Outside of Spain overwhelming its opponents and Germany kicking the crap out of every team it faces, you’ve gotta admit, Euro 2012 has seemed fairly random so far.
Netherlands, one of the pre-tournament favorites, lost all three of its matches and struggled to score. Russia, listed at -700 to advance after two matches, promptly suffered a stunning 1-0 defeat to Greece and failed to make the quarterfinals after Czech Republic knocked off Poland.
A handful of other results have been somewhere between surprising and shocking.
Believe it or not, a recent study—whose findings seem flimsy but might carry some truth—actually found that soccer expertise does not have any effect on picking winners. The study, which was published last month, surveyed a sample of 258 people during the first 10 matches of Euro 2008.
The sample was broken down into three groups:
- Football experts (21.3%)
- Amateurs (24.4%)
- Know-nothings or “laypersons” (54.3%)
The study found that there was no significant difference between experts and laypersons (see chart below). No expert was able to successfully predict more than seven out of 10 outcomes, and amateurs and laypersons fared just as well and in some cases were better.
While the study could have been improved (it might have suffered from sampling error, and also should have been simulated under real gambling conditions), the purpose of bringing it to your attention is to make you feel better about yourself if you’re off to a bad start in Euro 2012.
So, you’re welcome.
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