The 2018 world cup starts later this week and analysis carried out by data company Gracenote, makes for interesting reading, especially when compared to the percentage chances we see from the odds given to us by the bookmakers.
Gracenote have Brazil as their favourites, and by a country mile. They are giving Brazil a massive 21% chance of winning the 2018 World Cup, miles ahead of second placed Spain on 10%, who are followed surprisingly by Germany and Argentina, both on 8%.
If we compare Gracenote’s percentage to that of 888Sport, they are not too different. 888Sport make Brazil their 4/1 favourites, which in percentage terms is 20%, which pretty much backs up Gracenote’s 21%.
After that though the comparisons fall away. Germany are 9/2 with the bookies, which gives them an 18.2% chance of being the outright winners, which differs greatly from the data company’s 8%.
Next is Spain, who are 6/1/ third favourites with the bookmakers, which represents a 14.3% chance of victory, compared to the data company giving them a 10% chance.
The comparison in statistics on Argentina is closer, they are 9/1 with the bookmakers, a 10% chance, compared to the 8% chance that Gracenote give them.
Moving onto Gareth Southgate’s England side, and Gracenote give England a 4% chance of winning the world cup, making them joint 8th favourites, alongside Belgium (rather surprisingly) and Portugal.
Compare that with the odds, and 888Sport have England at 18/1, which means the bookie is giving England a 5.3% chance of lifting the trophy on the 15th July.
Another popular statistic is the likelihood of a new first time winner, in other words, anybody other than Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, France, England and Spain (Italy are the only other team to lift the world cup, but didn’t qualify) winning the world cup.
The data shows that there is a 47% chance of a new winner of the World Cup. On paper the only sides that I can really see having a chance of breaking into the elite group of eight teams who have previously won the world cup are Belgium, and Portugal.
Both are given a 4% chance by the data analysis company, while the bookmakers have Belgium at 11/1, with Portugal at 25/1 (which is a very big price given they are the champions of Europe). The odds here seem to contradict the analysis.