From Pandas to Psychics: The 6 Best World Cup Predictors

Who should you put your money on in Brazil?

The incredibly important sports news broke recently that China will use adorable baby pandas to try to predict the winners of the 2014 World Cup. While their reasoning is sound (Chinese pandas have no horse in the race and are totally impartial. Also, they’re pandas), we can’t help but wonder if we might be better putting our money on oracles (animals or otherwise) that might have a better shot to bring us home.

Pulpo Paul

This eight-armed Nostradamus made waves during the 2008 Euros and the 2010 World Cup where he was able to predict winners with staggering 85% accuracy. The German octopus predicted his home country’s matches, including their semi-final loss, after which many German fans called for him to become dinner, but Paul survived to accurately predict that Spain would take the trophy. Paul would be our go-to source for results, but unfortunately the octopus died not long after 2010’s finals. Apparently world renown was a little too much for him to handle. (Or, he just lived the average lifespan of an octopus.)

Miss Cleo

The famed dial-a-psychic promised accurate readings for anyone who happened to be watching late-night television in the late ‘90s, but how dead-on would she be in calling the footy winners? Well, questions about the authenticity of her operation (and maybe worst of all, her Jamaican heritage) emerged in the early 2000s and she last surfaced doing ads for a used car lot in Florida. So she probably can’t tell you who will take home the Cup, but she might be able to tell you how to score a Mazda Miata for an incredibly low price.

Cris Collinsworth

Chris Berman might call himself “The Swami” when it comes to predictions, but early in the 2012 NFL season Cris Collinsworth gave him a run for that title. In a Chargers-Saints contest he noticed a weakness in the Chargers line as San Diego was trying to put together a game-winning drive. He predicted that without help, that would cost the Chargers the game. Lo and behold, on the very next play Philip Rivers was stripped and Norv Turner resumed making this face. It’s not a huge leap to think that maybe Collinsworth would be as apt at calling the other kind of football.

Biff Tannen

Sure, he’s a fictional character, but is that any worse than taking your cues from an animal? During Marty McFly’s time-meddling (of which he did quite a bit), Biff ended up with a sports almanac that he used to make a fortune on sports betting. We can only assume that he has the answer to this year’s tournament (and all the other ones), though we can’t assume he’d share the info. That Biff, he’s a slimy one.

Floyd Mayweather

The notorious gambler made a habit of tweeting out his betting slips, totaling a cool $4 million over nearly two years, all winners. Of course, these were tweeted after the events were finished, so the flashy boxer may not be as much in the black as he seems to be. Either way, “Money” may have a hot tip on the soccer action, but unless you’re willing to lay down a pretty hefty sum on it, you probably don’t run in those circles.

Sepp Blatter

Hey, with FIFA being as corrupt as it is, you might as well just ask the company’s president, Sepp Blatter, who is going to win. He’s probably known for months.

Photos by ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images