A new Econ paper predicts the FIFA 2014 World Cup winners. The technique used correctly predicted the EURO 2008 final, with better results than other rating/forecast methods, and correctly predicted Spain as the 2010 FIFA World Champion and EURO 2012 Champion.
Using a bookmaker consensus rating – obtained by aggregating winning odds from 22 online bookmakers – the clear favorite is the host Brazil with a forecasted winning probability of 22.5%, followed by three serious contenders. Neighbor country Argentina is the expected runner-up with a winning probability of 15.8% before Germany with 13.4% and Spain with 11.8%. All other competitors have much lower winning probabilities with the “best of the rest” being the “insider tip” Belgium with a predicted 4.8%. (Zeileis et al. 2014 working paper)
Download Working Paper from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck:http://eeecon.uibk.ac.at/wopec2/repec/inn/wpaper/2014-17.pdf
EDS. Stephen Hawking finds the winning formula for England: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/soccer/stephen-hawking-winning-formula-england-article-1.1808225#ixzz3324cZN5c