With less than three weeks to go before the FIFA World Cup seizes Brazil, the window for placing bets on the world's biggest sporting event is closing.
The pool of predictions is deep for millions of crazed fans. Every four years, commentators deliver painstaking analysis ahead of the kick off. There is at least one animal clairvoyant making a televised pick with its paws or tentacles. This year, the Simpsons even weighed in, calling a German victory in one of its Sunday night episodes.
What about a team who specializes in crunching numbers on a daily basis?
Goldman Sachs has released its fifth edition of its World Cup and Economics report, a "model of the probability of success in a match between any two given teams, based on their track record and characteristics."
Goldman says it's "striking" how much the home country of Brazil leads the field in odds.
"Our probability for an overall Brazil win is almost 50 per cent," according to the report, while Germany, Argentina and Spain are favoured to clinch the semi-finalist positions.
Goldman's track record is akin to hitting the goal post: In 2010 and 2006, Goldman correctly predicted two of the four semi-finalists. But in 2002 it didn't predict even one.
To the victor belong the spoils
If Goldman proves to have picked a winner this year, the U.S. bank recommends betters reinvest their winnings into Brazil's stock within a month after the championship match.
"There is a clear pattern of outperformance by the winning team in the weeks after the World Cup final," says the report. "On average, the victor outperforms the global market by 3.5 per cent in the first month."
The sole exception within the post-1972 statistics was Brazil in 2002. The team won when its economy was mired in recession and a currency crisis, and its stock market ultimately lagged the global market.
You can read Goldman's full report here.
The opening ceremony airs Thursday, June 12 at 2:00p.m. ET on CBC Television. For more, visit CBC's World Cup page here.