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Fun With #WorldCup Data: How Do Betting Odds Stack Up To Twitter Talk?

The World’s Game is under way in Brazil, and as the best footballers from around the globe mark up, everyone has opinions about who will win. From ESPN to Eddie at your local bar, everyone is an analyst.

As a company of analysts, we geek out on data. One of my favorite places to find it is from the grand poobah of analysis: Nate Silver. Silver and his team at compiled and ranked the World Cup contenders based on his “SPI” calculation, which he created with ESPN in 2010. He then compared that to the Betfair favorites.

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Naturally, we wanted to see how this betting price correlated with social buzz, so we compared the top five to the most talked-about teams on Twitter.


Not surprisingly, there was a little variance. While Brazil – who just won their opening match against Croatia –  is the Vegas favorite, Spain has been the most mentioned team over the last 30 days. Not surprising, considering their international fame, and the fact that they’re the reigning champs.

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The majority of Spain’s Twitter mentions came on May 30th, when they used Twitter as a platform to announce their final roster.

So while Brazil seems to be the upfront choice to pull through, the reigning champs from Spain seem to have the backing of the people, at least on Twitter. How important is this in the long run? Not at all…unless Twitter volume and World Cup winner match up…in which case we’ll be gloating for the next four years.

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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