Volleymob/Brahm Men’s World Championship 3rd Round & Final Predictions

  0 Jeremy Brahm | September 25th, 2018 | News

With the second round complete, as I look back on my predictions at the beginning of the second round, I correctly picked five out of the six teams that made the third round. The only team I missed was Serbia as I had picked France over them as the best second place team. If France had beat Serbia in the first match of the second round, they would have qualified for the third round.

After the two pools for the Third Round of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships were drawn on Monday morning, I started to calculate the win probabilities for each of the two pools. I then started to put together a table of the teams if they faced in the semifinals and then the potential of which team they would face in the final. First let us show you ranking of the remaining teams plus France who are number 1.

The USA, Brazil and Russia, who were drawn together in Pool I are ranked second, third and fourth respectively. While Italy, Poland and Serbia were drawn into Pool J, are also ranked fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Even when looking that the numbers, they are very close in both pools, as you see in the big picture at the top of the page. With the teams being so close, I have predicted that each of the matches will go five sets in the third round. I have the USA and Brazil in the top two spots in Pool I, while Italy and Poland will be the top two in Pool J. Still right now as you look at the probability odds, each team to make the third round is 60% or higher. After the first matches on Wednesday, those numbers would change greatly if there was a 3-0 sweep by one team.

Moving onto the predictions of the semifinals and finals. The winner of Pool I will face the second place team of Pool J in one semifinal, while the winner of Pool J will face the second place team of Pool I. The winners of those two matches will face off in the Final, whereas the losers will play for 3rd place. Below is a head-to-head probability based on 1,000 simulations for each of the six teams. As you can see, when the teams of Pool I play Pool J, they are at an advantage in the match. In the semifinals, any of the Pool I teams will be favored. So when you look at the odds of making the final, Pool I alone controls 116.9% of the 200% (2 teams each at 100%, to reach the final, shown at the top of the page) odds to make the final. In my prediction in one semifinal the USA will face Poland and win, and in the other semifinal Brazil will face Italy and win. So, the USA vs. Brazil in the Final, and Poland vs. Italy in the third place match.

Courtesy Jeremy Brahm

However, when looking at the championship chances at the far right at the top of the page. The USA at 18.9% is barely ahead of Brazil at 18.8%. Russia follows in third at 17.3%. Poland is fourth at 15.3%, closely followed by Italy at 15.2% and rounding out the contenders is Serbia at 14.5%. So there you have it, USA to win the title on Sunday.

With that said, these matches are still to be played from Wednesday to Sunday. Each match should be exciting and close, with the champion saying on Sunday night, “I had to defeat some good teams in the last four matches to take the title.”

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