World Cup: How are those bets holding up?

The World Cup is down to 16 teams and we are into the single elimination part of the tournament. Just like Wall Street survived the financial collapse of 2008, the USA survived despite a tie with Portugal and a loss to Germany.

The group stage has been one of the most unpredictable World Cups ever. Perennial powers Spain (the defending champion), England, Italy and Portugal have been eliminated. Upstarts like Costa Rica and Chile have advanced.

Goldman Sachs and their army of quantitative analysts have had only a 36.11-percent success rate in predicting games so far. Thank god for the Volcker Rule which prohibits proprietary trading. If not, perhaps they would be calling Warren Buffett for another bailout.

Belgium's Jan Vertonghen (5) shoots during the 2014 FIFA World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Belgium in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 26, 2014.
Cem Osdel | Anadolu | Getty Images
Belgium's Jan Vertonghen (5) shoots during the 2014 FIFA World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Belgium in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 26, 2014.

So how are my predictions doing?

I targeted four teams — Brazil, France, Colombia and Chile — to bet on. All four have advanced to the final 16. Famous prognosticator Nate Silver pegs their chances to win at 37 percent, 8 percent, 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively. So you have over a 50-percent chance to win if you listened to me.

Also, if you bet all four to advance to this round as I suggested, you, at worst, break even and are playing with house money. The only difference between my betting strategy and Goldman's is that I am right but they have a market capitalization of $75 billion.

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However your bets are faring, here are five surefire World Cup bets:

1. No more ties. In this stage of the tournament, there are no more ties. In this stage, if they end in a tie they go to penalty kicks. While I think this isn't a great way to settle the tie, there is no doubt it's exciting.

2. WWE- like controversy. Soccer isn't just about the game, it's about the drama. If you put your money down on Luis Suarez biting someone – congratulations! Bettson, a gambling website based in Malta, offered a prop bet on Suarez biting someone. The odds were 175-1 and 167 gamblers bet on the bite. Hopefully Suarez got in on the action, so he could literally put his money where his mouth is.

My advice to all Wall Street traders is if a customer causes you a big loss, go down to his office and bite him on the shoulder. That will teach him not to mess with you.

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3. Day drinking. It's summertime and there is no better time to day drink. Countries like Brazil, Argentina and Colombia have some of the world's most beautiful women and are still alive in this tournament. More importantly, their female fans love to go out and support their teams by drinking Caipirinhas and cervezas. So take a client out for lunch for a business meeting and check out those countries' greatest exports.

4. The joy of rooting against France. Even though I recommended betting on France, is there a country more fun to root against? Even a lot of French people love rooting against them. (All kidding aside, the French are a very big part of Wall Street and I have had the pleasure of working with many talented French traders.)

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5. Embracing the odds. You can still bet on the games. We are in July. Real football season starts soon. Unless you bet on baseball or you are like me hustling guys on the golf course, this is the last time you will gamble until college football starts. This is Wall Street. Gambling and odds are in our DNA. Don't fight it. Embrace it.

Commentary by Raj Malhotra (Raj Mahal is his stage name), a former Wall Street trader-turned-stand-up-comedian. He has worked at Wall Street firms covering three continents, including at Bank of America, BNP Paribas and Nomura. He draws from his unique ethnic background and Wall Street career to entertain audiences nightly, highlighting the struggles of the 1 percent. He can be seen at Gotham Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, NY Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, and the Tribeca Comedy Lounge. Follow him on Twitter @RajMahalTweets.

Author's note: I would like to dedicate this op-ed to a close personal friend that I lost last week, Nick Perry. Nick was one of the most supportive and funniest people I have ever met. There are stereotypes of Wall Street people, but Nick treated everyone — his boss, colleagues, juniors, waiters, homeless people — with total respect. This is a quality I wish more people had. When he asked me for a market he would jokingly say, "Is that your market or the yearly trading range?" The world will truly miss you my friend.