Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight blog is featuring an algorithm versus the marketplace bracket mechanism. While Brazil is heavily favored to win the World Cup, FiveThirtyEight favors them even more than the betting shops — based on “real math.” Nate describes the system as such:
Today we’re launching an interactive that calculates every team’s chances of advancing past the group stage and eventually winning the tournament. The forecasts are based on the Soccer Power Index (SPI), an algorithm I developed in conjunction with ESPN in 2010. SPI has Brazil as the heavy favorite, with a 45 percent chance of winning the World Cup, well ahead of Argentina (13 percent), Germany (11 percent) and Spain (8 percent).
The overwhelming factor in this scoring is Brazil’s dominance at home.
Also, relative good news for Team USA — the betting line has them at a .3% chance of winning the World Cup while FiveThirtyEight’s SPI has them at .4%.
Good luck #USMNT – indeed!
And, just in time, Symantec releases its 96-page report: “Latin American + Caribbean Cyber Security Trends.” The report includes individual country reports, which provides details on government capabilities for dealing with cyber security and cybercrime, including any relevant statistics released by the governing authorities regarding sectors affected by cybercrime. Symantec likewise provides some quick country stats, for example:
Internet Penetration: 49.8%
Fixed Broadband Subscribers: 9.2%
And, Symantec, along with its co-sponsor, Organization of American States, sounds the alarm bell for scams and potential vulnerabilities in relation to the World Cup. From the report:
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is expected to be one of the largest sporting events of this century. While the world comes together to celebrate and compete in sport, cybercriminals have unfortunately identified vulnerabilities and may be plotting attacks against critical infrastructure. In fact, members of international hacking groups such as Anonymous have recently made threats against official websites operated by FIFA, the Brazilian Government and corporate sponsors of the games.
Several malware operations, phishing attacks, and email scams linked to the World Cup have already been discovered.
See the report at:
US defeats Ghana in opening match (despite cramping and a bash to the nose):
Back to Five Thirty Eight – chances of a team advancing: U.S. at 63% (I think). And, significantly, Brazil SPI now at 91.3. (The commenters suggest the model does not favor a tie).
And now, Belgium:
Belgium is dangerous, but not as dangerous as tournament favorites Brazil, Germany and Argentina. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, France, Chile and Colombia also look more threatening than Belgium based on the things SPI looks at: pre-tournament resumes, form so far in the World Cup and, in the case of Chile and Colombia, games closer to home.
Our match-prediction algorithm gives the U.S. about a 42 percent chance of winning a knockout-stage game against Belgium based on each team’s SPI rating as of Thursday morning.
So, by now, we know the real SPI belongs to Germany. Cool graphic re: Twitter traffic during World Cup Final:
FiveThirtyEight’s revised analysis:
Germany didn’t begin the World Cup as the favorite. That honor belonged to (ahem) Brazil. But that’s a slightly deceptive measure. This was a top-heavy World Cup; not only Brazil but also Germany, Argentina and Spain would have been the front-runners in many past editions of the tournament.
By the end of the World Cup, Germany left little doubt it is the best team in the world. In fact, it may be the best national soccer team ever assembled.