More than any other nation, Costa Rica was essential to building his bankroll at the last World Cup. We shall see if that trend continues today. Yesterday was almost a fantastic day for Nate Silver. I say almost not because his light treason didn’t pay off. Sure, Australia lost, but in the other three games Nate picked up wins for a profit of 199K+. That puts him up $49,088 on the tournament. No, the real issue as this tweet:
As you’ll note from the comments, Nate’s tweet had a few problems:
1. The sample size at the time of the tweet was six, with a seventh game in it’s late stages.
2. In addition from the change from grass to turf, there was also an increase in the size of the field. That has led to greater disparity in talent in the group stage games.
3. That talent disparity led to a 10-0 beatdown, which is particularly relevant given the small sample size.
In the game that a was played following the tweet, Japan defeated Switzerland one-nil. The expected number of goals today is 11.5 (it’s higher than simply adding up all the O/U’s due to the mean number of goals being greater than the median). If Nate wishes to bet on goals being scored, he can start with England-France o2.5 +124. The market so far seems unimpressed with the early scoring binge.
Game 9: England vs. France
England -0.5, Risking 14.12%: $87,640 to win $482,019
Again we see Nate playing to win big. For those of you who are following along at home, Nate could be on England +0.5 and would be risking a higher % of his bankroll, but his expected bankroll growth would be lower, and we’re all about expected bankroll growth here.
Game 10: Spain vs. Costa Rica
Costa Rica +0.5, Risking 22.87%: $114,379 to win $571,894
Over the course of the group stage Nate sees Costa Rica managing at least one draw 62% of the time. The markets are highly skeptical that is the case, but that’s why these bets have such large payoffs.
Game 11: Mexico vs. Colombia
Mexico -0.5, Risking 9.05%: $48,247 to win $73,819
Does anyone else think of Griselda Blanco when they see this matchup? More than anyone else, she worked to turn Miami into the major entry point for cocaine into the United States in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. She was also influential in helping Pablo Escobar rise to power, and forming close ties with the Mexican cartels. That those ties still exist today is both an example of Coase Theorem and applied game theory. Oddly, Griselda’s downfall begin when she failed to take the long view and attempted to double-cross the Medellín cartel. Oops. At least she helped inspire this:
Game 12: South Korea vs. Brazil
South Korea +0.5, Risking 9.65%: $101,965 to win $261,449 (edited)
As always, if any of the earlier bets pay off, this wager will increase in size. (Costa Rica still has Nate’s back! Between the huge win, and the line moving towards Brazil, Nate is feeling frisky backing South Korea).