2014 World Cup Odds and Predictions – Groups A and B

There are websites aplenty covering each team and group ahead of the World Cup. It’s everyone’s focus. And there are countless articles looking at the same stories. As usual, we are going to take a mathematical approach to looking at the groups, and hopefully use our rankings to paint a picture of how things will shake out. We hope you enjoy.

Thanks to our designer Adam Tatz for all of the incredible team logos.

Other Previews:

Groups C and D

Groups E and F

Groups G and H

 

Group A

Right off the bat, let’s not beat around the bush here. Brazil is the team to beat in this entire tournament. They would be the team to beat even if the tournament were not being played in their backyard, but with the added advantage, anything less than the trophy is a disappointment. Additionally, they fared pretty well in the draw, as Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon are solid, but not outstanding opponents. Brazil should take all 9 points in the group stage, and finish top of the group fairly easily. Brazil met Mexico in last year’s Confederations Cup and defeated them 2-0. It’s reasonable to expect a similar scoreline this time around. Brazil is currently going off at -460 to win the group. That number is far too low, as we give Brazil a 93% chance of finishing top of Group A.

The real battle should be for 2nd place as there’s not a real lot separating the 3 other teams. Current odds have Croatia at even money to advance, Mexico at +130 to advance, and Cameroon at +420 to advance. It’s hard to really disagree with those odds, but as you can see, even Cameroon has a reasonable chance to advance. Each team has played well in their preparation friendlies. The most impressive result was certainly Cameroon earning a 2-2 draw away to Germany in a match which they probably deserved even more than just a point. It is highly likely that the team to finish 2nd in this group may advance on goal differential. We give Croatia the slight edge over Mexico, with Cameroon currently last.

Here are the results of our simulator xCRO, with apologies to Cameroon who did not finish first in any simulation.

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Brazil 93.0% 6.6% 0.2% 0.2%
Croatia 5.8% 48.8% 32.0% 13.4%
Mexico 1.2% 29.4% 41.8% 27.6%
Cameroon 0.0% 15.2% 26.0% 58.8%

 

And likewise, here are our projected odds based on these percentages versus the true odds you’ll find.

Team WGF Win True Win WGF Advance True Advance
Brazil -1329 -460 -24900 -2400
Croatia +1624 +930 -120 +100
Mexico +8233 +930 +227 +130
Cameroon N/A +3600 +558 +420

 

Group B

We recently read somewhere that Group B is not exactly a “Group of Death”. Well if that’s the case, why don’t you ask Australia how they feel about their chances. Group B is an absolute gauntlet. Yes, Chile was not in the seeded pot like Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay were, but they played just as well in qualifying. In 2013 alone, Chile drew away to Brazil, drew away to Colombia, drew away to Spain, won at England and defeated Uruguay at home. They’re an outstanding team, and we currently have them all the way at #3 in our rankings.

Spain is obviously the favorite to emerge from this group, but it’s not going to be easy. One of Spain, Netherlands and Chile can’t make it, and for the team that finishes 2nd, they likely will face Brazil in the Round of 16. That’s some ridiculous path. Oh, and the Netherlands recently had a 17 match unbeaten streak snapped. No sweat. We know that we are higher on Chile than most, and the markets currently believe Netherlands is the better team. It remains to be seen whether that is true.

Bad news for Australia, as we give them a 93.2% chance of finishing at the bottom of the group. They are currently -360 to finish bottom of the group. That number should probably be closer to -1000. That’s tremendous value. We give them the lowest chance of advancing of all 32 teams in the field. At the end of 2013, they lost away to Brazil 6-0 and followed it up by losing at France 6-0. It’s going to be very difficult in Group B.

Here are the results of our simulator xCRO. Sorry Australia.

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Spain 45.2% 35.2% 19.2% 0.4%
Chile 42.2% 37.0% 20.0% 0.8%
Netherlands 12.4% 27.6% 54.4% 5.6%
Australia 0.2% 0.2% 6.4% 93.2%

 

And likewise, here are our projected odds based on these percentages versus the true odds you’ll find.

Team WGF Win True Win WGF Advance True Advance
Spain +121 -150 -410 -740
Chile +137 +380 -381 -125
Netherlands +706 +310 +150 -150
Australia +49900 +7700 +24900 +1200

 

We’ll have more odds and predictions soon. We hope you enjoyed reading, and be sure to follow us on Twitter @We_Global for the latest news.