Some thoughts on the World Cup Predictor and FIFA 2006 World Cup
IT'S ALL OVER: World Cup 2006 has ended, with Italy victorious.
It's been a great tournament in my opinion (early rounds especially), with some real surprises. Who would have thought france would go so far, or that Zidane would lose his composure in such an embarassing way.
Did you use the predictor to place bets? The simulator did a fantastic job of recommending bets right down to the semifinals. If you took its advice along the way you would have bets riding on 3 of the last 4 remaining teams (and very few bets on the teams that did not make it).
But there's a reason they call it gambling..
Portugal was one of the few early, consistently, and strongly recommended bets made by the simulator - their odds were as high as 25:1 in the first round. They were the one semi-longshot that the simulator made a strong recommendation to bet on.
We bet $250 using the simulator's advice, betting about $50 each on England, France, Germany, and Portugal, and then a little more on miscelaneous teams. By the semifinals, things looked great. A win by portugal would have netted $1300, by germany, $900, by france, $600.
Italy, however, was not recommended as a good bet by the predictor, because it, like Brazil, had too good a chance of winning in the eyes of betmakers and bettors, and therefore had insufficient odds on their winning.
Portugal was eliminated by france in the second to last game of the tournament, and two beautiful goals by italy in the last minutes of their game against germany brought them into the finals. In the end, it was italy, playing consistently solid throughout the tournament, that won, leaving us with no winnings..
Ah well, that's why they call it gambling.
Despite the lack of winnings - it's hard to argue that the predictor didn't do a great job. After all, remember that the predictor is not trying to guess who will win and advise you to bet on that team. It's trying to recommend bets with the best expected payoffs. This will rarely be the team most likely to win - but rather teams that are under-rated. Given how far germany, france, and portugal advanced, you can't ask for much more from a betting predictor.. Well i suppose you could ask for a win, but in a probabilistic world all you can do is play the odds..