FIFA World Cup 2018: Here's which team you should bet on to win, says science

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jun 13, 2018, 6:16 pm IST
Updated Jun 13, 2018, 6:26 pm IST
According to more than million simulations of tournament, Brazil, five-time winners, are favourites to lift coveted trophy on July 15.
A study, conducted by Goldman Sachs, also predicted that England will make it to the quarterfinal stage, where they will be knocked out by Germany. (Photo: AP)
 A study, conducted by Goldman Sachs, also predicted that England will make it to the quarterfinal stage, where they will be knocked out by Germany. (Photo: AP)

Wondering which team to bet on in the World Cup to win? Is it Brazil or Spain?

Well, according to more than a million simulations of the tournament, Brazil, the five-time winners, are the favourites to lift the coveted trophy on July 15.

 

A study, conducted by Goldman Sachs, also predicted that England will make it to the quarterfinal stage, where they will be knocked out by Germany.

According to the firm, the results were announced after feeding an AI data on team strategy, strengths and weaknesses of individual players, and recent performance results of the teams.

The study ran 2,00,000 models to forecast specific match scores.

However, a separate AI run by researchers from the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany used a combination of machine learning and conventional statistics, to identify a different most likely winner.

According to the German model, Spain has the best chances of winning at 17.8 per cent after 100,000 different simulations.

The study further adds that if the team from Germany makes it to the quarter finals then it becomes the front runner touted to win.

Usually predictions are based on the standard decision tree model, which suffers from a problem known as overfitting, where decisions can become severely distorted by training data that is sparse and prone to huge variation.

However, instead of calculating the outcome at every branch like a decision tree model, the AI instead calculates the outcome of random branches.

According to the model, if Germany reaches the group phase, it is likely to face strong opposition in the 16-team knockout phase. Spain, however, is unlikely to face strong opposition in the final 16, and has a 73 percent chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

The Goldman Sachs AI forecast that France, Portugal, Germany and Brazil will reach the semi-finals of the tournament, which kicks off in Russia on Thursday.

Germany will advance to the final by beating Portugal while Brazil will overcome France to face the holders in Moscow during the final.

But it is the South Americans who are predicted to lift the trophy, beating the 2014 winners by a score of 1.70-1.41, which rounds to 2-1.

England will beat Colombia in the round of 16 and go on to face Germany in the quarterfinals, according to the simulations.

However, the Germans are forecast to ultimately triumph, knocking the three lions out 2-1.

According to the study, Russia will not make it out of the group stages, while Saudi Arabia will be a surprise entrant to the knockout rounds.

Argentina and Spain are expected to underperform, according to Goldman Sachs, both crashing out in the quarterfinals.

Austrian mathematicians revealed in May that Germany and Brazil are neck-and-neck favourites to lift the trophy.





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