Betting on Spanish La Liga Football
La Liga is the premier footballing division in Spain, and has been in operation since 1929. In the majority of the years since its inception, La Liga has been a story of Barcelona versus Real Madrid, but it is a disservice to ignore the other historically relevant clubs in the Spanish top flight, who boast their own traditions, as well as vocal and passionate supports.
Currently a 20-team division, La Liga is played on a double round-robin basis, with every team facing the other 19 both home and away. The top four teams in the division qualify for the UEFA Champions League, while the next three best-placed clubs qualify for the UEFA Europa League. These two continental competitions have seen a fair element of Spanish success in recent years, and historically.
At the bottom of the table, the last three clubs at the end of the season in May are relegated to La Liga 2, with three clubs coming the other way.
Betting is popular on Spanish football, with La Liga's host of star names and famous clubs attracting global attention. La Liga betting odds are available with every available bookmaker, and as well as the title, there are a number of interesting betting markets, including top goalscorer (Trofeo Pichichi) and goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-games ratio (Trofeo Ricardo Zamora).
Spanish La Liga Football Odds
Betting on the La Liga title usually means betting on Real Madrid or FC Barcelona. Indeed, the two teams dominate nearly every aspect of footballing life in Spain, from TV coverage to newspapers' back pages – sometimes you would be forgiven for forgetting that there are 18 other clubs who make up the division. The fervour based around the rivalry of these two superclubs comes to a head twice a season when the teams meet in El Clásico, which is a highlight of the Spanish footballing calendar – interestingly this game has become almost as well-known for its red card count in recent years as for the number of fine individual performances and goals.
But betting on Spanish football is much more than simply backing Real and Barca. There are a number of clubs who can more than hold their own on any given day, and the depth of talent in Spanish football means that there are constantly new and exciting young players bursting onto the scene at other clubs. It may not take long for the big boys to snap up these talents, but for a brief time, these players can be seen lighting up the stage at some of Spain's less-famed sides, which all adds to the competitive nature of the league.
Spanish La Liga Title Odds for 2019-20
As is seemingly always true, the two favourites for the upcoming season of La Liga remain the two giants of Spanish football: Barcelona and Real Madrid. These two clubs have claimed 14 of the last 15 titles on offer in the Spanish domestic league, and due to the calibre of players, wealth of resources and size of supports, the sides look set to dominate the Spanish footballing landscape into the new season and beyond. The only other side who look even remotely capable of challenging these two clubs' hegemony is Atlético Madrid, who claimed that other title in the last 15 years, but back in 2013/14. La Liga title odds are dominated by these three teams, but by Barca and Real in particular.
The other clubs who look set for European places are, as usual, Sevilla and Valencia. The latter enjoyed a fruitful season in 2018/19, culminating in a surprise Copa del Rey victory over Barcelona, and a Champions League berth by finishing fourth in the league. Valencia look likely to be the closest challengers to the three established giants of Spanish football in the coming season, and could be good once again for that fourth and final Champions League position which is available in La Liga.
And so, will it be Barca, or will it be Real? The bookmakers place Barca as slight favourites due to their success in the last two title campaigns, and due to the fact that the team is slightly more settled, with Real having bought in a host of new names in order to shake the team out of the funk experienced in the season just finished. The gap at the end of the campaign was 18 points – unacceptable to Los Blancos supporters, and the club's ownership too, who have splashed the cash on the likes of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovi? to help inspire the team to glory in the upcoming season. But with one Lionel Messi, Barca still possess the league's star asset.
Spanish La Liga Football History
La Liga has been fought for as the premier domestic competition in Spanish football since its establishment in 1929 – before that, the Copa del Rey was considered the country's top footballing prize. While the Copa still attracts plenty of attention, it is La Liga title odds that supporters pore over at the start of every season in order to predict who will be the best club side in Spain. Invariably the answer will be Barcelona or Real Madrid. But it wasn't always so.
Despite those two clubs always having been great rivals – a rivalry exacerbated by the Spanish dictatorship of Franco and the battle for autonomy that has existed in Catalonia ever since – other clubs have spent time at the forefront of Spanish football. Atlético Madrid, another team from the capital, have also enjoyed a fair modicum of success (ten titles), and are usually deemed as third favourites these days when analysing La Liga title odds.
Athletic Bilbao are statistically the fourth most successful club in Spain (eight titles), and another club akin to Barcelona which inspires fierce nationalist fervour in the club's region – this time the Basque country. Valencia come next, with six title to date, while Real Sociedad, another Basque team, are the only other club to boast more than a single title. Only three other sides possess a solitary title, meaning that there remain only nine clubs in current existence who have ever claimed a Spanish La Liga championship. To put matters into context, Real Madrid and Barcelona have won 59 of the 88 titles held by active Spanish clubs, which for mathematicians, is more than two thirds. It will take something special to overcome these two clubs' dominance in these financially-focussed times.