La Liga

Introduction to La Liga Odds

La Liga is the top professional soccer league in Spain, known to Spaniards as the Primera Division. La Liga is one of the top soccer leagues in the world and provides millions with soccer betting odds on a weekly basis from August to May. 

La Liga consists of 20 teams, playing each other round-robin, for 38 games in total in a season. The bottom three teams each year are relegated to the Segunda Division and replaced by the top three teams from the Segunda. Likewise the top teams each season in La Liga qualify for various European club competitions, including the Champions League.

La Liga History

The first Primera Division was the 1929-30 season, consisting of 10 teams (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Athletic Club, Arenas Club de Getxo, Real Union, Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, Europa and Racing de Santander). Of those 10 founding members, only three have remained in the top-flight without ever being relegated: Athletic Club, Barcelona and Real Madrid. The league expanded to 12 clubs in 1934 and to 14 in 1941. After moving to 16 clubs in 1950 and 18 in 1971, La Liga settled on 20 teams in 1987. 

Barcelona won the very first La Liga title in 1929-30 but it was Athletic Club who dominated early with four titles in the first eight seasons. The league went on pause during the Spanish Civil War and returned in 1939-40 with Atletico Madrid as first-time champions. Atletico, Barcelona and Valencia won 12 of the next 14 titles. 

Real Mardid went 21 year between titles but emerged with four titles in six seasons in the 1950’s, establishing their rivalry with Barcelona. Real Madrid won five straight titles to start the 60s and the two Madrid clubs won 12 of 13 titles between 1960 and 1973. Real Sociedad and Athletic Club each won consecutive finals to start the 1980s.

Starting in 1984-85, the two major clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid, combined to win 15 of the next 17 titles to close the century. Valencia won their first title in more than three decades in 2002-03 before Barcelona and Real Madrid combined for the next nine titles. 

Barcelona and Real Madrid started the 21st century by winning 18 of the first 22 titles. The only exceptions were the 2001-02 and 2003-04 titles from Valencia and titles for Atletico Madrid in 2013-14 and 2020-21. With a 1999-00 title for Deportivo la Coruna, only five teams won an La Liga title between 1984 and 2022. 

La Liga Betting Records 

The La Liga record book is dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona. The 2011-12 Real Madrid team set a record with 32 wins, matched a season later by Barcelona as both teams finished with 100 points. Madrid have won a record five straight titles on two occasions, most recently from 1986-90.

The 2011-12 Real Madrid team set a new record with 121 goals in a season with a record +89 goal differential. Barcelona proved unbeatable from April 2017 to May 2018 as they went 43 straight games without a loss. 

On an individual basis, Lionel Messi holds the records for most goals in a season (50), most assists in a season (21), most career goals (474) and most career assists (192). He also scored in a record 21 straight games and scored a record 36 hat tricks. 

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rewrote the scoring record books during the early 2010s, often chasing each other for top honors in the league. That the two went head-to-head for Barcelona (Messi) and Real Madrid (Ronaldo) drove the league’s popularity to new heights world wide. 

Andoni Zubuzarreta played in a La Liga record 622 games as a goalkeeper for three different clubs. Raul set the record for most games with one club, appearing 550 times for Real Madrid between 1994-2010.

How do the La Liga odds work?

La Liga soccer odds work in two different ways. There’s a three-way bet that includes the option of a draw, or a two-way “Draw No-Bet” that gives higher odds on teams to win. All moneyline bets end after regular time plus injury time. 

An example would be Real Madrid +110 to beat Barcelona +240 at home with a draw in the game listed at +220. In the second option, Real Madrid is -175 with Barcelona at +120 and a draw isn’t an option. 

Regular La Liga best bets

There are multiple best bets for La Liga soccer odds. One option is to bet the spread or goal line. Most sportsbooks will offer a goalline of +/- 0.5 up to 3.5 goals and you can bet either side of that for the team to win or lose by that amount of goals. 

Another bet is the total goals, also known as the over/under. This in soccer betting is the total number of goals scored in the game. So if you wager $100 on over 2.5 goals in the Real Madrid/Barcelona game at-150 and three or more goals are scored, then you win $66.67.

Total team goals is another best bets option as you bet on a specific team’s goals and not both teams. If you back Barcelona to score over 2.5 goals at +125 with a $100 bet then you win $125 if they net three times or more. 

Goalscorers odds are another way to bet on the individual games, especially when riding a hot player. La Liga routinely attracts some of the best players in the world and teams play a tactical style that lends itself to prolific goalscorers. In the past, players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Luis Suarez have been La Liga’s top scorers and soccer betting odds are in place to bet on them to score. 

La Liga Futures bets Explained

There are multiple La Liga futures markets to bet on before the season begins. For starters you can bet on the league winner. Yes this tends to be from among the big three, but there are good dark horse odds as well.Looking at results from the end of last season to see who ended the year in good form, and also checking out what summer transfers were made can help determine value for a league winner. 

Another futures bet to make come on the Pichichi and Zamora awards. The Pichichi is awarded to the player who scores the most goals during the season while the Zamora goes to the goalkeeper who conceded the least amount during the year. Both are popular betting markets and shopping around at different books allows value. 

Another futures market comes with the top four finishers, which means Champions League play the following season. The odds here can lack value as Barcelona and Real Madrid routinely lock down two of those spots, leaving the other 18 teams playing for two Champions League spots. However, this market exists and can be profitable for the teams that will finish third and fourth.

Conversely, fans can get La Liga betting odds on which three teams will be relegated each season. The three new teams up from Segunda typically are among the favorites to drop back down, but all 20 teams will have odds to be relegated before and during the season.

Spanish La Liga Betting tips

Picking consistent winners in any league is tough, but in a league like La Liga it can be done with good research. Research can lead to success by learning everything you can about the teams, the players, the stadiums and even the weather in Spain, which can be very hot during parts of the season. 

Shopping around is also a good option to look at as many lines as possible. Some books list more options than others, such as goal scorers, prop bets and both teams to score options. Finding a niche style bet can make it easier on theodds. 

Be patient. When first jumping into a new league, or sport, don’t bet everything. Find one or two teams and become an expert on them and focus on their games before branching out to the rest of the league with time. It can be tough to find a foothold in a new league as well so don’t lose hope after an early loss or two, just do your homework and follow your metrics.

How to bet on La Liga?

La Liga betting requires discipline and patience. Among the betting tips are to only bet when there is value and know the market you are getting into. Having accounts with multiple bookmakers is always a good idea as you’ll find options, profit boosts and specials on leagues like La Liga. 

Finding La Liga odds and making bets is readily available at most sportsbooks around the world as the league is among the most popular on the planet.

La Liga Betting Odds Frequently Asked Questions

A typical La Liga season starts in August and runs into the next May with a winter break around the holidays. This schedule can fluctuate during World Cup years.

The 20 teams each play 38 matches, 19 home and 19 away, in a true round-robin. The bottom three teams get relegated while the top teams compete for sports in a variety of European club competitions. A win is worth three points and a draw is worth one point.

Arguably the biggest club game in the world comes twice a season from La Liga as Real Madrid and Barcelona meet in El Clasico. The first El Clasico was played in 1902 and the teams have met in a variety of competitions but it is the head-to-head matchups in La Liga that draw all the attention. 

Other rivalries that take place in La Liga include the Madrid derby (Real v. Atletico), the Barcelona derby (Barcelona v. Espanyol), the Basque derby (Athletic Club v. Real Sociedad), the El Viejo Clasico (Real Madrid v. Athletic Club) and the Seville derby (Real Betis v. Sevilla).

There are two transfer markets for La Liga teams, one in the summer and one in the winter. The bigger transfers tend to happen over the summer while winter transfers in January tend to be loans or deals for players with expiring contracts.

Home Field in La Liga tends to be worth more than in any of the other major soccer leagues in Europe. Teams playing at home average nearly a goal per game more than playing on the road and that can really swing the odds in the favor of the home team. This Is especially true of the bigger clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.

Those home field advantages really come into play in some of the bigger grounds in La Liga. Barcelona’s Camp Nou is one of the biggest stadiums in the world at nearly 100,000 capacity while Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu holds over 80,000 fans. Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano, Athletic Club’s San Mames and Real Betis’ Benito Villamarin all hold more than 60,000 fans. The San Mames was used at Euro 2020 while Camp Nou, the Bernabeu, Beinto Villamarin, Ramon Sanchez Pizuan (Sevilla) and Luis Casanova (Valencia) were among the stadiums used when Spain hosted the 1982 World Cup.

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