NHL:  Washington Capitals Capitals (20-12-1) 5 : 3 Boston Bruins Bruins (15-10-4)
NHL:  Philadelphia Flyers Flyers (13-11-7) 2 : 1 Buffalo Sabres Sabres (8-18-6)
NHL:  Columbus Blue Jackets Blue Jackets (20-11-1) 6 : 4 New York Islanders Islanders (17-12-3)
NHL:  Montreal Canadiens Canadiens (14-14-4) 2 : 1 New Jersey Devils Devils (17-9-5)
NHL:  Minnesota Wild Wild (17-11-3) 2 : 0 Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leafs (20-12-1)
NHL:  Anaheim Ducks Ducks (14-11-7) 3 : 1 St. Louis Blues Blues (21-10-2)
NHL:  Chicago Blackhawks Blackhawks (16-11-5) 5 : 1 Winnipeg Jets Jets (18-9-5)
NHL:  Tampa Bay Lightning Lightning (23-6-2) 4 : 1 Arizona Coyotes Coyotes (7-22-5)
NHL:  San Jose Sharks Sharks (17-10-3) 3 : 2 Calgary Flames Flames (16-13-3)
NHL:  Colorado Avalanche Avalanche (15-14-2) 2 : 1 Florida Panthers Panthers (12-15-5)
NHL:  Nashville Predators Predators (20-7-4) 4 : 0 Edmonton Oilers Oilers (13-17-2)
NHL:  Vegas Golden Knights Golden Knights (20-9-2) 2 : 1 Pittsburgh Penguins Penguins (16-14-3)
NBA:  Detroit Pistons Pistons (15-13) 105 : 91 Atlanta Hawks Hawks (6-22)
NBA:  New York Knicks Knicks (15-13) 111 : 104 Brooklyn Nets Nets (11-16)
NBA:  Cleveland Cavaliers Cavaliers (21-8) 121 : 112 Los Angeles Lakers Lakers (10-17)
NBA:  Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves (17-12) 119 : 96 Sacramento Kings Kings (9-19)
NBA:  Golden State Warriors Warriors (22-6) 112 : 97 Dallas Mavericks Mavericks (8-20)
NFL:   Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers (8-2) 40 : 17 Tennessee Titans Titans (6-4)
NFL:   New York Giants Giants (2-8) 12 : 9 Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs (6-4)
NFL:   Detroit Lions Lions (6-4) 27 : 24 Chicago Bears Bears (3-7)
NFL:   Houston Texans Texans (4-6) 31 : 21 Arizona Cardinals Cardinals (4-6)
NFL:   Minnesota Vikings Vikings (8-2) 24 : 7 Los Angeles Rams Rams (7-3)
NFL:   New Orleans Saints Saints (8-2) 34 : 31 Washington Redskins Redskins (4-6)
NFL:   Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars (7-3) 19 : 7 Cleveland Browns Browns (0-10)
NFL:   Baltimore Ravens Ravens (5-5) 23 : 0 Green Bay Packers Packers (5-5)
NFL:   Tampa Bay Buccaneers Buccaneers (4-6) 30 : 20 Miami Dolphins Dolphins (4-6)
NFL:   Los Angeles Chargers Chargers (4-6) 54 : 24 Buffalo Bills Bills (5-5)
NFL:   Cincinnati Bengals Bengals (4-6) 20 : 17 Denver Broncos Broncos (3-7)
NFL:   New England Patriots Patriots (8-2) 33 : 8 Oakland Raiders Raiders (4-6)
NFL:   Philadelphia Eagles Eagles (9-1) 37 : 9 Dallas Cowboys Cowboys (5-5)
NFL:   Atlanta Falcons Falcons (6-4) 34 : 31 Seattle Seahawks Seahawks (6-4)

3 winners and 4 losers from the 2018 World Cup draw

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The 2018 World Cup draw has been made, and it appears that the new draw format has paid dividends. Teams were seeded according to FIFA rankings instead of arranged geographically, and the result is that there’s no terrible group and no obvious group of death.

But that doesn’t mean that some teams didn’t get better draws than others. The FIFA rankings are based on a deeply flawed system, after all. Plus, Russia is a Pot 3-quality team that got an automatic top seed.

There were some very clear winners and losers from the draw: Teams, players, fans, and draw presenters.

Winner: Fans who want Messi vs. Ronaldo

Lionel Messi’s Argentina is a clear favorite in Group D, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal is set in Group B. There’s no guarantee that either wins their group — both got a set of three formidable opponents, and Portugal will be slight underdogs against Spain — but both can definitely win their groups.

Portugal v Chile: Semi-Final - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

And if they do, they’ll be set up for a quarterfinal matchup. The winners of Groups B and D are likely to be big-time favorites against the runners-up from Groups A and C. This is hardly a guarantee that we’ll get a Messi vs. Ronaldo quarterfinal, but this is about as good of a chance for a matchup between the two as we could have reasonably hoped for.

Losers: Morocco and Iran

If the draw shook out differently, these two teams could have been two of the biggest spoilers in the World Cup. Instead, after they got drawn together alongside Spain and Portugal in Group B, they’re expected to go out.

Morocco qualified without allowing a single goal, while Iran only conceded twice in qualifying and is undefeated in its last 10 matches. But Portugal and Spain will probably be too strong for each of them, and they’ll have to abandon their regular defensive styles to score on each other. Bad luck.

Winner: Uruguay

According to ELO ratings and data compiled by Ben Mayhew, no one got an easier draw than Uruguay. There was only one possible draw that could have turned out better for them. Russia is the weakest Pot 1 team, while Saudi Arabia is rated as the weakest team in the entire competition. The only way the draw could have been easier is if Tunisia landed in the group instead of Egypt.

This is also a big boost for the potential legacy of Luis Suarez as an all-time great player, and for gamblers too. Before the draw, Suarez was only 12th at the bookies for top scorer. Expect him to rack up goals and redeem himself after he was expelled from the 2014 World Cup for biting an opponent.

Loser: Mexico

With the United States out of the World Cup, Mexico has no competition for most supported team in America. And they’re going to have a tough time — El Tri drew defending champions Germany, a Sweden team that’s going to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic back, and a South Korea side led by Asian player of the year Son Heung-Min. Ouch.

Mexico’s dealt with tough draws before and reached the Round of 16 in six consecutive tournaments, but they’ll go to Russia as underdogs.

Winner: Gary Lineker

First, the England legend and draw presenter got a dig in at Diego Maradona, who he lost to at the 1986 World Cup partially thanks to the Hand of God.

Then, a completely unnecessary, but very funny burn on Italy.

Let Gary Lineker present every draw.

Loser: Iceland

Everyone’s favorite underdog at Euro 2016 will be picked by most pundits to finish last in an extremely difficult group with Argentina, Croatia, and Nigeria. But we’ll get to see at least three viking thunder claps, and probably one very emotional one at the end of group play.

Full 2018 World Cup draw results

Group A

1. Russia

2. Saudi Arabia

3. Egypt

4. Uruguay

Group B

1. Portugal

2. Spain

3. Morocco

4. Iran

Group C

1. France

2. Australia

3. Peru

4. Denmark

Group D

1. Argentina

2. Iceland

3. Croatia

4. Nigeria

Group E

1. Brazil

2. Switzerland

3. Costa Rica

4. Serbia

Group F

1. Germany

2. Mexico

3. Sweden

4. South Korea

Group G

1. Belgium

2. Panama

3. Tunisia

4. England

Group H

1. Poland

2. Senegal

3. Colombia

4. Japan

Sports Headlines

How the Disney-Fox deal could impact NBA fans Watch Luka Doncic make these two insane plays look effortless The best and worst from college basketball’s first month The Day of Reckoning: How NFL owners and Donald Trump put down a national protest 4 reasons to watch Broncos vs. Colts on ‘Thursday Night Football’ in Week 15 Trevor Siemian ruled out vs. Colts with shoulder injury Highlights from the Broncos beating the Colts on ‘TNF’ Young Cleveland Clinic patient asks LeBron James to dunk on Lonzo Ball ‘Oh my God, it’s the Aces’: Remembering the University of Evansville plane crash that shook college basketball Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota can get back on track — just probably not this season US Soccer is headed in the wrong direction Kevin Durant kissed a fan on the head after she was hit by an errant pass The NBA season never ends 4-star QB Matt Corral commits to Ole Miss Lonzo Ball dazzled us with another full-court pass NFL players stood up in 2017 and became bigger than the shield Kristaps Porzingis leaves Knicks game with ‘sore left knee,’ per team Presenting SB Nation’s 2017 All-America Team Brock Osweiler WOO HOO HOO HOOed his way to an 18-yard TD Devontae Booker's hurdle for a TD was so cool it should have counted (even though there was holding) Rumor Grade: J.D. Martinez to the Nationals Brook Lopez's second quarter vs. the Cavaliers was as bad as it gets The best and not-so-best of 2017's bowl gifts for players MLB free agent tracker Why the Cavaliers playing Nas during Lonzo Ball's warmups is a great roast The first Rose Bowl gave birth to — and almost killed — the CFB postseason We're building great things, and we need your talent. All 39 bowl games, ranked by watchability Couple gets married prior to Broncos vs. Colts 'Thursday Night Football' game The Argument for Retiring the Turnover Chain Rumor grade: Yankees and Diamondbacks discussing Jacoby Ellsbury The price of relievers is going up


Our guest