With the 2018 FIFA World Cup set to kick off shortly, football fans around the world are guessing which nation will win it all—with many of their picks bound to sail wide like an errant shot on goal.
Looking to take some of the guessing out of the process, Swiss private investment bank and financial services company UBS is using its econometric tools—tech generally used to identify investment opportunities—to try and predict the outcome of the tournament.
The simulations from UBS indicate no country has higher odds of winning the cup than Germany, giving the defending champions a 24% chance to repeat. Brazil and Spain also stand a good chance of taking home the trophy, with chances of 19.8% and 16.1%, respectively.
Beyond those three, chances look grim for the rest of the field, with England given the next highest odds at 8.5%.
Meanwhile, host nation Russia only has a 1.6% chance, despite starting out in the tournament’s weakest group. UBS isn't bullish on regional teams either: among Middle Eastern and North African nations competing in the tournament, its simulations gave Morocco a 0.1% chance to win it all, and Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia a 0% chance.
"No matter whether they are analyzing global markets or soccer tournaments, people tend to be biased towards local favorites. The same quantitative discipline that the Chief Investment Office applies to investments has proven useful in successfully looking beyond a home bias in portfolios and sports events,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.