Belgium the fans' favourites ahead of SWC 2018

Cape Town - Belgium's star-studded Soccer World Cup squad has seen them attract the majority of the pre-tournament outright bets, according to BET.co.za.

"We've seen a flood of money coming for Roberto Martinez's team." said BET.co.za marketing manager Brenton Chelin.

"Perhaps it has to do with the attractive odds, or maybe any team that can afford to leave out Radja Nainggolan is being taken seriously by our punters!" he added.

Martinez named Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany and Thibaut Courtois in an impressive line-up, despite the omission of Radja Nainggolan.

At 11/1, punters are finding them an attractive betting prospect with 23% of the pre-tournament bets struck at BET.co.za being placed on the underdogs.

Surprisingly, England have attracted the second most bets (18%), followed by favourites Brazil (14%) and Argentina (13%).

The French team has attracted only 5% of the betting - perhaps South Africans avoiding them while remembering their shambolic performance in 2010 - and Spain (4%) are another team that are cold in the betting markets.

Open a BET.co.za account before the World Cup kicks off and get a free R50 bet on one of the Top 8 teams. 

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Belgium 23-man Soccer World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/ENG), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool/ENG), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg/GER)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (both Tottenham Hotspurs/ENG), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic/SCO), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City/ENG), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona/ESP)

Midfielders: Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang/CHN), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/ENG), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United/ENG), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/ENG), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach/GER), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad/ESP), Youri Tielemans (Monaco/FRA), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian/CHN)

Forwards: Dries Mertens (Napoli/ITA), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/ENG), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United/ENG)