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Compared to this?

no - it was Germany's ability to press in the midfield that gave them possession in a place where they could then depants the Bra Defense. Watch the first half hour - its really amazing.   The only

single elimination - variance is going to be super super high.

 

Brazil is still the best bet, but its not a good bet.

 

Yeah, though we're still waiting for the "fluke" World Cup winner a la Greece in the Euro.

 

I'm a bit skeptical over the player adjustment portion of the SPI as well - it seems like there may be some funny stuff going on inside the box given the correlation between the two portions.

 

The SPI also seems to have the same problem that a lot of the non-baseball advanced stats have: it's just a more "rigorous" way to tell us what we already know.

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single elimination - variance is going to be super super high.

 

Brazil is still the best bet, but its not a good bet.

 

Yeah, though we're still waiting for the "fluke" World Cup winner a la Greece in the Euro.

 

I'm a bit skeptical over the player adjustment portion of the SPI as well - it seems like there may be some funny stuff going on inside the box given the correlation between the two portions.

 

The SPI also seems to have the same problem that a lot of the non-baseball advanced stats have: it's just a more "rigorous" way to tell us what we already know.

 

Well you know - who's more crooked - UEFA or FIFA?

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I wasn't looking at the history of odds, but the history of winners. Spain last time around is about as close as it gets to unexpected, and Spain was hardly a rank outsider.

 

The cup is almost always won by Brazil, Germany, Argentina, or Italy (once upon a time, Uruguay too); Brazil have won 5 times; and this is Brazil at home. The significance of single elimination seems to be dramatically reduced once you control for the quality of the participants.

 

ETA: Wow, in the last ten contests, those four teams have commanded 20 of the 40 semi-final spots.

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The favorite doesn't win very often. That's really the point. Not to mention that in games like the semis you see a lot of different teams.

 

In the last 20 years we've had illustrious footballing nations like Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey, and S. Korea appear in Semis

 

Its a relatively small tournament and the the teams that have won it the most not coincidentally have played in in the most. I mean like 3-4 of brazils wins came when it was a 16 team tournament.

 

To put it in perspective the top 5 teams in the world series have won like 65% of all world series - and that's been played 119x and the tournament has been 24-30 teams since inception - and appearing in the world series especially pre-69 required a large sample set to qualify.

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Arguably France in 1998 and Spain in 2010.

 

There are about ten nations that could win any given year. Most years, you'd be safe to assume one of Brazil, Spain, Italy, Ned, Arg, Uruguay, France, England, Portugal, will win. All with varying likelihood. There's some low chance that you'll see someone from outside of that group, but it's not negligible. But anyone from that group wouldn't be an upset in any given tournament.

 

Eta: ab - yes.

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