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10,000 World Cups - Pt. 2

December 4th, 2009 · 54 Comments

Okay so now we know exactly which teams will play each other in the Group Stages and where the teams that advance will go in the bracket.

How has that changed things?

Team Whose Chances of Winning Have Been Helped

England = 144 extra wins, Paraguay = 48, France = 45, USA = 23, Japan = 23. The reasoning behind England and the USA is pretty obvious. They drew the weakest teams in Pots 3 and 4 and also are in the opposite half of the draw of Brazil, Spain and the Dutch in the knockout stages avoiding either at least until the semi-finals. Couldn’t have gone better for either team. For Paraguay the reason of course is again the weak group. Although after that it gets considerably more difficult, Paraguay (unlike Italy) was one of the teams who faced serious threats to go down during the group stages. That now is a much easier task for them. Frances draw was a mixed bag, drawing the hosts who are thought to be weak even with home-field, but then picking up two very strong Latin American teams who can give them great difficulty. They too benefit from dodging the top three teams in the early knockout stages. As for Japan? As best as I can tell that’s just random chance (it’s a low enough number). They were a little more likely to make it out of the group, but less likely every other step until the final. I’d read nothing into that number.

Team Whose Chances of Winning Have Been Hurt

Brazil = 109 less times, Spain = 101, Côte d’Ivoire = 32, Chile = 25, Switzerland = 22. Brazil’s difficulties are obvious. An easy game against the North Koreans followed by a whole bunch of talent in the other two group matches followed by a stronger half of the draw in the knockout stages. Spain has no one as difficult as either of Brazil’s big group opponents, but no one as easy as North Korea either. Honduras is in the top 40 teams in the world probably and they are Spain’s weakest opponent. Spain and Brazil also run the risk of facing each other in the first knockout game should either one not win the group. Not a good draw for the two favorites. Obviously that’s not a good draw for Côte d’Ivoire as they drew two teams stronger than they are and the strongest team in the world. That’s two straight bad draws for them, but they are very capable of making it out of this anyway and interestingly both Portugal and Côte d’Ivoire’s chances of advancing out of the group increased (due to North Korea’s very long chances of advancing). The Chileans and Swiss also got hit with a tough group, drawing the Spanish and two other very capable teams. They further are staring down the barrel of a potential matchup with Brazil should they advance in 2nd place.

Team Whose Chances of Advancing Have Been Helped

USA = 45% increase (44.37% to 64.39%), Slovakia = 33%, Paraguay = 32%, Italy = 18%, New Zealand = 16%. The system seems to have rendered judgment on that particular group in a harsh fashion. England, Slovenia and Algeria are also 6th, 7th and 8th on this score. Clearly the system believes Group F and Group C are the weakest groups and easiest to advance from. It’s hard to argue. Group C has the weakest teams from Pots 3 and 4. Group F has the second weakest seeded team, the second weakest from Pot 4, the weakest team in the tournament and Paraguay.

Team Whose Chances of Advancing Have Been Hurt

North Korea = 52% decrease (10.80% to 5.16%), South Africa = 40%, Switzerland = 19%, Honduras = 16%, Cameroon = 13%. North Korea got good and whacked by the draw. They’re very respectable defensive strength apparently allows them to still advance 5% of the time, but that seems awfully high. South Africa got the worst possible draw they could get, drawing the strongest teams in each of the other 3 pots. The Swiss and the Hondurans loss are a neutral fan’s gain as that really should be a fantastic group. Not only are all of the teams good quality, but they all play an entertaining brand of football. I’m not sure I’d read too much into Cameroon there. It’s possible like Japan above it’s just a random thing (indeed their bad luck might be the balance to Japan’s good luck in the sims).

The table of each team’s chances at each stage can be found here. The data dump with the results of every match in each set of sims can be found here.

Now that everything is set, I’ll continue to update the National Team rankings, try and track how these odds compare with bookie odds, take a few more looks at how the system works and how it can be improved and everything else I can think of between now and next June. Hope you’ve enjoyed this so far, I have.

Tags: South Africa 2010 · Soccer!! · Uncategorized

54 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cornballer // Dec 4, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks, Voros! I appreciate all of the work you’ve put into this.

  • 2 california viola // Dec 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    According to the English bookmakers:

    A: France / Mexico
    B: Argentina / Nigeria
    C: England / United States
    D: Germany / Serbia or Ghana
    E: Netherlands / Cameroon
    F: Italy / Paraguay
    G: Brazil / Portugal
    H: Spain / Chile

    That should set up a second round like this:

    France vs Nigeria
    England vs Serbia or Ghana
    Germany vs United States
    Argentina vs Mexico
    Netherlands vs Paraguay
    Brazil vs Chile
    Italy vs Cameroon
    Spain vs Portugal

    Which should bring these quarterfinals:

    Netherlands vs Brazil
    France vs England
    Argentina vs Germany
    Italy vs Spain

  • 3 california viola // Dec 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I did a quick comparaison between Voros simulations’ odds and the odds given by the British bookmakers.

    Great bets seem to be:

    Brazil at 5.5 (compared to Voros at 3.2) - a 72% gain
    Netherlands at 14 (compared to Voros at 8.4) - a 67% gain
    Mexico at 66 (compared to Voros at 49.5) - a 33% gain
    Uruguay at 66 (compared to Voros at 52.2) - a 26% gain

    And if you wish to bet on a long shot try Japan (250 vs 137.9 - an 81% gain) or Honduras (750 vs 383.6 - a 96% gain).

  • 4 Voros // Dec 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    CV,

    I’m going to get to the problems with betting on longshots in a post here eventually. The basic problem is even with a perfect system, there’s a chance you go broke before one hits.

    Almost any betting system (even good ones) require many bets to really be consistently profitable.

  • 5 california viola // Dec 4, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t even bet on games. But I often check bookmaking sites to have an idea how games or tournaments are going to pan out. We all have our ideas but bookmakers are the ones who actually have to put their money where their mouths are.

    However, I noticed that many of the odds offered match or are very close to your predictions. A huge difference is represented by Ghana. Your sims give Ghana only a 0.14% chance to win the WC, yet bookmakers give Ghana at a fairly low 66 to 1.

    Personally I wouldn’t bet a dime on Japan or Honduras. The WC will be won by Argentina, Brazil, or a European team as tradition dictates.

  • 6 Sanchotene // Dec 5, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I would be really surprised if the title goes to someone other then the seeded teams (except SAF, of course) or FRA…

  • 7 Sanchotene // Dec 5, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Ok, let’s be bold. I would rank this eight teams like this: 1) BRA; 2) ENG; 3) ESP; 4)GER; 5) NED; 6) ITA; 7) ARG and 8) FRA.

    ENG and SPA have their best shot, perhaps, ever.

  • 8 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 5, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Final round guesses:

    MEX
    ARG
    \
    -MEX
    -ENG
    /
    ENG
    AUS
    \\
    –ENG
    –BRA
    //
    NED
    ITA
    \
    -NED
    -BRA
    /
    BRA
    CHI
    \\\
    —BRA (champion)
    —ESP
    ///
    NIG
    SAF
    \
    -NIG
    -USA
    /
    GER
    USA
    \\
    –USA
    –ESP
    //
    PAR
    DEN
    \
    -PAR
    -ESP
    /
    ESP
    CIV

  • 9 Edwin // Dec 5, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Voros:

    Your results are very similar to the Castrol Predictor:
    http://www.castrolfootball.com/predictor/

    Are you part of their expert panel?

  • 10 scaryice // Dec 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I posted a comparison of the odds to advance from Voros, SPI, and the Castrol index, check it out:

    http://usasoccer.blogspot.com/2009/12/world-cup-rating-systems-compared.html

  • 11 Voros // Dec 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I’m not part of Castrol’s expert panel.

    At least not on soccer. I’m sure they’ll be contacting me on the subject of viscosity very soon though.

  • 12 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 6, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I left this in Scaryice blog:

    a) France is the favorite with the greatest chance to be eliminated in the first round;

    b) groups A, D and E are the ones that could be called “Group of Death”;*

    c) in Group B, besides ARG and NIG have a good advantage, GRE and KOR are not far enough behind to be disconsidered.

    d) groups C and F are are the ones with the biggest difference between the top-2 (ENG, USA; ITA, PAR) and bottom-2 (SLV, ALG; SLK, NZL) teams;

    e) group H has one strong team (SPA), and 3 close teams that could manage to get the 2nd place; and

    f) group G has one strong team (BRA), one weak (KPR), and two very good teams (CIV, POR) that will battle hard for the 2nd spot.

    * I would just point that the greatest difference in Group E to groups A and D, is that I can’t see Japan finishing ahead of the Netherlands, but I can see Holland out, behind Cameroon and Denmark.

  • 13 california viola // Dec 6, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Just my two cents here:

    (A) I wouldn’t forget the home factor here as FIFA needs S. Africa to advance. Also Mexico looks a lot more solid than Uruguay.

    (B) Both Nigeria and Greece are very moody teams who could do very well or crash immediately. South Korea does have a chance to upset them both.

    (C) Here in the United States the qualification of the U.S. team is seen almost certain. I saw Slovenia beat Italy twice and I’m not so sure.

    (D) Australia vs Serbia is almost a derby due to the large percentage of Croatians and Serbians living in Australia and playing for the Aussies. In a derby anything can happen.

    (E) I have a hard time seeing the two European teams not advancing here.

    (F) Why is almost everyone neglecting Slovakia is not clear to me. They are solid, technical, and well coached. Should Italy beat Paraguay in the first game, Slovakia could have a foot and a half in the second round.

    (G) Portugal could easily be the highest team to be eliminated in the first round. FIFA needs Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire (the top African team) to advance.

    (H) In my opinion Switzerland is a lot more likely to advance than Chile. Switzerland is usuallyneglected because it doesn’t have a big name, yet it has defeated Greece (twice), Portugal, Slovakia, Chile, Netherlands, and South Korea in the last WC cycle.

  • 14 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Comments on Viola’s comments:

    (A) I wouldn’t forget the home factor here as FIFA needs S. Africa to advance. Also Mexico looks a lot more solid than Uruguay.

    I don’t feel confortable when someone starts thinking on a “FIFA wants this” basis. It just stop being fun. Let’s the matches go on, and see what happens. South Africa can advance because the group is not that difficult, and they have HFA. A draw against MEX and a win over URU (or the other way around), results that wouldn’t be a actal surprise if it happens, can put them in 1/8 finals range before playing against FRA. My guess is that all 4 will play the last game with a chance to advance.

    (B) Both Nigeria and Greece are very moody teams who could do very well or crash immediately. South Korea does have a chance to upset them both.

    I would include the Argentines in the list of “moody teams who could do very well or crash” and on South Korea upset range.

    (C) Here in the United States the qualification of the U.S. team is seen almost certain. I saw Slovenia beat Italy twice and I’m not so sure.

    The draw couldn’t be much better than this to USA. If they lose to SLV, they would have lost a gold opportunity as well.

    (D) Australia vs Serbia is almost a derby due to the large percentage of Croatians and Serbians living in Australia and playing for the Aussies. In a derby anything can happen.

    GER and GHA will fight hard for those spots against this too as well. It’s the hardest group. The 2010 Group of Death.

    (E) I have a hard time seeing the two European teams not advancing here.

    They are the favorites, and will probably advance, but it’s going to be tough; specially because their first game is against each other.

    (F) Why is almost everyone neglecting Slovakia is not clear to me. They are solid, technical, and well coached. Should Italy beat Paraguay in the first game, Slovakia could have a foot and a half in the second round.

    The things I’ve said about the USA work here as well to Paraguay. It’s just the best Guaraní squad since 1998. They MUST advance to the 1/8 finals in order to avoid a complete failure.

    (G) Portugal could easily be the highest team to be eliminated in the first round. FIFA needs Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire (the top African team) to advance.

    FIFA wanting or not, BRA will advance. Simple as that. CIV and POR will decide the second spot in their head-to-head game. I can also see BRA-POR playing the same way as GER-DDR in 1974 ou GER-AUT in 1982; if they can, and anyone needs.

    (H) In my opinion Switzerland is a lot more likely to advance than Chile. Switzerland is usually neglected because it doesn’t have a big name, yet it has defeated Greece (twice), Portugal, Slovakia, Chile, Netherlands, and South Korea in the last WC cycle.

    Chile has beaten PAR, DEN, COL and SVK (all in away games) in 2009!

  • 15 Voros // Dec 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Chile is a tough one for the system because they’ve recently been very strong. But it has been my experience that overall over-weighting more recent results makes the system generate worse predictive results.

    And so the best way forward would be to somehow be able to distinguish between teams who are genuinely improving significantly and those which just are on a good run that’s ending soon. Don’t know how to accomplish that without more and better data.

  • 16 Sanchotene // Dec 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Chile’s problem is, mainly, lack of depth in the squad. Their starting-XI is very strong, it can beat almost everyone, but they can’t afford lose some players.

    Bielsa took a Chilean MNT that was hopeless in Sep.2007, and put them in the second place in South American WC Qualifiers: just 18 games and two years later. It just doesn’t seem a luck run, but the result of a serious and good work.

  • 17 california viola // Dec 7, 2009 at 12:02 am

    “FIFA wanting or not, BRA will advance. Simple as that.”

    Isn’t that EXACTLY what Bielsa said before the 2002 WC (just sub ARG for BRA)?

    The Latin televisions and radios here in the U.S. had a fun week repeating that statement over and over again.

    “I don’t feel confortable when someone starts thinking on a “FIFA wants this” basis.”

    I don’t either. Like all Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, Belgian, and Spanish soccer fans, I remember the 2002 World Cup very well.

  • 18 Sanchotene // Dec 7, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Isn’t that EXACTLY what Bielsa said before the 2002 WC (just sub ARG for BRA)?

    Sure, but not only 2002 ARG faced a stronger group than then 2010 Brazil, this BRA is slightly better; specially in defense.

    Viola, it’s hard to talk about refereeing because everybody has something to talk about in its favor or against. Italy, for instancy, has some classics: 1994 quarters against Spain; 2006 opening game against Ghana; 2006 eighths against AUS; etc.

    One thing that I can say by watching soccer in South America and Europe, football, baseball and basketball in the US, is that referees are a huge problem. They always seem to help the home team, the greater team or the greater players. The losers will complain, the winners will forget, and the game goes on.

  • 19 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 7, 2009 at 1:59 am

    P.S.: There was nothing abnormal in Argentina’s early departure form 2002 World Cup. They lost playing ball…

  • 20 Alvaro Valenzuela // Dec 7, 2009 at 5:09 am

    I think all this guessing is just mental masturbation, nobody here has watched the games of all the countries involved, of course we can say that England is better than Algeria, but we cant exactly guess how good Algeria is right now, maybe they completely suck, maybe they are almost as good than the other african team.
    Trick question: Would USA have qualified more easily if they had taken Algeria place in the african qualifiers?

  • 21 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 7, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Alvaro,

    all this guessing is just mental masturbation

    No one denies it. The thing is we like it. We want to understand better the game. Viola, for instance, brings a lot of information about his perception on European teams that I don’t have, because it’s hard to me to watch those games. I try to answer this telling him my perception on South American teams. Vörös has the data, trying make the numbers faithful for what happens in the pitch, including trying to show that public perceptions make sense.

    Example. In one game, KPR can beat BRA. The numbers just show that this is unlikely to happen. Could you deny it?

    Trick question: Would USA have qualified more easily if they had taken Algeria place in the african qualifiers?

    Or would Algeria have qualified more easily if they had taken USA place in the N. American qualifiers? These questions don’t make sense. This is PURE mental masturbation. It’s a false problem. If you want to compare two teams, you must do putting them side by side and trace their strengths and weaknesses against each other; not against anyone else…

  • 22 Alvaro Valenzuela // Dec 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I know that Brazil > North Korea, I just dont know the margin.
    Also of course teams are compared against everybody else thats how the rankings are done !! we know that Brazil > North Korea even though they have never played each other.

  • 23 Mitz // Dec 8, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Hi everyone. Been away for a few days - sorry to have missed some lively discussions since the draw. I’ll come back with some comments of my own a bit later regarding the groups and potential last 16s later on but I just wanted to answer Alvaro quickly:

    I know Voros has slightly tweaked the formulae, but using the method that he published before and his most recently published ratings, in a neutral ground game between Brazil and North Korea, if I’ve got it right in 10,000 sims you would expect Brazil to win 9,997 times, for the teams to draw twice and for North Korea to win once.

  • 24 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 8, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Mitz,

    BUT, there is a huge BUT in it, it’s just amazing how hard is to this Brazilian side to break any catenaccio. It has happened a few times, and, as Brazilian, I must say that this is scary.

    This Dunga’s Seleção has a very strong DEFENSE, and it loves space in order to play fast and straightforward. They can beat you with three or four passes on a 60-meters rush. They did it a lot of times, against ARG (3-0, 3-1), URU (4-0), ITA (2-0), POR (6-2), etc.

    The problem is that KPR won’t give us ANY space…

  • 25 Daniel Burnier // Dec 9, 2009 at 3:13 am

    My guesses:

    Grupe A
    1 - Mexico
    2 - Uruguay

    Grupe B
    1 - Argentina
    2 - Nigeria

    Grupe C
    1 - England
    2 - USA

    Grupe D
    1 - Germany
    2 - Ghana

    Grupe E
    1 - Netherlands
    2 - Denmark

    Grupe F
    1 - Paraguay
    2 - Italy

    Grupe G
    1 - Brazil
    2 - Ivory Coast

    Grupe H
    1 - Spain
    2 - Chile

  • 26 Dutza // Dec 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    My guess:

    A) 1. France
    2. Mexico
    B) 1. Argentina
    2. Greece
    C) 1. England
    2. USA
    D) 1. Serbia
    2. Australia
    E) 1. Netherlands
    2. Denmark
    F) 1. Italy
    2. Slovakia
    G) 1. Brazil
    2. Portugal
    H) 1. Spain
    2. Switzerland

  • 27 Paulo Sanchotene // Dec 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    My guesses (#8) were:

    Gr. - 1st and 2nd
    A - MEX and SAF;
    B - NIG and ARG;
    C - ENG and USA;
    D - GER and AUS ;
    E - NED and DEN;
    F- PAR and ITA;
    G - BRA and CIV;
    H - ESP and CHI.

  • 28 Dutza // Dec 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Interesting infos:

    http://www.futebolfinance.com/os-salarios-dos-treinadores-no-mundial-2010

    http://www.futebolfinance.com/o-valor-das-seleccoes-no-mundial-fifa-2010

  • 29 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 3:39 am

    It’s interesting noting that there are 2 groups where all teams decreased their chances of qualifying to the last 16 after the draw - group G and surprisingly also group E.
    In fact, in the previous simulation, group E had a total of 21925 qualification and group G had only 21765.
    The average is of course 20000 qualifications per group.

  • 30 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Also, there are 2 groups where all teams increased their chances of qualifying - C and F.

  • 31 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 6:48 am

    In Group G every team is less likely to reach any stage (except Portugal who is more likely to win by a really small margin), so statistically it’s the group of death.
    In Group c every team is more likely to reach any stage (except Algeria who is more likely to get to the semis, final and win by a really small margin), so statistically it’s the group of life.

  • 32 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Here are all the differences:
    Group Country Wins Finals Semis Quarters First places Round of 16
    A France 45 36 208 235 643 216
    A Mexico 8 -1 103 167 375 134
    A South Africa -1 -12 -49 -295 -512 -1284
    A Uruguay 1 -26 15 -140 -346 -460
    B Argentina -4 66 319 102 110 -78
    B Greece -8 -48 19 -63 34 -142
    B Korea Republic 0 -5 32 49 27 -84
    B Nigeria 10 -10 80 177 256 208
    C Algeria -5 -11 -2 42 55 88
    C England 144 251 785 835 1117 817
    C Slovenia 3 12 77 131 8 258
    C USA 23 118 460 898 523 2002
    D Australia 15 23 151 176 153 160
    D Germany -10 5 233 178 74 -59
    D Ghana -2 2 72 50 74 -272
    D Serbia 18 -6 69 196 204 27
    E Cameroon 14 -10 -115 -19 -105 -517
    E Denmark -16 -90 -257 -23 -380 -651
    E Japan 23 -9 -94 100 -250 -493
    E Netherlands 6 -47 -304 156 -161 -264
    F Italy -12 47 -116 529 1160 1267
    F New Zealand 0 0 -4 1 22 66
    F Paraguay 48 52 50 614 677 1630
    F Slovakia -5 -18 -31 253 581 1094
    G Brazil -109 -82 -387 -354 -665 -196
    G Côte d’Ivoire -32 -47 -130 -550 -772 -544
    G Korea DPR -1 -3 -26 -124 -160 -564
    G Portugal 4 -22 -218 -618 -1235 -461
    H Chile -25 -58 -254 -774 -838 -654
    H Honduras -9 -33 -184 -524 -365 -559
    H Spain -101 -8 -255 -630 323 183
    H Switzerland -22 -66 -247 -775 -627 -868

  • 33 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I’ve made some calculations and found what would be the expectation of profit if we used Voros’ odds in Betfair (a site where people bet against each other).

    Here are the results:

    Back Lay Country
    0 1 Algeria
    0 0.2092 Argentina
    0.53 0 Australia
    0.53152 0 Brazil
    0 0.256 Cameroon
    0 0.532 Chile
    1.268 0 Denmark
    0 0.28936 England
    0 0.1285 France
    0 0.11805 Germany
    0 0.888 Ghana
    0.332 0 Greece
    1.548 0 Honduras
    0 0.39395 Italy
    0 0.673 C?te d’Ivoire
    2.096 0 Japan
    1.376 0 Mexico
    0.76055 0 Netherlands
    0 0 New Zealand
    0 0.202 Nigeria
    0 0 Korea DPR
    0.275 0 Paraguay
    0.1168 0 Portugal
    0.005 0 Serbia
    0 0.568 Slovakia
    0 0.63 Slovenia
    0 0.831 South Africa
    0.372 0 Korea Republic
    0 0.16596 Spain
    0.47 0 Switzerland
    1.444 0 Uruguay
    0 0.0055 USA

    Let’s put the 100*expectation on every match in imaginary dollars (for example back Uruguay by 144.4 dollars) and see if Voros’ system is better that the feeling of the public or not.
    We put 1801.539 dollars and expect to win 3647.352953 dollars.
    I’ll try to remember and check the result at the end of the WC, although it won’t mean anything because this is only one result…

  • 34 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I’ve made some calculations and found what would be the expectation of profit if we used Voros’ odds in Betfair (a site where people bet against each other).

    Here are the results:

    Back Lay Country
    0 1 Algeria
    0 0.2092 Argentina
    0.53 0 Australia
    0.53152 0 Brazil
    0 0.256 Cameroon
    0 0.532 Chile
    1.268 0 Denmark
    0 0.28936 England
    0 0.1285 France
    0 0.11805 Germany
    0 0.888 Ghana
    0.332 0 Greece
    1.548 0 Honduras
    0 0.39395 Italy
    0 0.673 C?te d’Ivoire
    2.096 0 Japan
    1.376 0 Mexico
    0.76055 0 Netherlands
    0 0 New Zealand
    0 0.202 Nigeria
    0 0 Korea DPR
    0.275 0 Paraguay
    0.1168 0 Portugal
    0.005 0 Serbia
    0 0.568 Slovakia
    0 0.63 Slovenia
    0 0.831 South Africa
    0.372 0 Korea Republic
    0 0.16596 Spain
    0.47 0 Switzerland
    1.444 0 Uruguay
    0 0.0055 USA

    Let’s put the 100*expectation on every match in imaginary dollars (for example back Uruguay by 144.4 dollars) and see if Voros’ system is better that the feeling of the public or not.
    We put 1801.539 dollars and expect to win 3647.352953 dollars.
    I’ll try to remember and check the result at the end of the WC, although it won’t mean anything because this is only one result…

  • 35 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Forget the last paragraph - I was confused there…

  • 36 Amir // Dec 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

    If we back the following teams by their expectation, we would put 11.12487 and
    expect to win 25.20137605 dollars (14.07650605 dollars profit).
    Serbia 0.005
    Portugal 0.1168
    Paraguay 0.275
    Greece 0.332
    Korea Republic 0.372
    Switzerland 0.47
    Australia 0.53
    Brazil 0.53152
    Netherlands 0.76055
    Denmark 1.268
    Mexico 1.376
    Uruguay 1.444
    Honduras 1.548
    Japan 2.096

  • 37 Jeff // Dec 18, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Voros,

    Did you happen to calculate what % of the time the “draw lots” tiebreaker was needed to determine who advances between the #2 and #3 teams in a group (or, #2 #3 and #4)? Basically if two teams are tied for second with the same number of points, goal difference, and total goals, and their game ended in a tie, then the next step is drawing lots. It hasn’t happened yet, but if it did it wouldn’t be shocker.

    I would much rather have some other tiebreakers in there, like Fair Play points or even FIFA ranking. Flipping a coin just seems so archaic.

  • 38 Voros // Dec 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Jeff,

    Such a thing would probably be pretty easy for me to track though I haven’t been tracking it yet.

    With 10,000 pulls, I’m sure it happens at least few a times if not more than that.

  • 39 Amir // Dec 20, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Hi Voros, do you plan making the all time rankings we talked about a few months ago?

  • 40 Cramer // Jan 6, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Could a simulation of the up-coming African Nations Cup be done?

  • 41 Name // Jan 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Here are some analyses of the sim data dump file/results, based on most likely outcomes:

    1st: Brazil (already given by the posted frequencies from the sim)

    2nd: Spain

    3rd: England

    then, for 4th place it’s almost tied/equal among 3 teams

    4th: USA (then Germany or Argentina)

    So, what happened to the other favorites? Well, from looking at the data, it seems (casually looking through the results) that the Netherlands often gets knocked out by Brazil, while Italy often loses to Spain (or vice versa, respectively, with Brazil beating Italy and Spain defeating the Netherlands); South Africa, even though they are seeded, often lose their seeded position to France at the group stage, while France fairly often loses to England.

    Upsets/unexpected teams to make it to the semifinals, assuming England is the other semifinalist, are:

    0) The favorite (about 18%, or 1 in 6, or 5 to 1 odds) is Argentina, practically tied with both the USA and Germany. This is about a 50% advantage over the next highest group of upsets.

    1) Likely upset/next most likely to make it to the semifinals (about 12.5%, or 1 in 8, or 7 to 1 odds), is France. This is about a 50-100% advantage over the next highest group of upsets.

    2) Possible upsets/somewhat likely to make the semifinals (about 8%, or 1 in 12, or 11 to 1 odds ) is Serbia, followed by Greece, Mexico and Uruguay (about 6%, or 1 in 15, or 14 to 1 odds).
    This is about a 200-300+% advantage over the next highest group of upsets.

    3) Unlikely upsets/long shots/”dark horses” (less than about 2-3%, or 1 in 35, or 34 to 1 odds) are Australia, Nigeria, Algeria, and Korea Republic, then (about 1%, or 1 in 100, or 99 to 1 odds) Slovenia, Ghana, and, yes, even South Africa.

  • 42 Name // Jan 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

    *note: the section discussing upsets is a slightly different set of data, where Brazil and Spain are finalists, and England is a semifinalist (to play in the 3rd place match), with just one spot remaining; thus, the slight reordering of the most likely semifinalist changes from USA to Argentina, though in either case, these two teams along with Germany are all nearly equal.

  • 43 Name // Jan 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Also, looking at the draw, Groups A, B, C and D are all together until the semifinals, meaning that 2 and only 2 teams from these groups will advance that far; with England (Group C) advancing, the other likely semifinalists are all from these groups: Argentina (Group B), USA (Group C), Germany (Group D) and France (Group A). More than 60% of the time one of these four teams is likely to be a semifinalist under these conditions, yet nearly 40% of the time one of the other many less likely upset teams makes the semifinals, as well. The data also show that many times teams that finish second in their group still advance far into the tournament, as happens often with the USA, and fairly often with France as well. However, for England, their semifinal appearances often come with a top group finish, as it nearly always does for Brazil and Spain. The data suggest that besides the USA (Group C), another upset would likely come from one of these 4 groups, with Mexico and Uruguay (Group A), or Serbia (Group C) the most likely:

    Group A:
    Mexico (7.12% chance)
    Uruguay (5.62% chance)
    South Africa (

  • 44 Name // Jan 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    (continued)

    Group A:
    Mexico (7.12% chance)
    Uruguay (5.62% chance)
    South Africa (

  • 45 Name // Jan 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    (continued)
    -
    Group A:
    Mexico (7.12% chance)
    Uruguay (5.62% chance)
    South Africa (

  • 46 Name // Jan 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    (continued)

    Group A:
    Mexico (7.12% chance)
    Uruguay (5.62% chance)
    South Africa (0.75% chance)

    Group B:
    Greece (3.75% chance)
    Nigeria (3.75% chance)
    Korea Republic (2.25% chance)

    Group C:
    USA (14.98% chance)
    Algeria (1.5% chance)
    Slovenia (1.5% chance)

    Group D:
    Serbia (5.99% chance)
    Australia (3.75% chance)
    Ghana (1.5% chance)

    Notably, the first match of the tournament is in Group A between South Africa and Mexico.

  • 47 Name // Jan 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    errata: “…or Serbia (Group D) the most likely:”

    Serbia is in Group D, With Germany as the seeded team.

  • 48 Name // Jan 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Another way to look at the Cup/draw/sim data, is by analyzing advancement out of the group stage and into the knockout/elimination stage.

    Only in one group, Group A, are there more than two teams with a greater than 50% chance to exit the group (France, Mexico, Uruguay) while three groups have 2nd ranked teams with less than a 50% chance of advancing: Greece (Group B), Denmark (Group E), and Chile (Group H).

    Group A:
    France (69.07% chance)
    Mexico (56.64% chance)
    Uruguay (54.75% chance)
    South Africa (19.54% chance)

    Group B:
    Argentina (79.41% chance)
    Greece (45.95% chance)
    Nigeria (40.55% chance)
    Korea Republic (34.09% chance)

    Group C:
    England (89.68% chance)
    USA (64.39% chance)
    Slovenia (30.21% chance)
    Algeria (15.72% chance)

    Group D:
    Germany (76.32% chance)
    Serbia (51.22% chance)
    Australia (45.90% chance)
    Ghana (26.56% chance)

    Group E:
    Netherlands (79.31% chance)
    Denmark (49.88% chance)
    Japan (37.26% chance)
    Cameroon (33.55% chance)

    Group F:
    Italy (83.61% chance)
    Paraguay (67.76% chance)
    Slovakia (43.87% chance)
    New Zealand (4.76% chance)

    Group G:
    Brazil (90.83% chance)
    Portugal (58.74% chance)
    Côte d’Ivoire (45.27% chance)
    Korea DPR (5.16% chance)

    Group H:
    Spain (87.99% chance)
    Chile (44.16% chance)
    Switzerland (38.17% chance)
    Honduras (29.68% chance)

    Italy has the lowest differential/margin with the 2nd place team of any seeded team (not considering South Africa), while France, as the de facto/unofficial seed of Group A is slightly lower; conversely, Spain has the greatest differential/margin with the 2nd ranked team, followed by Brazil and Argentina. England, however, has the largest differential with the 3rd ranked team, followed by Spain, Brazil, and the Netherlands, with all remaining seeds following closely behind, except France (as the de facto/unofficial seed), who has both a very small differential with both the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams in their group.

    Finally, group stage matches, where the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams have very small differentials/margins include:

    Mexico vs. Uruguay (Group A)
    Greece vs. Nigeria (Group B)
    Serbia vs. Australia (Group D)
    Chile vs. Switzerland (Group H).

    Other close matches include:

    Greece vs. Korea Republic (4th) (Group B)
    Nigeria (3rd) vs. Korea Republic (4th) (Group B)
    Denmark vs. Japan (Group E)
    Portugal vs. Côte d’Ivoire (Group G).

    The overall ranking for teams advancing out of the group phase:

    % Country, Group
    90.83 Brazil, G
    89.68 England, C
    87.99 Spain, H
    83.61 Italy, F
    79.41 Argentina, B
    79.31 Netherlands, E
    76.32 Germany, D
    69.07 France, A
    67.76 Paraguay, F
    64.39 USA, C
    58.74 Portugal, G
    56.64 Mexico, A
    54.75 Uruguay, A
    51.22 Serbia, D
    49.88 Denmark, E
    45.95 Greece, B
    45.9 Australia, D
    45.27 Côte d’Ivoire, G
    44.16 Chile, H
    43.87 Slovakia, F
    40.55 Nigeria, B
    38.17 Switzerland, H
    37.26 Japan, E
    34.09 Korea Republic, B
    33.55 Cameroon, E
    30.21 Slovenia, C
    29.68 Honduras, H
    26.56 Ghana, D
    19.54 South Africa, A
    15.72 Algeria, C
    5.16 Korea DPR, G
    4.76 New Zealand, F

  • 49 Name // Jan 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    (continued)

    These rankings/percentages of advancing out of the group stage and into the knock-out/elimination stage would lead to these most likely match-ups in the round of 16 (or 1/8 finals):

    TOP HALF
    1ST QUARTER

    Winner Group A France
    Runner-up Group B Greece

    Winner Group C England
    Runner-up Group D Serbia

    TOP HALF
    2ND QUARTER

    Winner Group E Netherlands
    Runner-up Group F Paraguay

    Winner Group G Brazil
    Runner-up Group H Chile

    BOTTOM HALF
    3RD QUARTER

    Winner Group B Argentina
    Runner-up Group A Mexico

    Winner Group D Germany
    Runner-up Group C USA

    BOTTOM HALF
    4TH QUARTER

    Winner Group F Italy
    Runner-up Group E Denmark

    Winner Group H Spain
    Runner-up Group G Portugal

  • 50 Name // Jan 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    *note: this elimination scenario is based on the overall percentages for teams advancing, even though many times teams may have actually advanced in different positions with different matchups than this particular/specific round of 16 (1/8 finals) scenario.

  • 51 kv // Jan 28, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Hi Voros!
    I am a football fan and I know nothing about baseball. I stumbled upon your site and was fascinated by the sabermetrics and analysis. I read about it in Wikipedia and thats all I know. Is there a way of analyzing football players using unusual methods which show their true value? Can we put together different stats which determine how valuable a player is to a team and who is the most effective player on the planet?

  • 52 Kerzha // May 13, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Will a new update be made shortly before the World Cup to see what has been changed during the last six months?

  • 53 Voros // May 13, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Yeah, expect the first of many to be up today and tomorrow.

    There won’t be much in the way of changes as friendlies don’t move the needle much. World Cup games _do_ move the needle significantly, so that will be interesting to watch.

  • 54 Name // Jun 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

    ..

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