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Attention compulsive gamblers: Google’s cloud platform is 8 for 8 in World Cup predictions


Whether you’re an avid soccer fan or a compulsive gambler looking for an edge, Google’s cloud platform could be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on who you’re rooting for in this year’s World Cup. In a blog post today, product marketing manager, Benjamin Bechtolsheim revealed that so far the company’s system has managed to correctly predict winners for each match in the tournament’s Round of 16.

Google is using “touch-by-touch” data from Opta Sports that reviews multiple seasons from different pro soccer leagues, along with statistics from the group rounds of the World Cup. The company then analyzes player performance data from previous games to predict how well they’ll do in subsequent matches. This setup also uses a power ranking system developed by BigQuery engineer Jordan Tigani, as well as crowd enthusiasm data to substitute for a club having a “home team advantage.” Google then runs this information through its Compute Engine which cranks out the company’s predictions.

Now before you go betting the house on the search giant’s suggestions, Mountain View acknowledges that it’s not the only place with a perfect scorecard and admits that the Round of 16 didn’t have any real upsets. However, this won’t stop the company from trying its luck at predicting the results of the World Cup’s quarterfinals.

Here are Google’s predictions:

  • Brazil vs. Colombia: Brazil (71%)
  • France vs. Germany: France (69%)
  • Netherlands vs. Costa Rica: Netherlands (68%)
  • Argentina vs. Belgium: Argentina (81%)

Mountain View says it will follow up after the games to see how it’s calculations are holding up, but if you have a difference of opinion with what the company’s supercomputers and engineers are predicting, feel free to share your thoughts in our comment section below.

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