World Cup Datathon

Are you a skilled data scientist, actuary, modeler or financial trader?

You can use your unique skill set to potentially share in $15,000 worth of prizes by predicting the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

Introducing Betfair’s World Cup Datathon.

How it works

You’re trying to predict the results of all 48 Group Stage matches of the 2018 World Cup.

  • The competition will be evaluated using the Log Loss method: at the end of the 48 Group Stage matches the prediction model with the least log loss is the winner
  • You will assign 1.0 units to all three options: team 1 win, team 1 draw, team 1 lose
  • All 48 Group Stage matches must be predicted before the start of Russia v Saudi Arabia (Friday 15th June, 1:00am AEST)


  • Each entrant can send up to five submissions, creating the opportunity to trial different models
  • Submissions are required in a csv file named in the following format firstname_lastname_modelname.csv
  • Download our example HERE


Betfair is offering a plethora of prizes. They are:

  • 1st place – $5,000
  • 2nd place – $3,000
  • 3rd place – $2,000
  • 4th place – $1000
  • 5th place – $750
  • 6th place – $500
  • 7th – 10th place – $250

Plus, our in house data science team is talking a big game. If you finish above their submissions, but out of the top 10, you’ll win a Betfair winter prize pack.

Entrants must be over 18. Terms and conditions apply.

Extra Hand

If you’re new to Modeling. Our Data Science share two ELO resources that will make this process less intimidating.

We know your outputs are only as good as your inputs. So we’ve sourced a deep set of international soccer data to assist you with your prediction model. You can use this or source other data to build your model.

Once you’ve modeled the data, please submit it here. Remember, the format should match THIS example.


The Betfair Datathon results will be updated every day during the World Cup Group Stage. You’ll be able to check the leaderboard and see where you sit against your peers.

We’ll also include some baseline models like Wisdom Of The Crowd (average of all submissions), Betfair Weighted Money (based on the odds at the start of the game), The Favourite (assigning 0.99 to every favourite) etc.

Professional Punters

Some of Betfair’s most successful clients are data scientists and modelers. They make lucrative full time incomes by beating the markets on the Betfair Exchange.

We’ve shared some of their stories on Betfair’s Hub:

  1. James; quit banking to model sport
  2. Mathematician Jack
  3. API David

Access the Betfair API

Betfair has it’s own Exchange API. To automate your betting strategy or start polling for data, you can access the Betfair API HERE.

If you’re having any difficulties with this process, don’t hesitate to contact the Australian / New Zealand support on

Ready to try your model? Join the Betfair Exchange. There’s no bookies, just punter vs punter.