.ag is now requiring a login just to view lines, and we want our game odds to be public and transparent. There are other advantages to using Oddsshark, such as:
  • The most competitive line will be offered for each game. Oddsshark's lines are a compilation of six different sportsbooks: 5Dimes, Bovada, Topbet, Betonline, GTBets and Sportbet. We will use all six of those sports books, and offer the most favorable line for each wager. For example, if Book A has the game at -5 and Book B has the game at -6, we will allow you to bet the favorite -5 or the underdog +6. If the over/under varies from 48 to 50, we will let you bet under 50 or over 48. This introduces a new nuance of sports wagering into our game: shopping around for the best lines (though we do the shopping for you).
  • Lines will be updated frequently. The first set of lines will be posted no later than Tuesday morning. We will monitor and update lines as the lines move over the course of the week. This reproduces another aspect of sports wagering; reacting to changing lines. You can jump on an early soft line, wait for a move later in the week, or go for a split bet:
  • Split bets are allowed. A split bet is when you bet opposite sides of a matchup, hoping the result comes down in the middle between two varying point spreads. (For example, Louisville is favored by 16 over Ohio. That seems low, so you bet Louisville -16. The line moves during the week, and Louisville is now favored by 20. To make a split bet, you bet Ohio +20. If Louisville wins by 17, 18, or 19 points, you win both bets. If not, you win one bet and lose the other, costing you only the 10% vigorish. It effectively pays 20 to 1, pushes aside.)
  • Bets may not be changed once they are submitted via protectyouru.net. If you make a mistake, please email me right away for a correction.
  • You must bet at least one game involving an American Athletic Conference team or a 2005-12 Big East team. When Protect Your Unit started, we were all in the Big East, so we required all players to bet at least one Big East game each round. When West Virginia left last year, we allowed West Virginia fans to bet a game from the Big XII in lieu of the Big East game. With the Big East now fully dissolved, we don't want to have to keep track of different rules for everybody, so we're just going to require all players to bet at least one game involving a current or future AAC team, or a 2005-12 Big East team.
  • Teaser bets are removed. They weren't used, and implementing them would be a lot of work on my part.
  • Each week, the Randolph and Mortimer Duke Bet Award will be given. We've always encouraged $1 spite bets, but there haven't been nearly as many of those as there should be. So now we will acknowledge the most spiteful bet of the week. Be sure to talk up your spite bets in the weekly picks thread. (This is in addition to the Most Degenerate Bet award, which will still be given.) Speaking of the weekly posts:
  • On Friday afternoon, the Weekly Picks post will launch. The staff will discuss our picks, a list of all picks will be posted, and players can talk up their selections in the comments. Please note that this is NOT the deadline for submitting wager; you may do so up until one hour before a game kicks off.
  • On the following Tuesday, the Weekly Results post will launch. Talk about last week's results in the comments. Moaning and bad beat stories are permitted.
  • Read the "Odds Fine Print" section of the rules. Using Oddsshark requires us to have some additional nuances. They're all spelled out here, in hopes of averting any misunderstandings during the season.

Other than that, the full rules are pretty much the same as previous years. Changes and additions are in italics. Rules removed are in strikethrough.

OFFICIAL RULES

  1. THE SEASON: The contest begins Thursday, August 29 (the first game of the season), and will run for each week of the regular season, through Saturday, December 7. The entire bowl season will be the last week of the contest.
    1. The Army/Navy game on December 14th is considered part of Week 15, which otherwise includes games played on December 5-7. You may only bet as much you have left available to bet in Week 15, per rule 8.1 below.

  2. WEEK: The week begins on Tuesday morning and ends Monday night (except as noted in 1. above).

  3. THE SITE: We will use OddsShark.com for all odds.

  4. ODDS: We will offer the most favorable -110 line for each wager. Odds will be updated approximately once a day. Only lines appearing at protectyouru.net are official. We reserve the right to disallow any bets on erroneous lines. See Section 13, "Odds Fine Print" for full details.

  5. BANKROLL: Everyone will start with 1,000 units of fake money.

  6. ALLOWABLE BETS: Point spread, money line, over/under, parlays, teasers.

  7. PAYOUTS/VIGORISH:
    1. All point spread and over/under bets are -110. That means you must bet $110 to win $100. (A bet of $100 would win $90.91.)
    2. Money line bets are not subject to vigorish. The money line for each wager is what you will be paid.
    3. Parlays are not subject to vigorish. Two-team parlays pay 2.6 to 1 2.5 to 1. Three-team parlays pay 6 to 1.
      1. Parlays may only include over/under and pointspread bets (not money lines).
      2. Parlays of more than three bets are not allowed.
      3. If one bet in a parlay is a push, that bet is removed, and the parlay is recalculated as a two-team parlay or single bet.
        1. If a parlay has to be recalculated as a single bet, that single bet is not subject to vigorish.
  8. BET MINIMUMS/MAXIMUMS/REQUIREMENTS:
    1. You must have between 5% and 25% (or between $50 and $250, whichever is greater) of your bankroll in play each week.
    2. The minimum bet is $1. There is no minimum bet on a single game.$1 dick bets are allowed and quite honestly encouraged.
    3. You must bet at least three games, either individually or as part of a parlay.
    4. You must bet at least one game involving a current or future American Athletic Conference team, or a Big East 2005-2012 team. Those are: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Syracuse, Temple, Tulsa, West Virginia.
  9. DEADLINE: The deadline for submitting bets is one hour before the game kicks off. There is no "week deadline"; you may continue wagering as long as there is still a game that is more than one hour from kickoff.
    1. OFFICIAL BETS: Once a bet is submitted via the website, it is official and may not be changed. If you make a mistake, you must email GarySJ immediately for a correction.
    2. ALLOWABLE BETS: You may bet any combination of lines that is offered.

  10. SUDDEN DEATH BET: If you burn through your entire $1000, you will have one (1) chance to stay in the game.

    The week after you run out of money, you must successfully pick one game from your school's conference against the spread. If you win the bet, you get $500 to continue playing in future weeks (although you are still in the books as -$1000 for the season). If you push the bet or lose, you are out of the game. Only one sudden death bet per customer. If you lose the entire extra $500, you are out of the game. Also, if you run out of money at the end of the regular season, your sudden death bet will be on the first game of bowl season.

  11. BYE WEEKS: While it's more fun if you play every week, if you're just not feeling any of the games, you are allowed up to two "bye weeks" where you don't place any bets. If you skip more than two weeks, you're not eligible to win the title but you may continue betting for fun and amusement.

    You are not allowed to use one of your bye weeks during the bowl season. Underbets (if you bet but fail to meet all the betting requirements) will count as bye weeks.

  12. POSTING TO VOODOO FIVE: Friday afternoon, all bets are made public, and will appear in the "Weekly Bets" post. Note that this is not a deadline; you may continue to place bets up until one hour before kickoff. On Tuesday (or earlier, if all games are ended) results will appear in the "Weekly Results" thread.

  13. ODDS FINE PRINT:
    1. The first lines will be posted Monday night/Tuesday morning, and will be updated approximately once per day. The date/time of the most recent update will appear on the bets page.
    2. We will offer the most favorable line for each wager. If one sports book listed at OddsShark has the game at -6 and another has it at -5, we will let you bet the the favorite at -5 or the underdog at +6. However, see next item:
    3. Only point spreads and over/under wagers with a -110 payoff will be offered. Because they reflect the offerings of real sports books, the Oddsshark lines will occasionally offer a higher payout in exchange for a less favorable point spread, or vice versa. Since our house vig is always 10%, it's not realistic to offer the more favorable line without also charging the higher price tag.
    4. Oddshark's "Opening" line will not be used. This line does not seem to reflect any real lines offered by the books. It seems to be a very early guess, as opposed to initial lines offered by the sports books.
    5. Only lines appearing on protectyouru.net are official. If a more favorable line appears on OddsShark, but disappears before we get it entered into our system, it may not be wagered. We try to keep our odds current, but we can't maintain a constant vigil over it, and live feeds are expensive.
    6. We reserve the right to disallow any wagers made on erroneous lines. We try to get things right, but we may accidentally mis-enter a +300 money line as +300 points, or some such thing. This extends to any errors that may appear on oddsshark.com. Any disallowed lines will be announced on protectyouru.net.
    7. In case of any disputes not covered by these rules, Voodoo Five's ruling is final. We will do our best to be fair to all players.
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