Fly like an Eagle: USA's Updated World Cup Odds after Victory over Ghana
Now that we've all caught our breath and the "USA! USA!" chants have rendered our throats hoarse, the time has come to look ahead at what might be in store for the fightin' 'Mericans.
To Knockout Stage: 59.21% (was 27.16%, +32.05%)
Everyone pipped the Ghana match as the tipping point for the American chances, and the math certainly agrees with that. The simulations before the game favored a tie, with Ghana a slight favorite. Given the strength of Germany, and yes, even the strength of Portugal even without Pepe, our model only had the USA as being 27.13% to advance.
Now? It's a whopping 59.21%. Crazy how a single day can change the odds.
Germany did us a favor and a big one with a straight up demoralization of Portugal, racking them to a -4 goal differential. Not only that, top Portugal player Pepe took one of the dumbest penalties ever, earning him a red and a match suspension for the next fixture. Even if the U.S. can't match up to Germany - and analytics say they won't - a weakened Portugal is a much better matchup for a confident U.S. team than anyone would have thought just a few days ago.
To Win the Group: 10.13% (was 7.26%, +2.87%)
It's unlikely the U.S. wins the group, but it's possible. It's hard to guess where Ghana will go from here; will they coalesce as a team and perhaps knock off Germany in a big upset? How about Portugal - how will they bounce back from the embarrassment?
Of course, that's all speculation. What we know is that Germany and the U.S. both have three points, and that's that. Both are in the driver's seat, but with Germany standing there with a power ranking of number and a beatdown of Portugal, the U.S. looks likely to achieve a second-place finish, perhaps the best outcome they would have imagined going in.
To Win It All: 1.61% (was 0.14%, +1.47%)
Okay, now we're really getting ahead of ourselves. The odds of winning it all went from 0.14% to 1.61%, but let's be real about this: it's a massively uphill battle. Even though our odds increased 11 times, we're still about 16-1 underdogs to win it all in relation to Brazil, so let's just take it one game at a time, shall we?