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. Thehave 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.
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
Nick Kostos' picks
Roger Gonzalez's picks
Igor Mello's picks
Tom Fornelli's picks
Sean Wagner-McGough's picks
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.