So You’re Saying There’s a Chance? Poisson World Cup Predictions

June 30, 2018

The game of soccer is an interesting one. A team can outshoot the other and have far better chances, but end up losing. Likewise, a team playing poorly can have one big chance in the whole match and use it to score the game’s only goal. As we have seen so far in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, there have been many outcomes and statistics that we have not expected….


Even wishful thinking leads to plausible FIFA World Cup rankings!

June 9, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins next week. In an era of sports analytics, legalized gambling, and online bracket challenges (thanks March Madness), it’s time for many of us to sit down and make our own World Cup predictions.Motivated by an off-the-cuff ranking exercise that I assigned in my undergraduate course on soccer analytics earlier this Spring, I describe a ranking method that results from focusing on the country that…