Nate Silver gives Brazil a 45% chance of winning the World Cup, with only Argentina and Germany having more than a 10% chance. My gut feeling is that that’s a bit high, but I’m no expert.
What I find striking, though, is that the headline says it’s “Brazil’s to lose.” Huh? If we take Silver’s prediction seriously, Brazil has a 55% chance of NOT winning the World Cup. How does that make it “theirs to lose”? Personally, I’d have to think they had something like a 75% chance before I’d say it was “theirs to lose.” I could maybe see an argument for using this language if their chance is simply over 50%, although I wouldn’t use that characterization. But if I think they are probably NOT going to win the World Cup, there’s no way I’d say it’s “theirs to lose”!
This post is by Phil.