LUCK OF THE DRAW

Cajuncook sends along this breakdown of the world cup draw, because in his words, “he’s not cool enough to have a blog.” I’m not sure “cool” is the right word, but this is good work anyways.

He basically switched the groups facing each other in the knockout stage what impact that had on each team’s chances of advancing. The only thing I did was rearrange them by team to make it more readable.

I’m sure he’ll be around in the comments if anyone wants clarification, but I think the ranking is some kind of adjustment of SPI to the vegas odds. 50,000 simulations in each scenario. The chart below shows the odds of advancing to quarter-finals and semi-finals followed by the average difference of all other scenarios. For QF matches, I used the odds of advancing instead of sim.

The quarter-final odds are a nice tool to gauge the relative strength of the teams left. For example, Ghana would be an average of 10% less likely to win against any team but the United States. This means that the United States was the weakest team to win their group in the books estimation. I’m not sure if it’s an error in the simulation, a not perfect adjustment, or people think Argentina is really good because of good play in the group stage and obvious talent. Probably a combination of all 3, but the based on this the #1 teams rankings are as follows:

Argentina
Brazil
Germany
Spain
Uruguay
Netherlands
Paraguay
United States

The number 2 teams would be:
Portugal
England
Ghana
Chile
Slovakia
Japan
Mexico
South Korea

Obviously the first round match is hugely important, as a number one seed could range from drawing England or Portugal, legit threats to win the tournament, or someone who is less likely like South Korea. You would have to say Ghana got the best break, being a strong 2, and drawing the weakest #1. If there draw had lined up differently they could have drawn Brazil.

The next important thing is that the Uruguay-South Korea-United States-Ghana group was incredibly easy. This is not a shocker. It was very likely late in the US game against Algeria that this group could have included England, which definitely would have been more equally distributed with the rest of the field. As it stands, That quadrant turned into a weak one, and England-Germany-Argentina-Mexico is the powerhouse region for the tourney.

After the Semi-finals, I did not want to put out the simulation, because it looks to be a little off in how it values some of the teams. But, interestingly after the SFs, Brazil and Netherlands probably are the luckiest. There group will be much harder to get out than Spain’s but once they do, Uruguay or Ghana are waiting for them that is not nearly as bad as the potential of Argentina, England or Germany.

Overall, though, Uruguay-Ghana-US-South Korea, got the best break.

Thanks again to cajuncook.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “LUCK OF THE DRAW

  1. JNS

    I like the concept here, but I’m fairly certain Mexico is considered better than Slovakia by oddsmakers and by SPI. Mexico is 10th in SPI with an 80.7, while Slovakia is 49th with a 68.4. Netherlands Slovakia is -537/+439, but Argentina Mexico is -369/+309. This makes no sense if Argentina is better than the Netherlands and Slovakia is better than Mexico.

  2. Yeah, I think there were a few issues with how he converted the SPI to Vegasodds to a win-loss %. Most teams it seemed pretty accurate, but there were a few that made no sense.

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