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Odds to win La Liga: Atletico Madrid keeps up title challenge; Barça, Real drop points

Atletico Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga title Spain soccer

It is not quite all said and done but we are moving closer. Defending champion Barcelona could be much closer to the title by now, but one win in its last three outings has opened the door just slightly for Atletico Madrid.

Atletico has won three of its last four in the league but during that run there was a disastrous 2-0 loss to Barcelona that looked to have put paid to their title aspirations for another season. And Real Madrid has fallen even further behind after dropping points at Leganes in a 1-1 draw this past Monday evening.

TWO DRAWS HALT BARÇA PROGRESS

Barcelona has played three matches in the last 15 days, but two draws in that time means they are not as close to the title as they would like to be. First came a thrilling 4-4 draw with Villarreal with two goals in the last five minutes to rescue a point.

Then came that hugely important 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid, their closest challengers for the crown, in a match that looked to have killed off any final resistance from their rivals. Diego Costa was dismissed before half an hour had been played for the visitors, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged late goals to wrap up the points.

And it was thought that the momentum would then carry through into this weekend’s match against Huesca. But in an uncharacteristically lackluster display, the Catalan giants could only muster a goalless draw against the side bottom of the league and with just five wins to its name all season.

Barça’s lead remains at a healthy nine points and they should still go on to lift the league title sooner rather than later. They are priced at just -200000 to do so and host Real Sociedad next time out looking to move one step closer to the crown.

ATLETICO KEEPs UP THE FIGHT

Atletico has also played three games in the last 15 days, winning two of them. First came a comfortable 2-0 win over Girona that looked to have set them in good stead for that trip to Barcelona.

But a 2-0 loss to Barcelona appeared to have ended their title hopes for the year. Diego Costa’s dismissal was ultimately costly and Atletico could not hold out for a point.

But with Barcelona dropping points this weekend, Atletico’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo has allowed them to cut the gap to nine points. Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata were enough to seal all three points, but Atletico’s inconsistent form over the second half of the campaign has stopped them from sustaining their title challenge.

As a result, Atletico is now all the way out at +20000 to win their first La Liga title in half a decade and only a brave soul would back them to do so at this late juncture. Their next league match is a trip to Eibar and it goes without saying that three points is an imperative if they are to keep pushing Barcelona.

REAL LOOKs DOWN AND OUT

Just one win in their last three league games looks to have left Real Madrid down and out, and their final few games of the season look to be largely meaningless. First came a disastrous 2-1 defeat away to an in-form Valencia side that ended Zinedine Zidane’s bright start back in the managerial hot seat.

There was then a less than convincing display in a 2-1 victory over Eibar. Real was forced to come from behind in the second half and only a brace from Karim Benzema saved their blushes, the winner finally coming just nine minutes from time.

That made Monday night’s trip to Leganes even more crucial, but Real dropped points once again, being held to a 1-1 draw. Again, Real fell behind; again, Karim Benzema came to their rescue with the equalizer.

Real is now a huge 13 points behind Barcelona with just six games left to play, and their title challenge is all but over. They are now out at +100000 to win the crown and next time out they take on Athletic Bilbao.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of April 16 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -200000
  • Atletico Madrid +20000
  • Real Madrid +100000

Archived Articles

Barcelona maintained its 10-point lead at the top of La Liga with a comfortable 2-0 win over local rival Espanyol this past weekend. Lionel Messi bagged a brace late in the game to wrap up the points and, with just nine matches remaining until the end of the season, it looks like the Catalan giants are well on their way to retaining their domestic crown.

However, their title challengers are not giving up without a fight, with Atletico Madrid thrashing Alaves 4-0. And Real Madrid managed to edge past Huesca with a narrow 3-2 victory, although in all honesty the performance was far from convincing.

BARÇA BEATs ESPANYOL TO MAINTAIN LEAD

Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half as Barcelona recorded a 2-0 win over Espanyol this past weekend. Messi scored a fine free kick before making sure of the points a minute from time as the champions executed a rapid counter-attack.

The Argentine has now scored 22 goals in his last 15 outings and as Barcelona looks set to win the league crown once again, Messi’s flame shows no sign of dimming. He has now scored 40 goals in a season for 10 years in a row.

And there is no doubt that Barcelona has been the strongest side in La Liga over the course of the campaign. They are the only side to have won more than 20 league games (21) and they have lost just twice all season – in addition, they are the leading scorers in the league (75) by some distance.

However, their odds on retaining their domestic crown remain the same, at a very low -20000. Next up for them is a trip to an out-of-form Villarreal outfit.

ATLETICO GETs BACK TO WINNING WAYS

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid put an end to a two-game losing streak with a 4-0 thrashing of Alaves. They got off to a flying start with Saul giving them the lead after only five minutes, and from that moment Diego Simeone’s side never looked back.

Diego Costa doubled their lead after only 11 minutes of play, and Alaves simply had no response to their rampant visitors. Atletico attacked in waves and looked dangerous every time they entered the final third. In truth, they could have been three or four up before the interval.

Unfortunately, the stark reality is that this performance looks to have come far too late to make any real difference to Atletico’s title challenge. Despite sitting second, Atletico has won fewer games than Real Madrid so far this season, and their four losses in such a short space of time have hurt them badly.

They have scored just 43 goals so far this term – Sevilla, down in seventh, has scored more – and while they have the best defensive record in the division, it has not been enough to mount a sustained title challenge. Their odds remain the same to win the crown at +4000 and they host Girona in their next league outing.

REAL SCRAPEs PAST HUESCA

It took a last-gasp goal from Karim Benzema for Real Madrid to edge their way past lowly Huesca with a narrow 3-2 victory. Real fell behind after only three minutes with Zinedine Zidane putting his son Luca in goal, but responded through Isco midway through the first period.

Dani Ceballos put Real ahead just after the hour mark but the visitors restored parity with 15 minutes remaining. Then up stepped Benzema, whose excellent curling effort took all three points after a lackluster performance from the reigning European champions.

Real has now won both games since Zidane came back in as coach, but with nine games remaining they sit 12 points behind old rival Barcelona. Real has won 18 matches so far this season, but eight losses is simply not good enough for a side challenging for the title – Athletic Bilbao, down in eighth place, has lost fewer matches (7).

Real’s price also remains the same on an unlikely title win, at +5000, and they face a tricky trip to Valencia next time out. Three points, once again, is a must.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -20000
  • Atletico Madrid +4000
  • Real Madrid +5000
  • Sevilla +450000
  • Getafe +450000
  • Alaves +450000

Archived Articles

Defending La Liga champion Barcelona has now moved 10 points clear at the top of La Liga after a hugely impressive 4-1 win away to Real Betis this past weekend, which included a sublime hat trick from Lionel Messi. With just 10 games left to play, it now looks extremely unlikely that they will be caught.

Their cause was helped by Atletico Madrid compounding a miserable week by losing 2-0 to Athletic Bilbao, having been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League in midweek after a 3-0 loss to Juventus. And Zinedine Zidane made a winning start to life back at Real Madrid with a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.

BARÇA THRASHes BETIS TO GO 10 POINTS CLEAR

Two more games, two more wins, and now another title win for Barcelona would appear to be a mere formality. Last week, the champions came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1, including goals from Luis Suarez, but this past Sunday they went one better.

Lionel Messi netted a fine hat trick as Barça thrashed Real Betis 4-1 away from home. First he curled in a free kick before converting from Luis Suarez’s assist, but then came the icing on the cake with a delicious chipped effort that nestled into the back of the net – it was Messi’s 34th hat trick of his career.

Barcelona has won more games than anyone else, lost fewer games than anyone else and scored more goals than anyone else. As a result, their odds on retaining their domestic crown have been slashed down to -20000, and next time out they take on Espanyol in a local derby as they look to make it six league wins in a row on their way to the title.

ATLETICO SLIPs UP ON THE ROAD

Barcelona’s cause has been helped no end by Atletico Madrid losing 2-0 away to Athletic Bilbao, meaning that they are now a huge 10 points behind Barcelona. The week before they had edged past Leganes 1-0 and they were still in with a chance of catching Barcelona, albeit a slim one.

But this past Saturday afternoon their chances of winning a first league crown since 2014 appeared to be over after a 2-0 loss away to Athletic. Bilbao scored twice in the last 20 minutes to wrap up the points, and Atletico has now lost the chance to win silverware on both the domestic and continental stage in a matter of a few days.

Atletico has won just 16 of 28 league games this season, which is not enough for a genuine title challenger. They have drawn too many games and have netted just 39 goals so far this term – Sevilla, down in sixth, has scored 47.

The loss has seen Atletico’s price on a league title win double, from +2000 up to +4000. After the international break they head to Alaves where they will need to take all three points if they are to stay ahead of Real Madrid.

ZIDANE MAKES WINNING START IN SECOND REAL SPELL

And finally, Real Madrid got off to a winning start under Zinedine Zidane, who is back in the hot seat. First up, there was a 4-1 win over Valladolid in Santiago Solari’s final game in charge before the former French international came back in.

And he got off to a winning start back in the job, with Isco and Gareth Bale scoring the goals in a 2-0 win over Celta. After a quiet first half, Isco opened the scoring after the hour mark, with Bale putting the icing on the cake with a low drive 13 minutes from time.

Real has won more games than Atletico so far this season, but eight defeats would appear to have put a serious dent in any title aspirations. For a side with such strong attacking options, they are not scoring enough while they continue to leak goals at over a goal a game.

And despite two wins on the bounce, their price remains the same to claim the title this season. Los Blancos remain at +5000 to finish top of the pile come the end of the season.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of March 19 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -20000
  • Atletico Madrid +4000
  • Real Madrid +5000
  • Sevilla +450000
  • Alaves +450000
  • Getafe +450000

Archived Articles

If any game was likely to wrap up the La Liga title prematurely, then this was probably it. Barcelona won 1-0 away to Real Madrid in el clásico to remain seven points clear at the top of the table, but to also – and perhaps more importantly – score a psychological blow against their oldest and most bitter of rivals.

Elsewhere, Alvaro Morata was on target twice for Atletico Madrid as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win away to Real Sociedad. They sit second in the table, seven points behind Barça with 12 rounds to play.

BARÇA BEATs REAL AND STAYs on TOP

Ivan Rakitic’s goal in the first half was enough to separate Real Madrid and Barcelona this past weekend as the Catalan giants moved 12 points clear of Los Blancos. Barça are now one step closer to retaining their domestic crown, and in truth have one hand already on the trophy as they sit a daunting seven points clear with just 12 rounds of football left to play.

Rakitic deftly lifted the ball over Thibaut Courtois midway through the first half and, try as they might, Real simply did not have an answer. This was a second win at the Bernabeu in just three days for Barcelona, having won 3-0 in the Copa del Rey there last week.

Real started the match well, knowing that only a win would do if they were to battle their way back into title contention for the final third of the campaign. But Lionel Messi slowly came into the game and his deftness of touch was simply too cunning, too sly for the Real Madrid defence to deal with for large periods of the first half.

Young Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior was dangerous at times down the left, but his rawness was apparent in a game of this importance and magnitude. And after some Real pressure it was Barça that got the only goal of the game, Sergi Roberto feeding Rakitic to lift the ball over the outcoming Courtois.

Sergio Ramos was perhaps lucky not to be sent off after clashing with Lionel Messi, and as Real pressed in the second half, Barcelona stood firm against the storm. Karim Benzema missed the best chance for Real and they were to be left deflated by a defeat that has surely spelled the end of their title challenge.

Barcelona, meanwhile, has won 18 of 26 league games played so far, losing just twice. They are the leading scorers in the league and are leaking goals at a rate of less than a goal a game. And this latest win has slashed their price on retaining the La Liga trophy down to just -5000. Next up for Barça is a home game with Rayo Vallecano.

Real, in stark contrast, has lost eight games already this season which sees them lagging behind in the title race. They are not scoring anywhere near enough goals and are conceding at over a goal a game. They are now out at +5000 to win the league title and are away to Valladolid next time out.

ATLETICO SEEs OFF REAL SOCIEDAD

Alvaro Morata was on target twice as Atletico Madrid recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Real Sociedad – their third league win in a row. Morata failed to find the back of the net in his first four appearances for his new club but now has three in his last two, and could well help fire them into a title challenge over the final third of the campaign.

Diego Simeone’s side sits second in the table, seven points behind Barcelona. They have won 15 games this season, but it is the eight draws that have kept them from maintaining pace with Barça.

In addition, they still do not score enough goals, although Morata could certainly help them out in that department. They do, however, boast the best defensive record in the division.

Despite this victory, their price on a first league title in half a decade has actually risen, up to +2000 from +1600. Next up for them is a home match against Leganes which they must win.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of March 5 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -5000
  • Atletico Madrid +2000
  • Real Madrid +5000
  • Sevilla +450000
  • Valencia +450000
  • Getafe +450000
  • Alaves +450000
  • Real Betis +450000
  • Real Sociedad +450000
  • Espanyol +450000
  • Eibar +450000
  • Girona +450000
  • Athletic Bilbao +450000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Leganes +450000

Archived Articles

There were victories for all of the top three in Spain’s La Liga this past weekend as the chase for the crown threatens to go down to the wire. Defending champion Barcelona survived a scare to eventually beat Sevilla 4-2, thanks in no small part to a majestic performance from Lionel Messi.

And Alvaro Morata was on target for Atletico Madrid as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over a struggling Villarreal outfit. Finally, Real Madrid got back to winning ways with a dubious 2-1 victory away to Levante.

MESSI PUTS ON SHOW IN BARÇA VICTORY

Lionel Messi netted the 50th hat trick of his career as Barcelona won 4-2 away to Sevilla to maintain its seven-point lead at the top of the table. Messi’s first was a brilliant volley from 14 yards out to make it 1-1, before equalizing for a second time with a fine effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Messi completed his hat trick five minutes from time to make it 3-2 before Luis Suarez put the icing on the cake in injury time. This was far from a vintage Barcelona performance but they were saved by their little magician who found a fifth gear when his teammates needed him to.

Barça has now won 17 of 25 league games to date, losing just twice. They are the leading scorers in the league by some distance and if anything is going to trip them up over the coming weeks, it will be their defensive backline.

Nevertheless, this latest victory has served to shorten Barcelona’s odds on retaining their domestic crown even further. Having been at -1600, the champions are now at just -2000 to finish top of the pile once again. Next week is the big one, away to Real Madrid.

REAL WINs CONTROVERSIAL CLASH

Real Madrid beat Levante 2-1 thanks to two hotly disputed penalties awarded following a VAR review. Karim Benzema scored the first after Enis Bardhi was judged to have handled in the area, but the home side scored a deserved equalizer right on the hour mark.

But Real was then awarded a second penalty when Casemiro was brought down in the box with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining. Gareth Bale stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick and collect three vital points for Real in their title hunt.

Real sits third in the table despite having won more games (15) than Atletico in second (14). That is because Real has lost seven games already this season – Athletic Bilbao, down in 10th, has lost fewer matches. Real is not firing on all cylinders in front of goal and is leaking well over a goal a game.

And despite this win, their odds on winning the league title have actually lengthened. Having been at +1200, Los Blancos are now out at +1400 to finish ahead of Barça, whom they host next week in el clásico.

ATLETICO RECORDs COMFORTABLE WIN

Alvaro Morata netted his first goal for new club Atletico Madrid as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over lowly Villarreal. The striker opened the scoring with a well-placed volley just after the half-hour mark, before Saul made sure of the points two minutes from time, latching onto a through ball from Diego Costa to finish from close range.

The win leaves Atletico in second place, although they are still seven points behind Barcelona. Their wobble at the start of the year, when they lost back-to-back games against Real Betis and Real Madrid, has opened up a gap which will be difficult to close over the final third of the campaign – time is running out, and fast.

Atletico has won 14 games so far this season but, as noted previously, there have been too many draws for a genuine title challenger. They have the best defensive record in the division but are still not scoring enough goals – Levante, down in 13th, has scored more than Atletico this term.

And despite this win, their odds on a first league title in half a decade have also lengthened. Atletico is now at +1600 to win the crown, and next week is on the road at Real Sociedad.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of February 26 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -2000
  • Real Madrid +1400
  • Atletico Madrid +1600
  • Sevilla +250000
  • Valencia +450000
  • Getafe +450000
  • Alaves +450000
  • Real Betis +450000
  • Real Sociedad +450000
  • Espanyol +450000
  • Eibar +450000
  • Girona +450000
  • Athletic Bilbao +450000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Villarreal +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

After an excellent run of form, Real Madrid dropped points in Spain’s La Liga title race after a shock 2-1 loss at home to Girona. The defeat meant Los Blancos dropped down to third in the table after both their title rivals picked up three points over the weekend.

Defending champion Barcelona edged past Valladolid with a narrow 1-0 victory. And Atletico got back to winning ways after a poor run of form with a 1-0 victory on the road against Rayo Vallecano.

BARÇA EDGEs PAST VALLADOLID

Lionel Messi scored one penalty but missed another as Barcelona recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Valladolid at Camp Nou. The Argentine netted his 30th goal of the season across all competitions as the league leaders got back to winning ways. Messi is now at just -2500 to finish the La Liga campaign as the top goalscorer.

Barcelona dominated the game and could have won by a wider margin, Luis Suarez missing a couple of good chances to widen their lead. But the win nevertheless gives Barcelona a seven-point advantage over Atletico Madrid, and they are without doubt the favorite to retain their domestic crown.

Barça has won more games than anyone else (16) and lost fewer matches than any other side (2). They are comfortably the leading scorers in the division and are now conceding goals at a rate of less than a goal a game. Their form appears to be picking up at precisely the right time as the season enters its final stretch.

This latest victory has slashed their odds on another league title. Having previously been at just -700, Barça is now even lower at -1600 to finish top of the pile come the end of the campaign. Next up for them, however, is a tough test away to Sevilla.

REAL SLIPs UP AT HOME

Real Madrid missed the chance to stay second in the table after a shock 2-1 loss at home to Girona. All looked to be going according to plan as Brazilian midfielder Casemiro gave Real the lead after 25 minutes, but things slowly started to unravel after the interval.

A penalty from Cristhian Stuani leveled the score on 65 minutes after Sergio Ramos had handled in the box, before Portu netted the winner for Girona with a fine diving header with just 15 minutes remaining on the clock. To make matters worse for Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos was sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence – the 20th red card he has received in Real Madrid colors.

The loss means that Real has now lost seven games already this season. Athletic Bilbao, down in 11th, has lost fewer league matches than the European champions.

The defeat has also served to lengthen Real’s odds on a domestic triumph. Having previously been at just +550 to win the league title, Los Blancos are now at +1200 to finish in first place come May.

ATLETICO PICKs UP VITAL WIN

Atletico Madrid was able to move back above city rival Real and into second place after a 1-0 win away to Rayo Vallecano. Antoine Griezmann scored the only goal of the game after 74 minutes with new signing Alvaro Morata registering an assist.

It was the first win in three games for Atletico after defeats to Real Betis and Real Madrid looked to have taken them out of the title reckoning. But Atletico can now focus on trying to cut the deficit to Barcelona, which currently stands at seven points with 14 matches still to play.

Atletico has not won as many matches as Real in third and eight draws is more than any other team in the top four. Despite the signing of Morata, Atletico continues to struggle in front of goal with Celta Vigo, sitting just a point outside the relegation zone, having netted more goals.

The good news is that this win has cut dramatically Atletico’s odds on a first league title triumph in half a decade. Having been all the way out at +2000, their price is now down to +1200, and next up for them is a home game with Villarreal.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of February 19 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -1600
  • Real Madrid +1200
  • Atletico Madrid +1200
  • Sevilla +50000
  • Valencia +450000
  • Getafe +450000
  • Alaves +450000
  • Real Betis +450000
  • Real Sociedad +450000
  • Espanyol +450000
  • Eibar +450000
  • Girona +450000
  • Athletic Bilbao +450000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Villarreal +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Real Madrid continued its recovery this past week in Spain’s La Liga with a huge 3-1 win away to city rival Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano. Gareth Bale scored his 100th goal for the club to put the icing on the cake as Los Blancos moved up to second place in the table, and they now have their eyes firmly set on defending champion Barcelona.

The Catalan giants are still top of the table but were held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening. Their lead still stands at six points but with Real’s form picking up, the champions can afford precious few slip-ups during the run-in.

BARÇA DROPs POINTS AGAIN

Barcelona went six points clear at the top of La Liga despite only managing a goalless draw away to Athletic Bilbao. Lionel Messi spurned the best chance of the game for the visitors but in truth it was hardly a vintage performance from the champions as they struggled to find top gear on a night of little entertainment for those in the stands.

The hosts played the better football and arguably deserved to take all three points against a sluggish Barcelona outfit. It was only two excellent stops by Barça keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen that kept the score goalless.

Athletic was reduced to 10 men in the 91st minute but by then it was too late to make a telling difference. Barcelona is unbeaten in 11 league games but they have now gone three matches without a win in all competitions – two La Liga outings and a Copa del Rey quarterfinal have all ended in draws, and if they are to defend their domestic crown, then those draws need to become wins again.

Barcelona has won 15 of 23 league games played so far, losing just twice. Despite drawing a blank this week, they are still the leading scorers in the division by 20 goals and are in an excellent position to retain the league title.

This draw has not changed their odds in that respect at all. Barça remains at -700 to win the La Liga crown once again, and next week hosts Valladolid looking to get back to winning ways.

REAL WINs DERBY TO GO SECOND

Gareth Bales scored his 100th goal in Real Madrid colors as Los Blancos won 3-1 at the home of their city rival Atletico. The win helped Real leapfrog their neighbors into second place, and they now sit just six points behind Barcelona with over a third of the season still to play.

Brazilian midfielder Casemiro put the visitors ahead with a fine volley before Antoine Griezmann leveled for the hosts. Sergio Ramos then put Real back ahead from the penalty spot just before halftime, and Bale converted Luka Modric’s cross 15 minutes from time to wrap up a hugely valuable three points for the European champions.

Atletico’s evening went from bad to worse when Thomas Partey was shown a second yellow card 10 minutes before the final whistle and dismissed. It concluded a wretched run for Atletico, which has now lost two games on the bounce and appears to be slipping out of the title race.

They have dropped down to third place and now sit seven points behind Barcelona, but losses to Real Betis and Real Madrid mean they appear to be heading in the wrong direction. Alvaro Morata has been brought in to score goals but has yet to find the back of the net for his new club.

All of which means Atletico’s odds on a first league title in half a decade have skyrocketed. Having been at +1200, they are now out at +2000 to finish top of the pile come May.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, has now won six of its past seven games across all competitions and is finding its form at just the right time. This crucial derby win has seen their odds on a La Liga triumph slashed down to +550 from +900, and next week they host Girona looking for another crucial three points in this title chase.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of February 12 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -700
  • Real Madrid +550
  • Atletico Madrid +2000
  • Sevilla +10000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Alaves +200000
  • Real Betis +250000
  • Real Sociedad +300000
  • Espanyol +450000
  • Eibar +450000
  • Girona +450000
  • Athletic Bilbao +450000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Villarreal +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Real Madrid made up precious ground on rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid this past weekend as Los Blancos recorded a comprehensive 3-0 victory over an out-of-form Alaves outfit. Young Brazilian starlet Vinicius Junior was on the scoresheet as Real moved to within just two points of Atletico in second place.

That was because Atletico lost its first game in 19 outings, going down 1-0 away to Real Betis in a disappointing display. And defending champion and current league leader Barcelona also dropped points but fought back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at home against Valencia.

BARÇA DROPs POINTS AT HOME

A brace from Lionel Messi saw Barcelona battle back from two goals down to grab a 2-2 draw against Valencia at Camp Nou. Kevin Gameiro had given the visitors the lead after 24 minutes before Dani Parejo doubled that advantage from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark.

Messi responded with a penalty of his own five minutes before the interval and leveled the score on 64 minutes. Sensing victory, Barça threw their full force at their opponents but could not find that elusive third goal.

The result was not disastrous, however, as they ended up actually extending their lead at the top of the table to six points. They are comfortably the leading scorers in the division but, as mentioned previously, their leaky defence may well come back to haunt them over the coming months.

Dropping points at home has seen the odds on Barcelona retaining its domestic crown lengthen slightly. Having been at just -1000, the Catalan giants are now at -700 to finish top of the pile in May, but next week they face a tough test away at Athletic Bilbao.

ATLETICO LOSEs FOR FIRST TIME IN 19 OUTINGS

Atletico Madrid failed to capitalize on Barcelona’s slip-up when they lost 1-0 away to Real Betis. Alvaro Morata was making his debut for his new club but failed to inspire them to victory as Diego Simeone’s side fell further behind in the title chase.

The only goal of the game came in the 65th minute with Sergio Canales converting from the spot after Brazilian defender Filipe Luis had handled inside the area. Atletico could not find a way back into the match and not for the first time this season their timidity in front of goal has cost them points.

Atletico has won just 12 of 22 league outings so far, less than Real Madrid, which sits below them in the table. Their eight draws is far too many at this stage of the season for a team with title aspirations, but crucially they have passed up a golden opportunity to close the gap on Barcelona.

Unsurprisingly, their odds on winning a first title since 2014 have risen, from +1000 up to +1200. Next up for them is the huge city derby against rival Real.

REAL CLOSEs GAP

Real can come into that derby absolutely brimming with confidence after a fine performance in a 3-0 win over Alaves. It was Real’s fourth league win in a row and they now have Atletico in their sights – victory in the derby next week would see Real move above them in the table.

Vinicius Junior was in inspired form this weekend and got the second goal of the night 10 minutes from time. Beforehand, Karim Benzema had opened the scoring with his sixth goal in his last four outings, while Mariano finished off the scoring in injury time.

Real Madrid looks to be finding its highest gear at precisely the right time. Four wins on the bounce have put them right back in contention, and if they can overhaul Atletico next week, then Barcelona will be in their sights as the campaign enters its final stretch over the late winter and early spring months.

Another victory has seen Real’s odds on winning the La Liga crown slashed. Having previously been all the way out at +1600, the European champions are now at just +900 to claim domestic honors this term.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of February 5 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -700
  • Real Madrid +900
  • Atletico Madrid +1200
  • Sevilla +10000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Real Betis +250000
  • Alaves +250000
  • Real Sociedad +300000
  • Espanyol +450000
  • Eibar +450000
  • Girona +450000
  • Athletic Bilbao +450000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Villarreal +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

The title race in Spain’s La Liga appears to be heating up over the second half of the season, with all three of the title favorites picking up three points once again this past weekend. First, Barcelona was able to hold on to its five-point cushion with a comfortable 2-0 win away to Girona.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe by the same scoreline as they look to very much stay in contention for the domestic crown. And there was a third win on the bounce for Real Madrid as they brushed aside Espanyol 4-2.

BARÇA KEEPs LEAD WITH COMFORTABLE WIN

Lionel Messi bagged his 26th goal of the season as Barcelona saw off Girona 2-0 this past weekend. Nelson Semedo gave the defending league champions the lead inside 10 minutes, and in truth Girona rarely looked like getting back on level terms.

Messi scored Barça’s second of the game on 68 minutes, and with Girona down to 10 men the winning margin could have been even greater. Barcelona had 15 shots but only hit the target with seven, and they were somewhat fortunate that their profligacy did not go punished.

Barcelona now looks to be in a groove. They have won 15 of 21 league games so far this season, including the last eight in a row, and they are far and away the highest scorers in the division, with Lionel Messi priced at just -1000 to finish the campaign as the top goalscorer.

This latest win has also served to shorten Barcelona’s odds slightly on retaining their league title. Having been at -900, the Catalan giants are now at -1000 to win the league, and they host Valencia next time out.

ATLETICO WINs AGAIN TO STAY IN CONTENTION

Antoine Griezmann and Saul were on the scoresheet before halftime as Atletico Madrid comfortably saw off Getafe 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano. The victory kept Barça’s lead at just five points and maintained Atletico’s impressive record of just one loss in 21 league outings so far this season – no side has lost fewer matches.

With Barcelona in such excellent form, all Atletico can do at the moment is keep winning to stay in contention for the league title. Come the business end of the campaign, they may well come to regret picking up so many draws in the opening weeks of the season.

Atletico has drawn eight of its 21 matches played to date and that is far too many for a side with their eyes on the prize. To put that into perspective, Barcelona and Real Madrid have drawn four and three games respectively, and Atletico’s dropped points have allowed Barça to build up a safety net at the top of the table.

Despite this win, Atletico’s odds on winning the title have actually lengthened a little. Having been at +900, Diego Simeone’s side is now at +1000 to win the title, and next time out they face a tough trip to Real Betis.

REAL MAKEs IT THREE IN A ROW

Karim Benzema scored twice and Gareth Bale netted on his return from injury as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-2 win over Espanyol. The win saw Los Blancos stay three points ahead of Sevilla, who thrashed Levante 5-0, but they remain 10 points behind old rivals Barcelona at the top of the table.

However, this match also showed the frailties in this Real Madrid side and why they have a fight on their hands if they are to be crowned champions. Their defensive backline remains inconsistent and they gifted Espanyol chances when they should have been closing out the game.

Real is conceding well over a goal a game and Valladolid, down in 13th place, has a better defensive record than the European champions. If they are to have any chance of finishing top of the pile, their defence must tighten up over the coming weeks.

And despite this win Real’s odds on a league title also lengthened. Having been at +1200, Real Madrid is now out at +1600 to finish the La Liga season top of the pile.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of January 29 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -1000
  • Atletico Madrid +1000
  • Real Madrid +1600
  • Sevilla +10000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Real Betis +250000
  • Alaves +250000
  • Real Sociedad +300000
  • Espanyol +450000
  • Eibar +450000
  • Girona +450000
  • Athletic Bilbao +450000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Villarreal +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Once again there were wins for all of Spain’s top three La Liga title contenders as the race for the title begins to heat up. Champion Barcelona was able to hold on to its five-point advantage with a comfortable 3-1 win over struggling Leganes.

However, their rivals have not given up hope yet, with Atletico Madrid turning on the style to brush Huesca aside with a 3-0 win. And Real Madrid made it two league wins in a row with a 2-0 victory over Sevilla, moving them up into third place, albeit still 10 points off the summit.

BARÇA WINs aGAIN TO STAY IN FRONT

Lionel Messi had to come off the bench but Barcelona got the win it needed with a 3-1 victory over Leganes. Ousmane Dembele had given Barça the lead before Martin Braithwaite leveled for the visitors, and it was beginning to look as if the champions may have to settle for a point.

But after Messi came on, he served up one goal for striker Luis Suarez before putting the icing on the cake himself in injury time. This was Barça’s seventh league win in a row.

The champions have won 14 of their 20 games played so far and are scoring at a rate close to three goals per game. Their five-point lead at the top of the table also gives them a little breathing space, meaning if they slip up once, they will not lose top spot.

This win has shortened their odds even further on retaining their crown. Having previously been at -800, the champions are now at just -900 to finish top of the pile once again come the end of the season. Next up for them is a trip to Girona.

ATLETICO PUTs IN DOMINANT DISPLAY AT HUESCA

Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, did as much as it could with a fine 3-0 win over struggling Huesca. France defender Lucas Hernandez opened the scoring for the visitors just after the half-hour mark and from then on Diego Simeone’s side rarely looked in any real danger of dropping some much-needed points.

Atletico controled the proceedings throughout the second half and doubled the lead through Santiago Arias just seven minutes after the restart. Koke made sure of the points 19 minutes from time as Atletico tries its utmost to catch champion Barça.

Atletico has won 11 times this season and lost just once but, as mentioned before, has drawn far too many games that should have been victories. Despite this result, they are not scoring enough goals for a genuine title contender, although they do boast the best defensive record in the division.

This win has done nothing to change their odds on a first league crown in half a decade, however. Atletico remains at +900 to wrest the title away from Barcelona, but as long as they keep winning games they are certainly in with a chance.

REAL MADRID WINs AGAIN

Real left it late but moved up to third with a 2-0 win over Sevilla. Casemiro and Luka Modric got the goals to give Los Blancos their second league win in a row as they now look to close the gap on city rivals Atletico in second place.

This game looked to be fizzling out into a goalless draw before a wonderful effort from Brazilian midfielder Casemiro with just 12 minutes remaining on the clock. Modric then wrapped up the points in injury time after racing clear of a tired defence.

Real has won as many games as Atletico immediately above them but six losses already could well cost them dearly come May. To put that into context, 14th-place Athletic Bilbao has lost fewer games than Real Madrid so far this season.

Again, just like Atletico, Real is not scoring enough goals and does not have an airtight defence. They are conceding at a rate of 1.2 goals per game.

Despite this win, Real’s price on a domestic triumph has not changed just yet. The European champions remain out at +1200 to be crowned domestic champions this term.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of January 22 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -900
  • Atletico Madrid +900
  • Real Madrid +1200
  • Sevilla +8000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Getafe +100000
  • Real Betis +150000
  • Real Sociedad +150000
  • Alaves +150000
  • Espanyol +200000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Girona +250000
  • Athletic Bilbao +250000
  • Celta Vigo +450000
  • Levante +450000
  • Villarreal +450000
  • Valladolid +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Current La Liga champion Barcelona remained five points clear at the top of the table after a comprehensive 3-0 win over Eibar this past weekend. A brace from Luis Suarez as well as a strike from Lionel Messi were enough to give the league leaders another three points as they retained their comfortable advantage over the chasing pack.

Elsewhere, however, their rivals also picked up important points. Atletico Madrid, in second, managed a 1-0 win over Levante while Real Madrid got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory away to Real Betis.

BARÇA WINs TO KEEP FIVE-POINT LEAD

Lionel Messi netted his 400th La Liga goal this past weekend as champion Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 win over Eibar. Messi is already the all-time top scorer in La Liga and is the clear favorite, at -800, to win the Golden Boot award this season as well.

Luis Suarez got the other two and the Catalan giants are beginning to look like an unstoppable force on the domestic front. The champions have now won six league games in a row and are showing precious few signs of letting up.

Barça has won 13 of 19 games played so far, losing just two. They are scoring at well over 2.5 goals per game and are comfortably the highest scorers in the league by over 20 goals (53 against 31 for Sevilla).

However, despite yet another three points this weekend, their odds on retaining their title have actually lengthened slightly, owing to the victories of their rivals. Barcelona is now at -800 to win the crown – still the clear favorite – and will be looking for a seventh league win in a row when it hosts Leganes next time out.

ATLETICO EDGEs PAST LEVANTE

Antoine Griezmann scored for the fifth league game in a row as Atletico edged past Levante with a narrow 1-0 win. The French forward converted from the spot in the second half to give the home side the points and keep Atletico in second place, poised to pounce if Barcelona slips up.

It was far from a vintage performance from Atletico Madrid, but after so many draws this season it was a relief just to get the three points on the board. Right now, results matter far more than esthetics.

Atletico has now moved up to 10 wins for the season, but eight draws in 19 matches still looks like it is going to hold them back over the course of a season. They have the best defensive record in the division but have netted just 27 times – Celta Vigo, which sits just two points outside the relegation zone, has scored more goals.

Despite a win this weekend, Atletico’s price on finishing top of the pile has also lengthened a little. Having been at +800, Diego Simeone’s side is now at +900 to win the title – they will need another three points when they head to Huesca this weekend.

REAL MADRID GETs BACK TO WINNING WAYS

A late goal from Dani Ceballos gave Real Madrid all three points in a 2-1 win over Real Betis. It was the first league win for Los Blancos since December 15 and allowed them to move level on points with Sevilla in third after Sevilla lost 2-0 away to Athletic Bilbao.

Luka Modric had opened the scoring for Real after only 13 minutes before Sergio Canaless leveled for Betis with just over 20 minutes remaining. It looked like the European champions would have to settle for a point before Ceballos popped up with just two minutes left on the clock.

Like Atletico, Real Madrid now has 10 wins for the season, but those six losses already have put a massive dent in their title aspirations. Their leaky defence is also a cause for concern, especially as they are scoring at a rate of less than 1.5 goals per game.

Nevertheless, a win this weekend has shortened Real Madrid’s odds slightly on a domestic triumph. Having been at +1400, Real is now at +1200 to stage an unlikely comeback over the second half of the season.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of January 14 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -800
  • Atletico Madrid +900
  • Real Madrid +1200
  • Sevilla +5000
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Real Sociedad +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Levante +250000
  • Celta Vigo +250000
  • Athletic Bilbao +250000
  • Villarreal +250000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Barcelona, the defending La Liga champion and current table topper, moved five points clear at the top of the table this past weekend by downing Getafe 2-1 to solidify its place atop the standings. Goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were enough to seal victory for the Catalans, who have now managed to put breathing space between themselves and the chasing pack.

Atletico Madrid, sitting second, could only draw 1-1 away to Sevilla as the team continues to drop points at regular intervals. And disaster struck for Real, humbled 2-0 on its own patch by Real Sociedad.

BARÇA WIN LEAVES IT FIVE POINTS CLEAR

Lionel Messi netted his 399th goal for Barcelona while Luis Suarez was also on the scoresheet as Barcelona won 2-1 away to Getafe. Messi gave the visitors the lead after 20 minutes before his strike partner doubled the advantage with a fine volley on 39 minutes.

Jaime Mata reduced the deficit for the home side but they could not find an equalizer, leaving Barcelona to record its fifth straight league win as the team finds its best form. There would look to be very little chance of catching them now.

The champions are the only side in double figures in the win column in La Liga, while they are comfortably the top scorers in the division – they have netted 19 more goals than Sevilla, the second-highest scorers in the league. Right now, this is Barcelona’s title to throw away.

And this win has shortened their odds on retaining their title even further. Having previously been at just -450, Barça is now at -1000 to be crowned champions once again come the end of the season, with Lionel Messi the clear favorite at -800 to win the Golden Boot, with Suarez next in line at +700.

SEVILLA AND ATLETICO PLAY OUT DRAW

Meanwhile, Atletico dropped more points as it was held to a 1-1 draw away to Sevilla. Ben Yedder gave the home side the lead after 37 minutes, while Antoine Griezmann struck for the visitors with an excellent free kick just before the break.

Atletico tried to push in the second half but was once again forced to settle for a point. They have now drawn eight league games so far this season, more than any other side in the top half of the table, and it looks to have seriously harmed their title chances.

Atletico may have lost just once this term and boasts the best defensive record in the division, but that does not disguise the fact it is now five points off first place. However, their odds on a first league crown in half a decade have shortened slightly, from +1000 down to +800.

Sevilla, for its part, still sits third in the table, three points ahead of Real Madrid. Their price on an unlikely league title has not changed, and they remain out at +5000 to finish top of the pile.

DISASTROUS DEFEAT FOR REAL LEAVES TITLE CHANCES HANGING BY A THREAD

Ten-man Real Madrid was handed a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Real Sociedad this past weekend to leave its title chances hanging by a thread. It was the first win at the Bernabeu for the visitors in 15 years, who took the lead after only three minutes and never looked back.

Lucas Vazquez was sent for Madrid on the hour mark, and their misery was compounded seven minutes from time when Ruben Pardo made sure of the points for the away side. For Real Madrid, the Cristiano Ronaldo-shaped hole in their attack is clearer with each passing week.

The loss has left Real in fifth place, one point and one place outside the Champions League places. They have taken just one point from their last two league outings, have won just half of their league games so far this season, are scoring at a rate well below two goals per game and boast a goal difference of just three.

As a result, their odds on a title win have doubled in slightly over a week. Having been at +700, the European champions are now out at +1400 to win domestic glory this term.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of January 8 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -1000
  • Atletico Madrid +800
  • Real Madrid +1400
  • Sevilla +5000
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Real Sociedad +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Levante +250000
  • Celta Vigo +250000
  • Athletic Bilbao +250000
  • Villarreal +250000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There were key victories for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as Real Madrid fell behind after winning the FIFA Club World Cup. Barça comfortably saw off Celta Vigo 2-0 while Atletico edged past Espanyol with a 1-0 victory.

However, Sevilla could not take advantage of Real’s absence to greatly increase its lead over Los Blancos. They could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Leganes, and Real could move level on points with them should they win their game in hand.

Atletico climbs table with win

Atletico Madrid moved up to second thanks to a 1-0 victory over Espanyol this past weekend at the Wanda Metropolitano in its final league encounter of the calendar year, ahead of the winter break. France international Antoine Griezmann scored the only goal of the game, converting a penalty in the 56th minute to secure all three points and maintain pressure on defending champion and current table topper Barcelona.

This was an impressive performance from the hosts, who started on the front foot but could not turn that dominance into the tangible advantage of goals scored. It has been a recurring theme throughout this first half of the season, with Atletico scoring at a rate of just 1.5 goals per game – to put that into context, Celta Vigo, down in 11th place, has scored more goals than Atletico Madrid.

There is no doubt, however, that Atletico is seen as “the best of the rest.” In a league table that excludes Barcelona and Real Madrid, Atletico is the red-hot favorite to finish top of the rest and is priced at just -450 to do so, with Sevilla coming in at +350 to achieve that feat.

Despite this win, however, Atletico’s odds on winning their first La Liga crown in half a decade have actually increased. Having previously been at +800, Atletico is now out at +1000 to finish top of the pile come the end of the campaign, and they kick off the new year with a huge test away to Sevilla.

It is also interesting to note that Real, despite not playing, has also seen its odds increase on a La Liga title win.  Los Blancos were at +500, but now find themselves out at +700 to win the crown, and are away to Villarreal on January 3.

Messi scores again in Barça win

Barcelona maintained its three-point lead at the top of the table thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo at Camp Nou. Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring after only 10 minutes and from there on in the champions never looked back.

Lionel Messi doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime, turning the second period into something of an exhibition match. Messi remains the overwhelming favorite to finish this season as the top goalscorer in La Liga and is priced at just -600 to do so, while teammate Luis Suarez is next on the list at +700. Iago Aspas of Celta Vigo comes in at +1600.

There have been a couple of slip-ups from Barcelona over the opening months of the campaign, but there is no doubt that the team deserves to be top of the pile heading into the winter break. They are the only side whose win column is in double figures, with 11 – Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Real Madrid are all currently on nine.

Barça is far and away the highest-scoring team in the league, netting goals at a rate close to three goals per game. To put their goalscoring exploits into perspective, they have netted 48 goals, 18 more than Sevilla, which has the second-best attack in the division.

As has previously been mentioned, the one concern about this Barcelona side remains its relatively porous defence. It is worth pointing out, however, that the team has now kept four clean sheets in a row in La Liga.

All of which has seen the odds on Barcelona retaining its crown shorten. Having previously been at -350, Barça is now at -450 to be top of the pile come the end of the season in May.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of December 24 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -450
  • Real Madrid +700
  • Atletico Madrid +1000
  • Sevilla +5000
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Real Sociedad +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Levante +250000
  • Celta Vigo +250000
  • Athletic Bilbao +250000
  • Villarreal +250000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Once again, all three favorites for the La Liga crown – current champions Barcelona, European champions Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – took three points as the battle for glory remains close indeed. Table toppers Barcelona put in the performance of the weekend as an inspired Lionel Messi helped them on their way to a 5-0 thrashing of Levante.

For once, there were goals, drama and entertainment in a game involving Atletico Madrid, as Diego Simeone’s men scored late to record a 3-2 win away to Valladolid. And Real was far more functional than flair as an early goal secured the points at home to struggling Rayo Vallecano.

Real fails to impress in narrow win

It took the heroics of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to preserve Real’s narrow advantage, but it emerged with a 1-0 win at home to lowly Rayo Vallecano this past weekend. A Karim Benzema strike after only 13 minutes was enough to separate the sides as Real recorded its third La Liga win in a row, while French striker Benzema moved his tally to 13 for the season.

The result keeps Real fourth and five points off the top, but they are now picking up points as opposed to dropping them. They have now won over half their league games but those five defeats could cost them dearly – that’s as many losses as Athletic Bilbo, a team that finds itself in the relegation zone.

This latest win has done nothing to change the price on Real taking the title from Barcelona. Los Blancos remain at +500 to finish top of the pile come May, and are left waiting for their old rivals to make more than one slip-up.

Atletico edges close contest on the road

Real’s city rivals Atletico recorded a vital 3-2 win away to Valladolid in a hugely entertaining game. Having opened up a two-goal advantage prior to the interval, it looked like Atletico would have to settle for a share of the points once their opponents hit back in the second half, leaving the game level just after the hour mark.

But Atletico dug deep and Antoine Griezmann netted his second of the game 10 minutes from time to seal all three points for Atletico. The result leaves them third in the table, level on points with Sevilla and just three behind Barcelona.

Atletico has lost just once in the league all season but has drawn an incredible seven times already. However, it was refreshing to see Simeone’s men not settle for a point and find the resolve to turn one into three so late in the game.

Just like Real, their odds have not changed despite collecting another three points to further their cause. Atletico remains at +800 to win their first league title in half a decade, and will need another three points on Saturday when Espanyol pays a visit to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Messi on form in Barcelona rout

And finally, Lionel Messi scored a hat trick and created the other two as Barcelona thrashed Levante 5-0 this past weekend. It was a hugely important victory for the defending champions, as they had seen both Sevilla and Atletico move level on points with then, having both picked up victories.

But Messi made sure Barça retained its three-point lead at the top of the table with aplomb. Levante was not helped after being reduced to 10 men after only 14 minutes, but there was nothing they could do to stop the Argentine helping himself to three goals and teeing up Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.

Barcelona has won the most games and scored the most goals in the league. Similar to Borussia Dortmund in Germany, if anything is to stop the club finishing top of the pile, then it is likely to be their porous defence – Barça is currently conceding at a rate of over a goal per game.

And their odds have also remained the same on another La Liga crown. The champions, table toppers and favorites come in at just -350 to once again lift the league trophy in May.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of December 18 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -350
  • Real Madrid +500
  • Atletico Madrid +800
  • Sevilla +3300
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Real Sociedad +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Levante +150000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Celta Vigo +250000
  • Athletic Bilbao +250000
  • Villarreal +250000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There were wins this past weekend for all three of the favorites in Spain’s La Liga title race. Defending champion and current table topper Barcelona held on to top spot after thrashing neighbor Espanyol 4-0, thanks in no small part to a certain Lionel Messi.

Meanwhile, Atletico got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 win over high-flying Alaves. And European champion Real Madrid continued its recent recovery with a less than stellar performance, scraping by in a 1-0 victory over lowly Huesca.

Real wins again as recovery continues

An early strike from Gareth Bale was enough to give Real Madrid all three points in a narrow 1-0 win against Huesca. The win moved Real up to fourth after a slow start to the domestic campaign, and Los Blancos have now won four matches in a row across all competitions.

This was far from vintage Real, however. Huesca is playing its first season in the top flight and for long periods matched Real – if the club from the capital is to keep climbing the table, it will need to put in more succinct displays than this.

Nevertheless, Real is now just two points behind Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, in third and second. Their attack is still not terrorizing defences, with the side currently scoring at a rate of just 1.5 goals per game.

And this victory has not changed the prospects of a Real Madrid La Liga win. The club remains at +500 to get its hands on the title but, for now at least, they are very much heading in the right direction. Next up for them is a home game against lowly Rayo Vallecano and another three points will be required.

Atletico completes rout of Alaves

After it was noted here that Atletico has not been scoring enough, Diego Simeone’s side went and scored seven goals in the space of a week. Three of those came in a hugely impressive 3-0 win over in-form Alaves, and it must have been a relief for the club’s fans who have seen far too many draws this season.

Nikola Kalinic opened the scoring before half an hour had been played, while Antoine Griezmann and Rodri made sure of the points after the interval. The result leaves Atletico just three points off the top of the table.

The worry with Atletico remains the same, however – that seven draws already could well end up costing them dearly in the title race. Now they have finally found their shooting boots, and with an almost airtight defence, this Atletico outfit is more than capable of offering a sustained title challenge over the coming months.

A win this weekend has seen the odds on a title win for Atletico cut. Having previously been out at +1000, the club from the capital is now at +800 to win its first domestic crown in half a decade. Next up is a trip to Valladolid, and a draw simply will not do.

Barça hangs on to top spot

Lionel Messi scored two wonderful free kicks as Barcelona thrashed local rival Espanyol 4-0. Messi opened the scoring after only 17 minutes and scored again 20 minutes after the restart – he is priced at just -200 to finish the campaign as La Liga’s top goalscorer.

The win has cemented Barcelona’s place at the top of the table and, after a stumble of their own, they now look to be back to their slick best. The Catalan club has now won four games in a row across all competitions.

In addition, Barcelona has won more games than any other side in La Liga and no one can deny that the team deserves to be in first place. They are scoring at a phenomenal rate and if anything lets them down, it will be an inconsistent defensive backline.

However, despite the win, Barça’s odds on retaining their title have actually lengthened slightly, owing to the fact their rivals also picked up victories. Having previously been at -400, the champions are now at -350 to hold on to their crown.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of December 11 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -350
  • Real Madrid +500
  • Atletico Madrid +800
  • Sevilla +3300
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Valencia +100000
  • Real Sociedad +150000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Celta Vigo +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Levante +150000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Athletic Bilbao +250000
  • Villarreal +250000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Defending La Liga champions Barcelona went back to the top of the pile this past weekend with a comfortable 2-0 win over Villarreal. They were able to leapfrog Sevilla after the previous leaders were held to a 1-1 draw by Alaves, thereby dropping two valuable points in the process.

Another side to drop points was Atletico Madrid, held to a second successive 1-1 draw, away to Girona – a win would have put them level with Sevilla. And there was relief for European champions Real Madrid as they saw off Valencia 2-0 to move up to fifth, just two points behind city rivals Atletico in third.

SEVILLA DROPs VITAL POINTS

Sevilla slipped from top spot in La Liga after only managing a 1-1 draw away to in-form Alaves. The home side took the lead when Jony thrashed home on 37 minutes, and it looked as if Sevilla could be heading for defeat.

But Ben Yedder found an equalizer with 12 minutes remaining and, despite pushing in the closing stages, Sevilla could not find a winner. The result leaves the club with 27 points from 14 games played so far, a point behind Barcelona.

In addition, those dropped points have done nothing to change Sevilla’s odds on getting their hands on the La Liga crown. They remain at +1400 to finish top of the pile, while you can back them at -400 to finish the season in the top four.

REAL STARTs CLIMBING TABLE

And there was relief for Real Madrid as it got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Valencia. An own goal from Daniel Wass opened the scoring after only eight minutes before a late strike from Lucas Vazquez made sure of the points.

The win moved Real up to fifth in the table, just two points behind Atletico Madrid in third place. Real has won just half of its league games so far this season and has a paltry goal differential of just three.

Nevertheless, victory this weekend has cut their odds on winning the league title. Having previously been at +700, Los Blancos are now at just +500 to win the domestic crown come May – next up for them is an away trip to Huesca and three points is an absolute must if they are to keep closing in on first place.

ATLETICO DRAWs YET AGAIN

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid missed the chance to close the gap at the top of the table after a hugely disappointing 1-1 draw away to Girona. It was Girona that took the lead from the penalty spot deep into injury time in the first half after a lethargic performance from Diego Simeone’s side.

Atletico has not lost a league game since September 1 but that looked like it was about to change until an own goal just eight minutes from time ensured a share of the spoils. The result and the display were far from ideal, however, although Atletico remains just three points off the top of the table.

There have been far too many draws from Atletico this season, with the club winning just six of 14 league outings. Their lack of attacking threat was highlighted once again and they have just 18 goals so far this term – Celta Vigo, down in 13th, has 25.

And the stalemate has had catastrophic consequences on Atletico’s odds to win the league title. Having previously been at +600, Atletico is now out at +1000 to win its first title in half a decade.

BARÇA BACK ON TOP

And finally, defending champions Barcelona went back to the top of the pile with a comfortable 2-0 win over Villarreal. Gerard Pique and Carles Alena got the goals for the Catalan giants, who now sit a point ahead of Sevilla while scoring at a rate comfortably over 2.5 goals per game.

And the win only served to shorten Barça’s odds on retaining their crown. Having previously been at -300, the champions are now at -400 to win the title once again, with Lionel Messi at just -163 to finish the campaign as the top goalscorer in the division.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of December 4 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -400
  • Real Madrid +500
  • Atletico Madrid +1000
  • Sevilla +1400
  • Valencia +50000
  • Espanyol +50000
  • Real Sociedad +100000
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Villarreal +150000
  • Athletic Bilbao +200000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Celta Vigo +300000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Girona +400000
  • Levante +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There is a new leader in Spain’s La Liga, after Sevilla beat Valladolid 1-0 to go top of the pile. They were able to take advantage of the fact that none of their title rivals won in a league campaign which is shaping up to be one of the closest in years.

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona played out a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital, with Barça rescuing a point thanks to a last-gasp goal from Ousmane Dembele. And Real Madrid suffered a disastrous setback as they were thrashed 3-0 by lowly Eibar.

Sevilla sitting pretty

It was a scrappy game, but Andre Silva’s strike was enough to seal a 1-0 win for Sevilla over Valladolid and send the club to the top of the table. The victory leaves them a point clear of Barcelona in second and has put them in among the title contenders after an excellent run of form.

Sevilla has 26 points from 13 games played so far – winning eight of those – and their staunch home form could well be the backbone to a sustained title challenge. After their win this past weekend, the odds on Sevilla actually winning the league crown have been slashed dramatically.

Having previously been out at +3300, the side is now at just +1400 to get their hands on the title come the end of the season. And their next league encounter is of pivotal importance, as they travel to take on high-flying Alaves.

Real sinks without a trace

Santiago Solari saw his bright start to life as Real Madrid boss derailed spectacularly as his side fell 3-0 to Eibar. It was the home side’s first-ever win over Los Blancos and helped them climb up to eighth in the table – just two points and two places behind Real.

Solari had won all four games since taking over from Julen Lopetegui, but this was an alarming wake-up call about the size of the job ahead of him. Real has won less than half of its league games played this term and has lost five times already, while conceding at a rate of close to 1.5 goals per game – their goal difference stands at +1.

Furthermore, they are a huge six points behind table toppers Sevilla and defeat this weekend has seen their odds lengthen on a league crown. Having previously been at +500, the European champions are now out at +700 to get their hands on the domestic crown, and their home match with Valencia next week is now simply a must-win affair.

Atletico and Barcelona share spoils

Ousmane Dembele grabbed a point with a late goal for Barcelona as they held Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw. The game was hardly one for the annals, but Diego Costa looked to have snatched the points for the home side when he headed them into the lead after 77 minutes.

But they reckoned without Lionel Messi, who found Dembele to finish. The result did little for either side and, as noted above, has allowed Sevilla to steal top spot from the defending champion.

Barça now sits second with 25 points from 13 games, but has lost twice already this season. Of a more pressing concern is their shoddy defensive record, with the Catalan club leaking 19 goals so far this season – Leganes, down in 17th place, have conceded fewer goals.

Bizarrely, conceding top spot has not damaged Barcelona’s odds and they are now actually shorter than they were prior to the international break. Having been at -275, Barça is now at -300 to retain the league crown, and will be expecting to get back to winning ways when they host Villarreal next time out.

Atletico, by way of comparison, is on 24 points – just two off the top of the table. They have lost just once all season but have seen far too many draws – six to be exact, meaning that they have won less than half of their league matches.

And a draw with Barcelona has done nothing to change Atletico’s odds on the league crown. Diego Simeon’s side remains at +600 to win its first title since the 2013-14 season.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of November 26 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -300
  • Atletico Madrid +600
  • Real Madrid +700
  • Sevilla +1400
  • Valencia +25000
  • Espanyol +40000
  • Real Sociedad +100000
  • Real Betis +100000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Villarreal +150000
  • Athletic Bilbao +200000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Celta Vigo +300000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Girona +400000
  • Levante +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There were wins for both clubs from the capital as Atletico and Real heaped pressure on defending La Liga champions Barcelona. The Catalan club lost 4-3 at home to Real Betis to see their advantage at the top of the table cut to just a single point.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid appears to be forgetting the era of Julen Lopetegui in a hurry as they picked up yet another victory in their domestic recovery. And Atletico came from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao to hang on the coattails of Barça.

Real on the road to recovery

Santiago Solari made it four wins in as many games as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 4-2. This was seen as the first real test that Solari had encountered in charge of Real but it was one he passed with aplomb as his side moved to within four points of Barcelona at the top of the table.

Celta had been in good form ahead of this match but Karim Benzema settled the nerves for Los Blancos, putting them ahead midway through the first half. An own goal doubled Real’s lead after the break before Celta hit back, but a penalty from Sergio Ramos and a late goal from Dani Ceballos saw Real home and dry.

The result means that Real is heading in the right direction, although the backline remains a worry. Real is currently leaking over a goal a game and it is an issue Solari must address if his side is to continue climbing the table.

This win has done little to change Real’s odds on a La Liga crown, with the European champions still at +500 to win the title. Next up for them is another away game, this time at Eibar.

Barcelona slips up to leave La Liga title race wide open

Current champions Barcelona were shocked by a strong Real Betis side as they succumbed to a thrilling 4-3 defeat at Camp Nou. It was the first time that Barça had lost a home match in the league for over two years and it has left the door ajar for their title rivals to try to pile through.

Betis had opened up a two-goal lead with little more than half an hour played and it took until the 68th minute for Lionel Messi to reply for the hosts. Yet Betis was able to restore its two-goal cushion as the game raced from end to end, with neither defence covering itself in glory.

While Barcelona remains top of the pile, their advantage is now down to a single point. They have already lost twice this season, and while they are scoring at a rate of close to three goals per game, they are conceding at an alarming rate of 1.5 goals per game.

Their price on retaining the league title has dropped slightly, from -300 down to -275. Next up for Barça is a huge game away to Atletico Madrid – lose in the capital and the title race will be taken out of their hands.

Atletico wins to increase pressure on champions

And finally, Diego Godin scored an injury-time winner to give Atletico Madrid all three points against Athletic Bilbao in a thrilling 3-2 win. The captain had been carrying an injury but put his body on the line to secure all three points for Atletico as they moved to within a point of Barcelona at the top – they are currently level on points with both Sevilla and Alaves.

Atletico has lost just once in La Liga so far this season – less than any other club – but has drawn far too many games. They have the best defensive record in the division, but have managed a paltry 16 goals so far this season – Celta Vigo, down in 14th place, has scored six more goals than Atletico to date.

The win this weekend, however, has seen their price on a first league title in half a decade drop slightly, down to +600 from a previous +700. Next up for Atletico is that home date with the champions and a fantastic opportunity to show that they well and truly belong in the title race.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of November 12 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -275
  • Real Madrid +500
  • Atletico Madrid +600
  • Sevilla +3300
  • Valencia +25000
  • Alaves +40000
  • Villarreal +50000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Espanyol +75000
  • Athletic Bilbao +200000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Celta Vigo +300000
  • Eibar +400000
  • Girona +400000
  • Levante +450000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There were wins for both Barcelona and Real Madrid as the race for the La Liga crown looks very much to be back on. Two late goals for Barça gave them a 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano, while Vinicius Junior and Sergio Ramos struck late to give Real Madrid a nervy 2-0 victory over Valladolid.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid lost ground on leaders Barcelona after a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Leganes. Diego Simeone’s side is now four points back on the table toppers and is drawing far too many games when it needs to be taking three points.

REAL GETs BACK TO WINNING WAYS

It was by no means pretty, but Real Madrid did just enough to record a vital 2-0 victory over Valladolid this past weekend. It was Real’s first win in six league games and saw them climb the table and keep in touch with old rivals Barcelona at the top of the table.

Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior cut in and sent in a curling effort which took a wicked deflection seven minutes from time. Sergio Ramos then converted from the penalty spot to make sure of the points.

The result left Real in sixth place, seven points behind Barcelona but just three points off Sevilla in second place. In addition, their price on winning the La Liga crown has dropped slightly, down to +500 from +600 following their defeat in el clásico.

Real’s next league encounter is a tricky test away to Celta Vigo. While the search for the next permanent manager goes on, the players must keep focused and picking up points on the pitch – far too many have been dropped already.

BARCELONA WINs WITH COMEBACK

Two late goals from Barcelona stole the points with a dramatic 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano. Uruguay forward Luis Suarez had given Barça the lead before Jose Pozo leveled with a long-range effort. The hosts then took the lead just before the hour mark and it looked like the Catalan giants were heading for another setback after rediscovering their form.

But they rallied when Ousmane Dembele’s fine volley brought them level with just three minutes of normal time remaining, before Suarez’s second goal of the game snatched the points in injury time to ensure Barça’s third league victory in a row.

The victory left the champions four points clear at the top of the league with seven wins from 11 outings. In addition, they are scoring at a rate of 2.8 goals per game, with their only concern their leaky backline, currently conceding at a rate of over a goal a game.

The win did, however, see Barcelona’s price on retaining its league crown drop slightly. Having been at -275, Barça is now at -300 to win the title for a second successive season. Their next domestic encounter is a home game with Real Betis as they look to make it four league wins on the bounce.

ATLETICO DROPs CRUCIAL POINTS

Atletico Madrid blew the chance to stay close to the league leaders after being held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Leganes. France forward Antoine Griezmann had given Atletico the lead with a fine effort before Guido Carrillo equalized for the hosts with just eight minutes remaining.

Atletico has failed to win at Leganes since the minnows were promoted to the top flight back in 2016, and this result could end up costing them dearly. Atletico has 20 points but is now four back of Barcelona, with Real Madrid gathering pace behind them.

The dropped points has also seen Atletico’s price on a first La Liga crown since the 2013-14 season rise slightly. Having previously been at +600, Diego Simeone’s side is now at +700 to finish the campaign top of the pile.

Next up in La Liga for Atletico come two crucial home games. First, they take on Athletic Bilbao in a must-win game for the club, before Barcelona comes to town in what will be a huge test for the club from the capital of their title credentials.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of November 5 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -300
  • Real Madrid +500
  • Atletico Madrid +700
  • Sevilla +4000
  • Valencia +25000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Villarreal +50000
  • Alaves +50000
  • Espanyol +50000
  • Real Betis +75000
  • Athletic Bilbao +200000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Celta Vigo +300000
  • Levante +300000
  • Eibar +400000
  • Girona +400000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganes +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Current La Liga champion Barcelona showed just why it is the favorite to retain its domestic crown by thrashing its greatest rival Real Madrid 5-1 this past weekend, thanks in no small part to a hat trick from Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. The feat was made all the more impressive by the fact they put in such a dominant display without talisman Lionel Messi, while Real boss Julen Lopetegui’s job appears to be hanging by a thread, with Italian coach Antonio Conte reportedly poised to take over.

Elsewhere, there were victories for Alaves, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid as they continue to keep the pressure on Barça at the top of the table. Alaves is now just a point behind the Catalan giants.

REAL HITs ROCK BOTTOM

Things surely cannot get any worse for European champions Real Madrid as they succumbed to a 5-1 mauling at the hands of their greatest rivals, Barcelona. The result has left Real down in ninth place, a huge seven points off the top of the table, and Lopetegui reportedly just hours from getting the sack for the second time in just four months.

After a bright start to the season which included a 3-0 win over AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League, things have nosedived for Real spectacularly over recent weeks. The side has lost four of its last five league games, has lost as many league matches as it has won, has conceded as many as it has scored and, unless something changes soon, the team could well be out of any title race before Spain’s traditional winter break.

Unsurprisingly, Real’s price to win the La Liga title has rocketed upward following this defeat. Having been at +350 to get their hands on the title, Los Blancos are now out at +600 to finish the season as the champions.

Real’s next league encounter is a home match with Valladolid. Whether Lopetegui will still be around to oversee proceedings is another matter entirely.

BARÇA PUTs itself OUT IN FRONT

Two goals up at the break and scoring three more in the second half, Barcelona put five past Real Madrid in a result which sent a message to its title rivals. The defending champions sit proudly at the top of the pile, a point above Alaves in second place, scoring at a rate of 2.8 goals per game.

One day, they will miss Lionel Messi in the same way that Real is currently missing Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Argentine’s absence was not felt on Sunday afternoon. The result has seen Barça’s price fall further in their bid to retain their La Liga crown.

Having been at just -225, Barcelona now finds itself at -275 to win the domestic trophy once again come May. Next up in the league is an away trip to Rayo Vallecano and, if they put in a performance even remotely resembling this one, it will be another happy afternoon for the champions.

ATLETICO AND SEVILLA BOTH WIN

And finally, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla cannot be forgotten in this title race after the pair both picked up wins this past weekend. First, Atletico recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Sociedad, leaving them in fourth place and just two points off Barcelona in first.

Despite the victory, Atletico’s odds on a first league title since the 2013-14 season have lengthened slightly. Having previously been at +500, Diego Simeone’s side now finds itself out at +600 and next weekend travels to Leganes looking to build up a head of steam on the domestic front.

A win for Sevilla, meanwhile, saw its price drop in the race for the title. A brace from Pablo Sarabia gave Sevilla a 2-1 win over Huesca, leaving them in third place and level on points with Atletico, five in front of Real Madrid.

And their price has now dropped to +4000 – down from +5000 – to get their hands on the league crown come the end of the season. Sevilla travels to take on Real Sociedad this coming weekend looking to make it three wins in a row across all competitions.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of October 29 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -275
  • Real Madrid +600
  • Atlético Madrid +600
  • Sevilla +4000
  • Valencia +20000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Villarreal +50000
  • Alavés +50000
  • Espanyol +50000
  • Real Betis +75000
  • Athletic Bilbao +200000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +300000
  • Celta de Vigo +300000
  • Levante +300000
  • Girona +400000
  • Eibar +400000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganés +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

After going four games without a win, defending La Liga champion Barcelona finally got three points on the board in a highly entertaining 4-2 victory over in-form Sevilla. Their triumph spelt bad news for their rivals from the capital – Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – neither of whom was able to pick up a vital win in the ninth round of matches this past weekend.

Barcelona back to winning ways

Current La Liga holders Barcelona got back to winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Sevilla. However, the win ended up being bittersweet as the Catalans lost talisman Lionel Messi to a broken arm, ruling him out of their upcoming clasico against Real Madrid.

But nevertheless this was a much-needed win over a team that looked like it was becoming a title rival after the last few weeks. The points allowed Barça to reclaim top spot, and they are scoring goals at a healthy rate of 2.55 goals per game.

Their defence remains a cause for concern, though. Twice they leaked goals in this game, and they are currently conceding goals at a rate of 1.33 goals per game. That simply must improve if they are intent on maintaining their La Liga crown.

And after this victory they remain very much the favorites to do so. Their price on winning the title has shortened to -225 (from -163) and the ball remains very much in their court.

Next up, of course, is their biggest domestic challenge of the season, as Real Madrid heads to Camp Nou, and this was the perfect time for Barcelona to rediscover the winning formula. With goals flowing, it is the backline coach Ernesto Valverde must work on tightening as we head into the winter months.

Real loses again to leave Lopetegui on the brink

Meanwhile, European champion Real Madrid suffered its fourth defeat in five games to leave boss Julen Lopetegui hanging on to his job by the skin of his teeth. The loss means that Real has slipped all the way down to seventh in the La Liga standings, behind the likes of Valladolid, Alaves and Espanyol.

The bare numbers do not make for pretty reading. Los Blancos have won less than half of their league games so far this season (four from nine), and are conceding at a rate of a goal a game – furthermore, they are four points back on leaders and rivals Barcelona, meaning that even a win in this weekend’s clasico will not be enough to overtake them in the table.

Not surprisingly, the price on Real wresting the league title out of Barça’s grip has lengthened following this setback. Having previously been at +275, Real is now out at +350 to be top of the pile come May, and Lopetegui looks to be in a fight to save his job just a few short months after accepting the position. A defeat to Barcelona in his next league outing could well be the end of the line for the former Spain coach.

Atletico struggles again, slips down standings

And finally, there were also dropped points for Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid side this past weekend as they struggled in a 1-1 draw away to Villarreal. The side is down in fifth place in the league but remains just two points off Barcelona in first place – their biggest problem remains too many stalemates in the opening weeks of the campaign.

Atletico has lost only once in the league so far this season but has drawn four times already. Once again, their biggest problems lie in the final third – Atletico is scoring at a rate of just 1.1 goals per game and it is nowhere near good enough if they are intent on winning their first La Liga crown since the 2013-14 season.

This draw has done nothing to change Atletico’s La Liga title odds. Simeone’s side remains at +500 to win the title, while they are the clear favorites to finish as “best of the rest” – in a table excluding Barcelona and Real Madrid, they are at -300 to finish in the highest position.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of October 22 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -225
  • Real Madrid +350
  • Atlético Madrid +500
  • Sevilla +5000
  • Valencia +20000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Villarreal +50000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Alavés +50000
  • Athletic Bilbao +100000
  • Girona +100000
  • Espanyol +100000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +200000
  • Celta de Vigo +250000
  • Levante +250000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganés +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

The struggles continue for La Liga favorites Barcelona and Real Madrid, with both sides failing to win for the fourth round in a row. Their disappointment was excellent news for Atletico Madrid, which was able to draw level on points with Barcelona following another win, and even better news for Sevilla, which now goes into the international break one point clear at the top of the table.

BARÇA NOW WINLESS IN FOUR LEAGUE GAMES

It was up to Lionel Messi to save Barcelona once again as the current La Liga champions came from behind to draw 1-1 with Valencia at the Mestalla. Gerard Pique’s horrendous error allowed Ezequiel Garay to give the home side the lead before Messi’s long-range strike earned a share of the points.

The result means that Barcelona has now gone four league matches without a win, picking up just three points in that time. Having won their first four league games in a row, they still sit second, but defensive lapses mean they are leaking goals at a rate of over a goal a game.

Nevertheless, they remain the favorites to retain the La Liga crown at a price of just -163. And Messi, who salvaged a point for them on this occasion, is the overwhelming favorite to win the Golden Boot at -250.

Next up for Barça is a huge home game against table toppers Sevilla. Given their shaky recent form, three points for the champions is by no means certain.

For it is Sevilla that leads the pack, with 16 points, going into the international break. Sevilla has now won four league matches in a row, including a 3-0 win over European champions Real Madrid and a 6-2 thrashing of Levante, and the side has been playing some exhilarating football.

Their odds have been shorted to win La Liga, but they remain outsides at +4000. You can, however, back them at just -110 to finish in the top four.

REAL SLIPS UP AGAIN

Real has now also gone four games without a win following a 1-0 loss to Alaves this past weekend. Manu Garcia headed the only goal of the game in the 95th minute to condemn Real Madrid, which now sits fourth in the table with 14 points from eight games.

New Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui looks like he could be in trouble before we have even reached November. Los Blancos have now lost three of their last four matches across all competitions, and have not managed to score a single goal in that period.

In total, it is six hours and 49 minutes since Real Madrid last scored a goal and their title challenge looks to be fading under Lopetegui’s stewardship. The loss of Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps hurting the club more than anyone would care to admit, and with Gareth Bale also out injured, the side looks short in the final third.

Unsurprisingly, Real’s price on a title win has since risen, from +200 to +275. Following the international break, they host Levante at the Bernabeu, and it is no exaggeration to say that Lopetegui will be fighting for his job if Real fails once again to collect three points.

ATLETICO BACK IN BUSINESS

Angel Correa scored the only goal of the game as Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 1-0 to go third in the table. Diego Simeone and his players have now moved above city rivals Real and, after a slow start, look to be building up a head of steam.

The side has won three of its last four matches, conceding just one goal in that time. This is very much a side in Simeone’s image, with Atletico managing to score just nine goals so far this league season – Girona, down in 15th, has scored more – while boasting the best defensive record in the division, with just four goals conceded.

Their recent upturn in form has also seen their odds shortened on a first La Liga win since the 2013-14 season. Atletico is now at just +500 to win the title – down from +700 – and travels to Villarreal in the next round.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of October 8 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -163
  • Real Madrid +275
  • Atlético Madrid +500
  • Sevilla +4000
  • Valencia +10000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Villarreal +50000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Athletic Bilbao +100000
  • Girona +100000
  • Alavés +100000
  • Espanyol +100000
  • Celta de Vigo +150000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +200000
  • Levante +250000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganés +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There were more dropped points in Spain’s La Liga this past weekend as Barcelona and Real Madrid both stalled in their hunt for the league crown. Defending champions Barça could not bounce back from defeat at Leganes and were held once again, this time by a stubborn Athletic Bilbao outfit, to a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou.

Real Madrid, by way of comparison, found themselves in an identical situation. In the midweek round they were brushed aside 3-0 by Sevilla, and were then held to a goalless draw by city rivals Atletico over the weekend, leaving the sides level on 14 points after seven games.

BARCELONA GOES THREE GAMES WITHOUT A WIN

Defending champion Barcelona stretched its winless run to three games after drawing 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao. Visitors Athletic took the lead in the first half through Oscar de Marcos, but they could not quite hang on to seal all three points on the road.

Lionel Messi came on as a second-half substitute for Barça and the team’s structure and attacking verve was transformed. And it was from Messi’s cross, six minutes from time, that Munir El Haddadi secured an equalizer for the hosts and a share of the spoils.

Barcelona had chances to win the game when midfield Philippe Coutinho sent a shot crashing against the bar, but the Catalan club was forced to take just a point. And having won their first four league games of the season, Barça has now taken just two points from its last three.

Their disappointing form has not affected their league position, however. Barcelona is still top of the table, albeit on goal difference, only having scored 18 goals already this season.

However, the stumble has seen their price to win La Liga for a second year in a row rise slightly, from -175 to -138. Next up in the league for Barça is a testing trip to the Mestalla to take on Valencia, and a positive performance will be needed if the pressure is not to build on Ernesto Valverde.

Barça has gone from a clear advantage in the league to opening the door for its rivals. Without a win in three games is almost unprecedented for a club of Barcelona’s stature in recent years and supporters will surely become restless before too long.

REAL AND ATLETICO SHARE SPOILS IN DERBY

Meanwhile, Real Madrid failed to win for a second straight match after being held to a goalless draw by Atletico Madrid. Having lost 3-0 to Sevilla in midweek, Real has now failed to find the back of the net for two games in a row, missing out on a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of Barcelona’s recent travails.

Real was the better side in the second half but could not find a way through as Atletico stood firm. The result left Los Blancos with 14 points from their seven league outings.

But those poor results in their last two games has also seen Real’s price rise slightly to get their hands back on the league title. The team has gone from +175 to +200 to be crowned champions come the end of the season, and travels to take on Alaves next time out.

There were encouraging signs, however, that Atletico was finding its stride. This goalless draw meant that they have now kept three clean sheets in a row and have taken seven points from a possible nine.

Having thrashed Huesca 3-0 in midweek, they then secured a point at the Bernabeu. It meant that Atletico has now gone six seasons unbeaten at the home of its greatest rival.

The result left Atletico in fourth place, with 12 points from seven games played. And as a result their odds to be crowned league champions for the first time since the 2013-14 season have been slashed dramatically, from +2000 down to +700.

Atletico will have the chance to extend its recent run of form next time out at home to an out-of-sorts Real Betis side, and Simeone has got his side firing on all cylinders. It has taken a few weeks, but Atletico is in the title reckoning once again.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of October 1 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -140
  • Real Madrid +200
  • Atlético Madrid +700
  • Sevilla +4000
  • Valencia +25000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Villarreal +50000
  • Athletic Bilbao +100000
  • Celta de Vigo +100000
  • Girona +100000
  • Alavés +100000
  • Espanyol +100000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +200000
  • Levante +250000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganés +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

It was a weekend of tension and excitement in Spain’s La Liga, as defending champion Barcelona dropped points for the first time this season in a 2-2 draw at home to lowly Girona. The result meant that their cushion at the top of the table was wiped out as title challenger Real Madrid was able to grind out a 1-0 win against Espanyol, to leave both teams on 13 points after five games played.

Meanwhile, there was a vital win for Atletico Madrid away to Getafe, with Simeone’s side picking up the points in a comfortable 2-0 win. The result leaves Atletico on eight points, five behind the league leaders, but moving in the right direction nevertheless.

BARCELONA’S 100 PER CENT RECORD BROUGHT TO AN END

For a moment, it looked like the unthinkable just might happen. Down to 10 men and trailing in front of their own fans, Barcelona was at risk of losing at home to Girona, a result which would surely hand the initiative to rivals Real Madrid over the coming weeks.

Clement Lenglet was sent off for an elbow when Barcelona was a goal up, and from then on the panorama of the game changed dramatically. Girona found an equalizer right on halftime through Cristhian Stuani, before the Uruguayan put the visitors ahead six minutes after the break.

Barcelona was rescued by a header from Gerard Pique but, despite there being over 25 minutes still to play, could not go on and find a winner. The dropped points have opened the door for the likes of Real and Atletico to walk through.

Regardless, Barcelona remains the favorite to retain its La Liga crown, and is at the same price of -175 to do so. Next up for the Catalan giants is a trip to take on Leganes, where they will very much expect to get back to winning ways.

REAL RIGHT BACK IN THE RACE

It was by no means pretty, but Real Madrid got the job done with a 1-0 win over Espanyol to move level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table. Marco Asensio got the only goal of the game awarded after a VAR review, to leave Real with 13 points from its first five games of the season.

Most pleasing for Real boss Julen Lopetegui was the clean sheet his side kept. There were some shaky moments, particularly in the second half, but Los Blancos held firm to wrap up the points.

The victory has done little to change Real’s betting prospects, however. They remain behind Barcelona in the list of favorites to win the La Liga crown, and are at the same price of +175 to get that title out of their rival’s grasp.

And their next league game will be a tough one. On Wednesday night, Real travels to Sevilla, who hit six past Levante in a hugely impressive performance this past weekend. The stern tests for Lopetegui and his Real players continue to come thick and fast.

ATLETICO BACK ON TRACK

Next weekend will of course see the Madrid derby take place, with Real hosting city rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu. For Diego Simeone and his Atletico side, however, they fortunately look to be hitting form at just the right time after a 2-0 win away to in-form Getafe this past weekend.

An own goal from Getafe goalkeeper David Doria opened the scoring before Thomas Lemar made sure of victory on the hour mark. This was not exactly a vintage performance from Atletico but following their sluggish start it was nevertheless a second straight win, following their triumph away to Monaco in the UEFA Champions League last week.

The result leaves Atletico in fifth place, five points off Barça and Real but heading in the right direction. Despite the victory, their price to win their first La Liga crown in half a decade has risen, from +1400 to +2000.

Atletico will warm up for the Madrid derby with a home match against newly promoted Huesca. It should be the perfect opportunity to make it a hat trick of wins as they await their first crucial test of the league campaign away to Real.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of September 24 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -175
  • Real Madrid +175
  • Atlético Madrid +2000
  • Sevilla +8000
  • Valencia +25000
  • Athletic Bilbao +50000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Villarreal +75000
  • Real Sociedad +75000
  • Celta de Vigo +100000
  • Girona +100000
  • Alavés +100000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Getafe +200000
  • Valladolid +200000
  • Levante +250000
  • Rayo Vallecano +450000
  • Leganés +450000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

Current La Liga champion Barcelona has managed to put daylight between themselves and great rivals Real Madrid following the fourth round of matches. Barça came from behind to narrowly beat Real Sociedad 2-1, while Real was held to a 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao, marking the first time this season that Los Blancos have dropped points.

Meanwhile, there were further dropped points for Atletico Madrid, who needed a 94th-minute goal to snatch a point at home to Eibar. Diego Simeone’s side has now won just one of its opening four games this season, leaving itself with a mountain to climb.

REAL’s 100 PER CENT START ENDED

Isco came off the bench to rescue a point for Real Madrid away to Athletic Bilbao as the European champions saw their 100 per cent start to the season come to an end. Iker Muniain had put the home side ahead prior to Isco’s second-half strike, but the visitors could not find a second and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Real had scored four goals in its previous two league outings but struggled for rhythm here, particularly in the first half. Real pressed in the second half but found no way through and has now slipped two points behind Barcelona in the title race.

As a result, Real’s price to wrest the league crown out of Barcelona’s grasp has risen slightly, from +162 to +175. Gareth Bale failed to score for the first time this season, and is at +800 to finish the season as the top scorer. Teammate Karim Benzema is only slightly higher at +900.

Next up for Real is a home match against Espanyol this coming Sunday. Three points are a must if they are to remain in sight of Barcelona.

BARCELONA GOES MARCHING ON

Two goals in three minutes saw Barcelona come from behind to beat Real Sociedad 2-1 and maintain its 100 per cent start to the new season. The champions fell behind in the 12th minute, but second-half goals from Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele after the break were enough for the Catalan giants to seal the points.

Barça was disappointing in the first half but demonstrated one of the key characteristics of a champion. Even with a poor display, they were able to wrap up victory and put some breathing space between themselves and their title rivals.

Unsurprisingly, it is Barça that remains the favorite to retain the league crown following another league win. The Catalan giants are at -175 to win a 26th league title and given the start they have made to the season, they would look a good bet to do so.

Lionel Messi may not have been on the scoresheet this week, but he remains the outright favorite to win the La Liga Golden Boot award. The Argentine is at -225 to do so, with teammate and fellow South American Luis Suarez second in the betting odds and priced at +700 to take the individual award.

ATLETICO DROPS POINTS FOR SECOND GAME RUNNING

There was a further setback for Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid side as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Eibar. Teenager Borja Garces snatched an equalizer for Atletico in the 94th minute to avoid a second successive defeat for the club – the side lost 2-0 away to Celta Vigo in the third round.

The poor result means that Atletico has just one win and five points from its opening four games. They sit eighth in the table, a huge seven points behind early-season league leaders Barcelona.

However, Atletico’s price to win La Liga has remained constant. Simeone’s side is still at +1400 to win its first league title in half a decade, but serious improvements will need to be made and fast.

Atletico now faces two games on the road. First up is a Champions League fixture away to Monaco before traveling to take on Getafe next weekend in La Liga.

Getafe is above Atletico with seven points, but Simeone knows his side must take all three points if Barça and Real are not to be out of sight before long. At -143, Atletico is the favorite to take all three points in the domestic contest.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of September 17 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -175
  • Real Madrid +175
  • Atlético Madrid +1400
  • Sevilla +10000
  • Valencia +20000
  • Athletic Bilbao +50000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Celta de Vigo +50000
  • Villarreal +75000
  • Real Sociedad +75000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Levante +250000
  • Alavés +250000
  • Valladolid +250000
  • Rayo Vallecano +300000
  • Leganés +400000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

There were two huge wins for the two favorites to battle it out for the La Liga title, with Barcelona and Real Madrid exerting their class and authority over limited opponents. On Saturday, Real Madrid comprehensively brushed aside Leganes with a 4-1 victory, while Barcelona survived the shock of going behind to newcomers Huesca to hit eight goals at Camp Nou.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid fell even further behind their title rivals. Having drawn with Valencia in the opening round, the club from the capital was beaten 2-0 by Celta Vigo and has now won just one of its opening three games.

Bale and Benzema on target for Real

Who needs Cristiano Ronaldo? With the Portuguese still firing blanks over at Juventus, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have taken on the mantle of chief goal getters with aplomb.

Both were on the scoresheet as Los Blancos brushed Leganes aside 4-1 with ease this past weekend.  Under new coach Julen Lopetegui, Real Madrid have maintained their 100 per cent record and have scored 10 goals, a rate of over three goals per game, while conceding just two.

Bale has now scored in seven consecutive league games and is one of the favorites to win the La Liga Golden Boot, and with Benzema now having scored four goals in his last two outings, the European champions are looking powerful in the final third. And after their third league win in a row this season, Real have seen their price to win the title slashed from +225 to just +162.

The season may still be in its infancy, but already it looks to be turning into a two-horse race. Real, after all, are one of only two teams to have won their opening three league matches and there is no prize for guessing the other.

Barcelona looks to be hitting top gear already

That other side is, of course, Barcelona, and the defending La Liga champions were in fine form as they thrashed La Liga new boys Huesca 8-2 this past Sunday afternoon at Camp Nou. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both scored twice and the Barça pair, alongside Bale and Benzema at Real, could well be in a four-way fight for that Golden Boot prize.

The minnows took a shock lead inside three minutes but it only took Barcelona a further 20 minutes to wrest the advantage away from them, and from that moment the match resembled a procession. The wins mean both Barcelona and Real Madrid have nine points from three games, with the two giants tied at the top of the table.

Barça, however, have now scored 12 goals, an incredible rate of four goals per game, and claim top spot due to goals scored. Their price to retain their domestic crown remains at -150, and if they can keep this type of form up there will be few betting against them to do exactly that.

Next up for Barcelona, following the international break, is a trip to Real Sociedad and once again they are favorites to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season. The Catalan club is at just -275 to take all three points once again.

Atletico hits stumbling block and falls behind title rivals

Atletico Madrid, however, looks to be facing an uphill struggle already after losing 2-0 to Celta Vigo on the weekend. As a result, the club sits 10th in the table with just one win to their name so far, a huge five points behind rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, and a sustained title challenge looking unlikely at this early stage of the season.

As a result, Atletico has seen the odds on them winning the domestic crown this season skyrocket to +1000. By way of contrast, Celta Vigo remains unbeaten and has taken seven points from its opening three games, but remains at a distant +50000 to finish the season on top of the league.

Atletico needs to get their act together and fast if they are to match Barça and Real. To make matters worse, Stefan Savic was dismissed for two yellow cards and will be suspended when Atletico hosts Eibar on September 15.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of September 3 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -163
  • Real Madrid +162
  • Atletico Madrid +1400
  • Sevilla +10000
  • Valencia +20000
  • Athletic Bilbao +50000
  • Celta Vigo +50000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Real Sociedad +75000
  • Villarreal +75000
  • Getafe +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Levante +250000
  • Valladolid +250000
  • Alaves +250000
  • Rayo Vallecano +300000
  • Leganes +400000
  • Huesca +450000

Archived Articles

It was business as usual for the three clubs at the top of the La Liga tree who are expected to do battle for the domestic crown over the coming months. For defending champions Barcelona and their greatest rivals Real Madrid, there was the joy of picking up a second successive win at the start of the campaign, a start they’re intent on maintaining.

And for Atletico Madrid – the side most heavily tipped to challenge the established duopoly – there was a first three points on the board. Having been held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia last time out, Diego Simeone’s side edged past Rayo Vallecano with a 1-0 win.

Atletico up and running

For Atletico Madrid, a second-half strike from Antoine Griezmann was enough to give them their first win of the new league season. The World Cup winner, who turned down a move to Barcelona and signed a new five-year contract with the club from the capital, scored the only goal of the game as Atletico’s shyness in front of the goal continues to be evident.

Atletico, of course, is the only side apart from Barça and Real to get their hands on the La Liga title in the last 15 years. Last season, they managed just 58 goals in their 38 league games and have only scored once in each encounter so far this season.

A gap has already opened up between Atletico and their title rivals. Simeone’s side, meanwhile, is at +800 to win its first crown since the 2013-14 season.

Barcelona also gets the job done without dazzling

Current champions Barcelona won in almost identical circumstances – a 1-0 win, a second-half goal, very little of the spectacular we have become accustomed to seeing from the Catalan giants over the last two decades or so.

But like true champions, Barcelona knew how to get the job done. French winger Ousmane Dembele got the game’s only goal after 57 minutes, maintaining Barça’s 100 percent start to the season, as well as ensuring they have still yet to concede while netting four goals already.

The loss of midfield maestro Andres Iniesta was supposed to seriously hinder Barcelona’s creativity in the middle of the park, and while they have not always appeared at their most slick, their technical quality has still shone through. Real Valladolid, however, may well count themselves unlucky after having an injury time equalizer ruled out via VAR.

And for those betting on the La Liga outcome, Barcelona remains the favorite to retain their crown following their perfect start to the season. You can back the Catalan club to win the domestic title for the second year in a row at just -150.

They may have lost Iniesta but there is nothing diminished about Barcelona’s firepower. Neither got on the scoresheet this past weekend, but Lionel Messi remains the favorite to be the top goalscorer in Spain this season at -200, while teammate Luis Suarez is right behind him at +800.

Real looks to be beginning to click

Life goes on, even without Cristiano Ronaldo. Julen Lopetegui and his Real Madrid charges put in a fine showing to blow away Girona 4-1 and sit atop the admittedly very early La Liga standings.

A brace from Karim Benzema and another from Gareth Bale helped Real on their way in what was a truly dominant display. Los Blancos had a total of 20 shots on goal and enjoyed 67 percent possession as the home side could barely get a look in – Real has now laid down a serious marker of intent before the month of August is out.

Having fallen behind early in the first half, the Champions League holders came out all guns blazing to deservedly seal the points. For Bale, there was a second goal in as many games as he looks to handle the pressure of replacing Ronaldo with aplomb and, so far, he has taken to the task like a duck to water.

Real remains behind Barça in the betting and is at +225 to win domestic honors this season. Bale, who has hit the ground running, is level with Barcelona’s Suarez at +800 to finish the season as top scorer.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of August 27 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -150
  • Real Madrid +225
  • Atlético Madrid +650
  • Valencia +10000
  • Sevilla +15000
  • Villarreal +25000
  • Athletic Bilbao +25000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Real Betis +75000
  • Celta de Vigo +100000
  • Getafe +100000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Eibar +200000
  • Girona +200000
  • Levante +200000
  • Alavés +250000
  • Valladolid +250000
  • Leganés +300000
  • Rayo Vallecano +300000
  • Huesca +400000

Archived Articles

There were, as predicted, first-round victories for La Liga favorites Barcelona and Real Madrid this past weekend as the Spanish domestic season kicked off. And, this Monday evening sees a mouth-watering tie take place at the Mestalla, as Valencia hosts Diego Simeone’s newly crowned UEFA Super Cup champions Atletico Madrid.

Atletico beat Real 4-2 last week in the continental curtain raiser to increase hopes of a sustained title challenge over the coming months. This past weekend, however, showed that it will continue to take something special to knock Barça and Real off their perch at the top of the tree.

Barcelona starts on the front foot

Lionel Messi opened his account for the season with a brace as Barcelona comprehensively dispatched Alaves 3-0 with three second-half goals at Camp Nou. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, Malcom and Arturo Vidal started the game on the bench, just to give you some idea of the strength in depth Barça boss Ernesto Valverde currently enjoys.

However, after a slow start, it was only when Coutinho came on following the interval that Barcelona started to click. As they did, the outcome became familiar.

The Catalan giants and defending champions remain the clear favorites to retain their league crown at a price of -150. And after his quick-fire start to the season, maestro Lionel Messi is also at the shortest price to finish the season as top scorer, at -250. Teammate and Uruguay international Luis Suarez is right behind him at +600.

Real Madrid gets off to winning start without Ronaldo

Meanwhile, Real continues to get used to life without Cristiano Ronaldo as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Getafe on Sunday. The man charged with replacing him, Gareth Bale, got his name on the scoresheet as Real chases Barça from the very start – last season, dropped points in the opening rounds gave the Catalans an insurmountable head start.

Bale was also the provider for Dani Carvajal’s goal, and the Welshman’s form could well be crucial to Real’s hopes of wresting the league crown from Barcelona over the coming months. Bale also hit the bar before converting a cross from Marco Asensio to wrap up the win.

New coach Julen Lopetegui saw his side recover well from that 4-2 reverse against Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup, and restricted Getafe to just one shot on target. Having started on the front foot, they now need to maintain that form through the autumn, however.

Real remains behind Barça in the odds to win the La Liga title outright. The European champions are at +200 to win the domestic crown, while their price to finish in the top four is at -6600.

And as noted above, Bale’s form could be crucial to Real’s league chances this term. The former Tottenham forward is at +900 to finish the season as La Liga’s top scorer, while teammate and strike partner Karim Benzema is at +5000.

Atletico looks to lay down marker

Meanwhile, Diego Simeone and his Atletico side have yet to kick off their La Liga campaign, but could lay down a serious marker of intent at the Mestalla as they travel to take on Valencia. And having beaten Real in that UEFA Super Cup contest last Wednesday, they are seen by many as the main challengers to the Barça and Real duopoly in the upper echelon of the league standings.

Valencia finished fourth last season and, despite their long odds, may go some way to offering a title challenge over the coming months. Valencia are at +100000 to win the title but just +150 to finish in the top four.

For Simeone, the job is to win a first league title for Atletico since the 2013-14 season. His side is at +650 to do so, and there will be many who think they are worth backing at that price.

French striker Antoine Griezmann turned down a move to Barcelona over the summer to stay at Atletico and he will be pivotal to their chances of a title win. He is at +900 to win the La Liga Golden Boot.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of August 20 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -150
  • Real Madrid +200
  • Atlético Madrid +650
  • Valencia +10000
  • Sevilla +15000
  • Villarreal +25000
  • Athletic Bilbao +50000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Real Betis +75000
  • Celta de Vigo +100000
  • Getafe +100000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Rayo Vallecano +150000
  • Girona +200000
  • Levante +200000
  • Leganés +250000
  • Valladolid +250000
  • Alavés +250000
  • Huesca +400000

Archived Articles

There is now under a week to go until La Liga – the top division of Spanish domestic football – kicks off its new campaign in earnest. Catalan giants Barcelona comfortably won the league crown last season, scoring 99 goals and collecting 93 points in the process, finishing a huge 14 points ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid.

The question remains, at least for the time being: Is there anyone out there who can catch Barcelona over the coming months? Given the way they stormed to the title last term, the likes of Madrid giants Real and Atletico will have their work cut out for them.

Who can rival Barcelona at the top of the table?

It may well be up to old rival Real Madrid to lay down the sternest challenge to the Catalan club. Real made history by winning three successive European Cups – a feat which had not previously been achieved in the modern era – but they were left seriously lacking on the domestic front last season.

Real is priced at +140 to win the La Liga crown this year, and if they are to top the pile they will certainly have to do it the hard way. Gone is the boss who led them to that historic continental treble, with former Spain manager Julen Lopetegui replacing Zinedine Zidane at the helm of the ship.

As if that were not tough enough, the club’s talisman on the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo, has also departed for greener pastures. The Portuguese star has moved to Italian league champions Juventus, and filling the void left in the Real attack could take some doing.

The team’s offensive hopes will now likely fall on the shoulders of Welsh winger Gareth Bale. The club has brought in Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior from Rio club Flamengo, but a period of adaptation will surely follow.

Bale is at +1000 to finish the La Liga season as top goalscorer, and he will need to relish in his new-found responsibility. Meanwhile, French striker Karim Benzema is at +2000, and if the pair hit the ground running then Los Blancos could have a real chance of domestic glory.

One team that had difficulty finding the back of the net last season was Atletico Madrid. The side led by Diego Simeone scored just 58 goals last season – just over 1.5 goals per game, which is nowhere close to enough if you want to be winning the league.

Simeone can however count on two of the most potent forces in Spanish football. Both Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann have the ability to trouble and menace opposition defences, but nonetheless Atletico remain relative outsiders at +850 to win the league title for the first time in half a decade.

Barcelona looking to pick up where they left off

Given what they achieved on the domestic front last season, it is Ernesto Valverde and his Barcelona team who remain the expected pace-setters. The defending champions are the odds-on favorites to retain their crown at just -130 and considering the way they have gone about their summer business, the smart money may well be on them once again.

Philippe Coutinho has had a few months to bed in at Camp Nou now, and compatriot Malcom has since joined from French club Bordeaux. With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez still attackers in the world-class category, Barça has arguably the strongest front four in European club football right now.

Indeed, so strong is Barcelona’s firepower that they boast the two favorites to finish the season as top goalscorer in the league. Messi is at just -200 to win the honor, with the Uruguayan striker Suarez not far behind him at +400.

Barça will get their new season up and running at home to Alaves, and it will come as little surprise that they are the red-hot favorites to make a winning start to their latest title defence. The Catalans are at -1000 to take all three points, while their visitors are out at +1600, with a draw in the middle at +900.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of August 13 at Bovada

  • FC Barcelona -130
  • Real Madrid +140
  • Atlético Madrid +850
  • Valencia +10000
  • Sevilla +15000
  • Villarreal +20000
  • Athletic Bilbao +35000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Alavés +100000
  • Celta de Vigo +100000
  • Getafe +100000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Leganés +200000
  • Levante +200000
  • Rayo Vallecano +200000
  • Huesca +400000
  • Valladolid +250000

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La Liga offers some of the more intriguing storylines for the season ahead in Europe’s major leagues, with Ernesto Valverde looking to build on his early domestic success while great rivals Real Madrid look to knock them back.

Barcelona remain early favourites

Given their dominance in La Liga last term, it is hardly a shock that Barcelona come in as the favourites to retain their league crown. Barça won the title by an enormous 14 points last season, losing just one game in the process – on the very last day of the campaign.

For that reason, the Catalan giants come in to the new season at just -140 at Bovada to retain their La Liga title. In the previous season they won 28 games and came a goal short of scoring 100 – it is easy to see why Valverde’s men are at the shortest price to win the league.

Real looking to impose their own glory

They are likely to have some stiffer competition this term, however. Last season, Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid remained focused on making history in the Champions League, which they managed by beating Liverpool in the final to win their third continental crown in a row.

That, however, led to a dip in domestic form. After a slow start to the season Real could only muster a third-place finish, ending the season an enormous 17 points behind Barça, having won six fewer games and conceded 15 more goals.

All that could well change over the course of the next few months. Zidane has since left to be replaced by former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui, and he will want to hit the ground running both domestically and on the continent.

Real are at +135 to lift the league crown. And given the fact that Real and Barça have enjoyed a nigh-on duopoly on the La Liga title over the last decade or so, with a new manager at the helm of the ship there will be plenty backing them to wrest the trophy back from their closest and fiercest rivals.

Who else can fight the Real-Barça dominance?

As ever, it could well be left to Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid to try and break that duopoly at the top of the table. Atletico are the only side to win the league title besides Barcelona and Real in the last 14 years, and their defensive solidity and precise counter attacks have been a sure fire recipe for success.

Atletico finished as runners-up last season, winning more games than city rivals Real but still not getting close to Barça as the season wore on. The side’s biggest problem, however, was finding the back of the net regularly, something which will need to change.

Simeone’s men netted on just 58 occasions at a rate of just over 1.5 goals per game. To put that figure into context, Celta Vigo, who finished in 13th place, scored more goals.

Atletico’s major strength is their defensive work. The side conceded just 22 goals last term at a rate of just over 0.5 goals per game, and if they can improve in the offensive third then they will be true title contenders.

At present, Simeone’s men are at +1400 to win their second league crown in the last five years. There are indications the club are looking to be more of a goal threat, with reports of them making a loan move for Chelsea forward and recent World Cup winner Olivier Giroud.

Those offering an outside challenge

Meanwhile, the likes of Valencia and Sevilla will look to offer some outside threat, and while they may not be as close to a title challenge as Atletico they certainly boast the ability to upset the bigger boys on their day. Valencia, who started last season in excellent style but faded away to finish fourth, are at +10000.

Sevilla, who eliminated Manchester United from the UEFA Champions League last season and came close to beating Bayern, are slightly further out. They may have only finished seventh in the previous campaign but come in at +15000 to cause a major upset.

Odds to win 2018-19 La Liga

Odds as of July 23 at Bovada

  • Barcelona -140
  • Real Madrid +135
  • Atletico Madrid +1400
  • Valencia +10000
  • Sevilla +15000
  • Villarreal +20000
  • Ahtletic Bilbao +35000
  • Real Betis +50000
  • Real Sociedad +50000
  • Alaves +100000
  • Celta Vigo +100000
  • Getafe +100000
  • Eibar +150000
  • Espanyol +150000
  • Girona +150000
  • Rayo Vallecano +200000
  • Leganes +200000
  • Levante +200000
  • Huesca +500000
  • Valladolid +500000

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