The Flaw in the Models, or How’d Brazil get beat down that badly?


Let’s get this out of the way. Based on Nate Silver’s models, Brazil had a 1 in 4000 chance of losing by six goals. By that same model, Brazil had a 65% chance of victory, even without Neymar and Thiago Silva [1]. And there is no statistical model I would trust more than something Nate Silver created (John Hollinger being a not-too-close second).

Even if you take the reasoning that statistical models don’t really care about the difference at the extremes, that 1-in-4000 is not that distinguishable from 1-in-400, this beatdown was still an all time outlier, as in this was one of the most unexpected scorelines in history.

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