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Just 8% of England fans backing Three Lions glory

With the World Cup finally upon us, many will have a flutter at some point during the tournament. But are people more inclined to follow their head or their heart when it comes to choosing a team to back? Optimove, the relationship marketing platform that studies customer behaviour to help brands, has analysed the bets placed by 700 million people around the world to reveal who backs whom during the World Cup.

Unsurprisingly, people like to bet on their own national team, even if their odds to win are low. However, the English buck the trend, and were the nation least likely to bet on their home team winning the World Cup. Only 8% expected the ‘Three Lions’ to lift the trophy.

The Portuguese had the most faith in their line-up, with 26% placing bets on their national team to win. The French and Belgians closely followed in confidence, with 23% and 21% of bets being placed on their national teams respectively.

Omer Liss, Research Lab Leader at Optimove, explains: “The Optimove research shows that bettors like to bet on their own national team, even if the probability of their team winning is low. The English are the only team that don’t inspire much support from their home punters – suggesting that they are quite clear-eyed about their own team’s chances of success.”

When it comes to putting the head over the heart, English bettors seem happy to set aside their long-standing rivalry with the Argentinians. Nearly a third of Brits had their money on the South American country to win in 2014. The South American love-affair continued on as Brazil was the second most popular team amongst the English.

But one rivalry the English seem unwilling to overlook is with the Germans. Despite ultimately winning the 2014 World Cup, the English weren’t willing to bet that the German nation would win. Only 5% of Brits placed their bets on Germany, compared to 23% of Spaniards correctly predicting that Germany would win the 2014 World Cup.

Liss added: “There are lots of factors that influence what team people choose to bet on. Whilst some people are driven by their heads, having analysed and examined all of the odds, others will always be driven by their hearts. They will be loyal to their national team, despite the likelihood that they won’t win. Understanding the emotion behind this kind of behaviour is key to businesses that want to foster emotionally intelligent relationships with their customers.”

The current predictions for the upcoming 2018 World Cup place Germany as most likely to win with 20 percent of bettors placing a bet on the country. It appears that there is even less faith in England this year, as only 4 percent of people believe that the nation will win.

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