2018 World Cup predictions: Russia 2018 brackets, favorites, expert picks and upsets by CBS Sports experts

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is upon us, as the top nations in the world of soccer touch down in Russia with one common goal: Hoisting that beautiful golden trophy depicting two humans together holding the globe. The latest odds have Brazil, Germany, Spain and France as the heavy favorites. In fact, eight teams sit ahead of Euro 2016 champs Portugal.

So who makes a deep run at the 2018 World Cup? And which nation lifts the trophy? Visit SportsLine now to get the complete optimal bracket for the World Cup, and see which favorites fail to advance past the quarterfinals, all from the model that's returned an 1800 percent profit on bookmakers' closing odds.

But as we all know, the tournament never plays out the way we see it on paper. There are always surprises. Just ask Italy, England, Portugal and Spain -- four giants that crashed out of the group stage back in 2014. That's why our CBS Sports prognosticators made their predictions before the start of the tournament based on a four years (and a few pre-World Cup friendlies) worth of evidence, and their brackets are presented below.

Picks Thomas Rongen Nick Kostos Roger Gonzalez Igor Mello Tom Fornelli Sean Wagner-McGough
Group A winner Uruguay Uruguay Uruguay Uruguay Uruguay Uruguay
Group A runner-up Russia Egypt Russia Egypt Russia Egypt
Group B winner Spain Spain Portugal Spain Spain Portugal
Group B runner-up Portugal Portugal Spain Portugal Portugal Spain
Group C winner France France France France France France
Group C runner-up Peru Peru Peru Peru Denmark Denmark
Group D winner Argentina Argentina Argentina Croatia Argentina Argentina
Group D runner-up Croatia Croatia Croatia Argentina Croatia Croatia
Group E winner Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil
Group E runner-up Serbia Costa Rica Switzerland Serbia Serbia Switzerland
Group F winner Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany
Group F runner-up Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico
Group G winner Belgium Belgium Belgium England Belgium Belgium
Group G runner-up England England England Belgium England England
Group H winner Senegal Colombia Colombia Colombia Colombia Colombia
Group H runner-up Poland Poland Senegal Poland Senegal Senegal


In the group stage, our pundits seem to agree on Uruguay, France, Brazil, Germany and Colombia all winning their groups. Some of the biggest surprises among our prognosticators include Uruguay winning it all (Nick Kostos), Belgium reaching the final (Sean Wagner-McGough), host nation Russia reaching the quarterfinals (Roger Gonzalez), Spain crashing out in the quarterfinals (Tom Fornelli), Senegal winning the group (Thomas Rongen) and Argentina finishing second in the group and crashing out in the first knockout stage (Igor Mello).

Three of the six experts have the Brazilian national team hoisting the trophy when it's all said and done. Here's a look at each of our expert brackets below:

Thomas Rongen's picks

world-cup-bracket-thomas.jpg
Igor Mello/CBS Sports

Nick Kostos' picks

world-cup-bracket-nick.jpg
Igor Mello/CBS Sports

Roger Gonzalez's picks

world-cup-bracket-roger.jpg
Igor Mello/CBS Sports

Igor Mello's picks

world-cup-bracket-igor.jpg
Igor Mello/CBS Sports

Tom Fornelli's picks

world-cup-bracket-tom.jpg
Igor Mello/CBS Sports

Sean Wagner-McGough's picks

world-cup-bracket-sean.jpg
Igor Mello/CBS Sports

Still craving for more predictions? Here you can find SportsLine's odds and predictions, including winners of every group using David Sumpter's advanced Soccerbot computer model. Also, Sumpter believes one big team will crash out fairly early. If our experts picks come to fruition, Russia 2018 promises to be a historic World Cup to remember.

Our Latest Stories
    24/7 Scores, News, Highlights
    FREE ON ALL YOUR DEVICES