Au Revior Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (Nate Silver, Day 14)
Iran feels your pain. The United States thinks you could taste an advance to the knockout round. I've mentioned futbol could be cruel, but this was an absolute disaster. Yes, it was a penalty. The Greek offense that hadn't scored a goal in the World Cup managed to get two. It would have been poetic had Greece managed to advance to the knockout round scoring only one goal, but alas. It's also a tremendous upset that Greece played in the only truly enjoyable game of the day, but there you go.
If you wanted to defend Colombia-Japan, that's reasonable. However, Japan were awful this World Cup and Colombia's 4-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the quality of the two squads. Colombia deserves to win the group, while Japan deserves to go home.
If there is any justice, Colombia will face a Uruguay squad sans Luis Suarez. In fact, Suarez should have been given a red and should now be banned for the rest of the tournament. I can't say Italy deserved a draw, especially since they wasted time at every opportunity (and should have earned multiple yellows in the process). Just another ugly game in a day full of them.
The ugliest of all was England-Costa Rica. No offense to Costa Rica, who played hard and won the group with a draw. However, I expected England to put together a more dynamic effort than that. The two teams combined for six shots on goal. Just a lousy day of futbol all around.
Lousy, except perhaps for Nate Silver. Despite the late loss by the Ivory Coast, Nate managed to run his tab to $721,317. Not bad. Today's slate:
Game 41: Argentina, 8.4%: Risking $50,970 to win $27,524
Game 42: Bosnia +0.5 goals, 19.15%: Risking $126,059 to win $44,231
Game 43: Honduras +0.5 goals, 24.03%: Risking $172,890 to win $354,883 (Updated)
Game 44: Ecuador +0.5 goals, 9.28%: Risking $55,912 to win $87,392 (Updated)
Nigeria could win the group with a dominant result over Argentina. They could also be eliminated if they lose and Iran beats Bosnia. In other words, they are in the same situation that the USA is against Germany. Unlike Germany, Argentina has clinched their spot in the next round, but they want to win the group to avoid having to face Brazil before the final.
Iran is a slight favorite to make the knockout round if they win. That's a pretty big if.
Group E is actually fairly interesting. While France hasn't technically clinched, they're almost certainly advancing to the next round. While Honduras hasn't technically been eliminated, they're very likely out. The real question is whether or not Ecuador can stay ahead of Switzerland. They currently have a 2-goal lead in goal differential, but now they have to face France. Switzerland is likely to win vs. Honduras, so there is a lot of pressure on Ecuador. Best of luck to Los Amarillos.
Back to Nate. After 40 games Nate Silver has increased his bankroll by an average of 5.0638% per-game. If that continues, he'll finish with over 2.36 million dollars. Thank goodness I don't believe in jinxes.
I do want to take a moment to crowd-source a question: How would you communicate the concept of the huge swings from full-kelly betting in an image? So far I have the idea of a pirate ship on the seas cresting a wave while other ships are getting tossed and swamped, but I don't think that quite captures the concept. If anyone has any thoughts on the subject, please comment here or tweet @sethburn with your ideas.
It's a shame Kenya didn't make it to the World Cup. If they had, I would have had a good excuse to post a link to the music I was listening to when I wrote this:
Enjoy today's games. Hopefully we're just a day away from the most boring draw in history, but I'll get to that tomorrow.