World Cup Final: Bookies Pick Germany, Camel Oracle Picks Argentina

4:12 AM PST 07/11/2014 by Georg Szalai
AP
Argentinian star Lionel Messi will get much attention during Sunday's World Cup final

Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana and others also predict who will hoist the trophy on Sunday.

LONDON – Ahead of Sunday's World Cup final between Argentina and Germany, bookies, statistics experts, "clairvoyant" animals and others have predicted a winner.

THR has looked at which side some popular prognosticators are predicting will hoist the winner's trophy and line up a victory parade after the World Cup comes to an end.

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U.K. betting firm William Hill offers odds of 4/6 for a Germany win on Sunday, with Argentina's odds listed at 6/5.

Similarly, Ireland's Paddy Power has odds of 8/11 on a German victory. That compares to the 11/10 odds for a win by Argentina in the final. Ladbrokes offers the same odds.

And Bet365 bookies give Argentina a 5/4 chance of winning, while listing Germany's odds at 63/100.

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Like bookies, Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight statistics blog at ESPN is favoring Germany. The statistics-driven website gives Germany a 63 percent change of winning, compared to 37 percent for Argentina and its global soccer star Lionel Messi.

However, Dubai camel Shaheen has picked Argentina as the winner of the World Cup final. Like with other animals around the world that have been used as Cup oracles, critics will point out that the camel's way of predicting a winner—the animal is put next to two signs with the national flags of the countries, with the winner being the nation whose flag it first chews on—isn't scientific. But reportedly, Shaheen has had a 66 percent success rate in predicting winners so far, with a particularly strong record since the start of the knockout stages.

Lanzelot, an armadillo in the zoo in Vienna, Austria, has also picked Argentina.

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Meanwhile, Bleacher Report simulated the final using EA Sports video game FIFA 14, and the result was a 2-0 victory for Argentina.

History is also not on Germany's side, as no European team has ever won a World Cup in humid Latin America. In comparison, Argentina won the last two World Cups in South America—1978 on home turf and 1986 in Mexico against Germany.

Meanwhile, Cortana, the digital assistant created by Microsoft as the company's answer to Apple's Siri, has reportedly correctly picked the winner in each of the knockout matches at the World Cup, making for 14  correct forecasts in a row. Cortana is calling Germany as the winner of the World Cup in Brazil.

Fans will still want to wait with any early celebrations until the final whistle blows on Sunday.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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