Brazil (24%) is the most likely team to win the 2014 World Cup followed by Argentina (16%), Germany (14%), and Spain (13%). The likelihood is exactly 66.7%, or 2 in 3, that one of these four teams win the World Cup. The United States is 0.4% … not 4%, but 0.4% to win. As usually, our World Cup data is heavily generated from betting lines and markets, most notably Betfair.
But, before anyone wins any World Cups, they need to get out of the group stage. There are eight groups of four teams each that play a full round-robin with the top two teams advancing after those six games. We have the breakdown of all eight groups below:
Group A: Brazil is nearly certain to advance out of the group at 94%. Mexico and Croatia are fighting it out at about 45% each. Cameroon is a long-shot to get out at about 15%. If I had to pick a pivotal game it would be one of the final games in this group, on June 23, which pits Croatia and Mexico; we currently have the game at 37% for Croatia, 36% for Mexico, and 27% for a draw.
Group B: Spain is highly likely to advance with 84% likelihood. Netherlands (58%) and Chile (50%) are fighting the second spot. Australia is a real long-shot to get out of the group at about 8%. Similar to Group A, I would put the pre-tournament pivotal game at Chile versus Netherlands on June 18, the game that pits the second and third most likely teams. We have the Netherlands favored to win 43%, but Chile is 28% to win, and there 29% likelihood of a draw.
Group C: This group has the most party of any group. A group with perfect parity would have all four teams at 50%, so I checked to see the average distance the countries in each group to 50%. This group is 13% and the next lowest, Group E, is 19% (the average average is 21%). Colombia is the most likely to get out of the group at 76%, but Japan (46%) and Ivory Coast (48%) are both pretty serious competitors. And, Greece has a reasonable likelihood at 30%. I will be tightly watching one of their opening games on June 14, between the Ivory Coast and Japan, with it likely to set the pace second place in the group. We have Ivory Coast at 37% likely to win, Japan at 32%, and a draw at 31%.
Group D: This group is really tight at the top with Italy (68%), Uruguay (67%), and England (57%) all bunched together. Costa Rica is a long shot at 8%. Looking towards one of the first games, the Italy and England game on June 14 should be exciting with Italy 37% slightly favored over England 32% and a 31% likelihood of a draw.
Group E: France is likely at 81% to advance, with Switzerland 57% and Ecuador 50% likely to battle it out for second. Honduras is not likely at 12%, but non-negligible. Again the battle of the mid-teams is going to be huge with the group’s first game on June 15 between Switzerland and Ecuador; Switzerland is favored at 42% to 27% for Ecuador, and 31% for a draw.
Group F: Argentina is a lock 93% to advance with Bosnia and Herzegovina at 52% and Nigeria at 42%. Iran is unlikely to advance at 13%. While the tightest game is the Bosnia and Nigeria game, I have my eye on the opening match between Bosnia and Argentina on June 15. At 69% this is the game where Argentina is least likely to win, with 11% for a Bosnian upset and 20% for a draw.
Group G: Germany is very likely to advance at 85%, Portugal is looking good at 63%, and the USA and Ghana are battling for respect at 26% each. Of course, neither Ghana nor the USA are negligible, but it will be huge victory to knock either Germany or Portugal out in the group stage. While the tightest game in the group is the USA and Ghana, a victory there is not going to get the USA out of the group stage. I am focused on the June 22 game against Portugal where the USA has 21% to win and 22% to draw (and 57% to lose).
Group H: Finally, Belgium is the most likely at 86% followed by Russia at 66%. South Korea has 36% and Algeria is at just 14%. Russia and South Korea battle it out on June 17 as one of the groups opening games. Russia is favored at 46%, but South Korea is 24% to win and 30% to draw.
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