The 2018 World Cup kicks off June 14 in Russia, with 32 teams vying for the trophy but fewer than half owning a realistic chance to win it all.
FIFA's official site is holding a bracket challenge for fans across the world, just like March Madness. You'll be able to compete against your friends, family members and colleagues by predicting the group stage results and every knockout match for the 2018 World Cup.
Before you lock in your 2018 World Cup bracket picks, you need to see what European soccer expert David Sumpter has to say.
Sumpter is an applied mathematician who wrote Soccermatics, the book that shows how math works inside the game. Together with experienced analysts, Professor Sumpter developed the powerful "Soccerbot" model.
The Soccerbot reads current odds and all team performance data, calculates key metrics and predicts upcoming matches. In the two-and-a-half seasons since it was born, the Soccerbot is up 1800 percent on bookmakers' closing odds. That's right -- 1800 percent!
Now the Soccerbot, which analyzed every group fixture and potential knockout matchup, has revealed its picks for every round of the tournament, including a World Cup champion.
One huge surprise the model is calling for: Nigeria, a team with 250/1 odds to win the World Cup, advances past the group stage and into the Round of 16.
Also, the model says two teams with tempting odds make a deep run at the 2018 World Cup. Anyone who bets on these underdogs could hit it big.
So who else makes a deep run at the 2018 World Cup? And which nation lifts the trophy? Join 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 the bookmakers' closing odds.