NEW YORK, May 28 (UPI) -- The World Cup is set to begin in Brazil on June 12, but according to a report from Goldman Sachs, 31 of the teams competing in the tournament might as well not bother to show up.
The firm analyzed the event -- from both the perspective of the actual games and economically -- and came to the conclusion that Brazil is a nearly 50 percent favorite to win the World Cup.
According to Goldman Sachs, the host country has a 48.5 percent chance of winning it all, followed by Argentina at 14.1 percent odds and Germany at 11.4 percent.
Here's the methodology behind the report:
"The predictions for each match are based on a regression analysis that uses the entire history of mandatory international football matches -- i.e., no friendlies -- since 1960. This gives us about 14,000 observations to estimate the coefficients of our model. The dependent variable in the regression analysis is the number of goals scored by each side in each match. Following the literature on modelling football matches, we assume that the number of goals scored by a particular side in a particular match follows a Poisson distribution."
Spain, the 2010 champion, only received a 9.8 percent chance of winning from the firm, while the 2006 champion, France, was awarded just a 0.8 chance of winning the final.
While it remains to be seen whether Brazil will make good on Goldman Sachs' prediction and take first place, the squad is already No. 1 when it comes to traveling in style.
The team plane Brazil will use during the tournament has been painted by twin graffiti artists Os Gemeos using 1,200 cans of spray paint.