From the MIT Technology Review:
One way to gauge likely outcomes is to look at bookmakers’ odds. These companies use professional statisticians to analyze extensive databases of results in a way that quantifies the probability of different outcomes of any possible match. In this way, bookmakers can offer odds on all the games that will kick off in the next few weeks, as well as odds on potential winners.
An even better estimate comes from combining the odds from lots of different bookmakers. This approach suggests Brazil is the clear favorite to win the 2018 World Cup, with a probability of 16.6 percent, followed by Germany (12.8 percent) and Spain (12.5 percent).
But in recent years, researchers have developed machine-learning techniques that have the potential to outperform conventional statistical approaches. What do these new techniques predict as the likely outcome of the 2018 World Cup?