Total Football Versus The Beautiful Game

Anyone who predicted Brazil would not be the World Cup winner, much less get beaten in the quarter-finals, was just being contrarian.  Virtually no analysis that went beyond hope had Brazil running through this event.  When Adriano and Ronaldinho are not good enough to be on your team, you know you have a great team.

That's not to say you wouldn't have a chance picking at random.  As I discussed in David Beckham - Physicist (And A Poissonian Process For Predicting Soccer Goals) when you factor minor differences between a Poissonian and binomial distribution and the tendency towards a draw, a soccer match is pretty much equivalent to two teams throwing dice so today's match between Netherlands and Brazil could have been a tossup if you first accurately predicted that it would not be a draw. 

But bookmakers were having none of that.  They had Brazil -120 money line favorites in today's FIFA World Cup match versus Holland (+330) with a draw paying +240.  If you don't understand the rather odd nomenclature of money lines, that means you had to risk $120 on Brazil to win $100 while risking $100 on Holland would earn you $330.   Great odds indeed.

Here is a Bayesian prediction of outcomes from before the match.  
bayesian prediction 2010 world cup

As you can see, everyone predicted Brazil in the final (and I predicted them to win) but that is what makes it a beautiful game, even if the team that made it so is out of the event.

Strange related articles

As you all know, we are aware that people sometimes show up because of search engines.  We have quality content written by experts on a variety of subjects and if someone is here to read up on a topic, we want to make it easy to be a resource.   Thus, we have related articles in a box below articles (and above comments) so people can easily find more things.

But it isn't always perfect.  Today we have an article on an eclipse happening next week - Roma Versus Delta Ophiuchi - Watch While An Asteroid Eats A Star - an 'occultation' because a tiny asteroid is blocking out a huge, distant star, thanks to viewing angle.   

Related articles had what you expect, other occultations but then this:

Fecal occult blood sounds really sinister, and I never saw the article before, which means it is one of the many press releases we get that are auto-formatted to save writers time if they want to blog on a topic and want links and graphics already embedded,  but it turns out it is a well-known marker for colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous large adenomas - so I got a little smarter, thanks to wondering why the occult was on our science site.

Thanks, related articles!