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Odds To Win Liga MX: Worrying signs for the league leaders

Jesus Corona Cruz Azul Liga MX Futures Odds

This last weekend was one full of surprises in Liga MX, as Mexico City’s top three teams continue to reign supreme at the top of the league table.

Yes, Pumas UNAM continues to be at the top of the league table after just four weeks, but they started to finally show some signs of worry against Pachuca. Despite their early status as league leaders, the Universitarios continue to be a hard team to sell in this Apertura, given their propensity to die down midway through the season. The fact that they went scoreless against a Pachuca team that came from conceding three goals vs Club América doesn’t help their cause, especially when their biggest worry coming into this new season was their offense.

Again, it can be easy to jump on the Pumas UNAM train, but we’d like to see a bit more consistency from the Universitarios before going all-in. With games against Monterrey and Club América coming up, things are going to get a lot more interesting. If Pumas manage to get through the next two weeks unscathed, then maybe it is time to start changing our minds on the Universitarios.

Cruz Azul keeps showing all the right things

Like with Pumas UNAM, Cruz Azul is the only other team that remains unbeaten in this 2018 Liga MX Apertura, but as opposed to the Universitarios, you get the feeling that with every coming week the Cementeros are brewing something special here. It’s almost like this seems like the tournament in which Cruz Azul puts all its demons behind and makes history.

Look, if you are all aboard the Cruz Azul bandwagon, we don’t blame you. Tactically they’ve been arguably the best team in this tournament, and coach Pedro Caixinha is receiving praise from just about every corner of Mexico. The biggest question for Cruz Azul going into the new season was if they could handle the pressure mentally, something they’ve struggled with across the last few years. The fact that they managed to come out of their visit to the Estadio Caliente with a point despite going down to 10 men early in the game tells you everything you need to know about Cruz Azul’s mindset. They showed resilience, the kind that gets you excited after just four weeks.

Teams in Monterrey take a hit

For all intents and purposes, it was a nightmarish week for both teams from Monterrey. For starters, Tigres suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Toluca. This was a Tigres team that had not lost a home game in 29 straight league matches. Toluca are no slouch, but they were missing their two best players, which makes this result even more surprising.

You can expect Tigres to bounce back, as these sorts of results are forgiving in Liga MX, but the Felinos have done no favors to their stock in recent weeks. That said, bettors shouldn’t be too worried. Tigres don’t tend to show their true claws until very late into the season.

The other team from Monterrey also suffered a defeat this week, with Rayados being comfortably beaten 3-0 by Club América. Beyond the fact that las Águilas are looking more and more like the team to beat in this Apertura, you shouldn’t look too much into the final result. The 3-0 scoreline was purely circumstantial, thanks to a first-half red card, and the playing conditions at the Estadio Azteca were terrible.

It remains to be seen if this will cause any real shift among the oddsmakers, but Rayados remain one of the safest options to win the Liga MX title. If you jump ship based on this result alone, you could end up regretting it come Liguilla time.

Odds to win 2018-19 Liga MX

Odds as of August 15 at Bovada

  • Monterrey +300
  • Club América +400
  • Cruz Azul +450
  • Tigres UANL +600
  • Santos Laguna +700
  • Toluca +800
  • Pumas UNAM +1100
  • Tijuana +1800
  • Necaxa +1800
  • Monarcas Morelia +2500
  • Pachuca +3500
  • León +3500
  • Chivas Guadalajara +7500
  • Lobos BUAP +7500
  • Puebla +10000
  • Querétaro +10000
  • Atlas +15000
  • Veracruz +15000

Archived Articles

Depending on who you talk to, Pumas UNAM's electrifying start to the Apertura has been both surprising and anticipated. On one hand, the departure of star player Nico Castillo was suppose to severely handicap the Universitarios, as the team lost both their leader and main supplier of goals of the last few seasons. On the other hand, Pumas have made it a habit to start their season strong, only to fade away midway through the campaign.

It's that last part where bettors should be cautious about before going all in with the Universitarios. Yes, they've looked unusually good and the goals just seem to be coming from everywhere, but this is a team that has very little experience going deep into tournaments. Moreover, manager David Patiño's management skills haven't really been tested, and as past Liga MX tournament have shown, a manager can make or break a team's chances. If you are looking to put all your chips on Pumas after their 3-1 thumping of Atlas, you may want to wait a bit longer.

Cruz Azul look like the real deal after win over Tigres

For Cruz Azul, their Week 3 encounter against Tigres UANL was something of a statement game. It was their first real test of the season and a test they passed with flying colors. The Cementeros remain perfect this season with three wins out of three matches, and if you are wondering, yes there is plenty of room left on the Cruz Azul train.

Of course, it is almost obligatory to mention that Cruz Azul haven't won the league title since 1997, but what separates this Cruz Azul team from Pumas is the manager. For the first time in years, the fans seem completely bought into this Cruz Azul side, and there is a certain mystique building around the club under Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha. Following an unsuccessful stint with Rangers in Scotland, Caixinha has returned to familiar territory, where he previously won a Liga MX title with Santos Laguna in 2015.

Moreover, Caixinha's style of play is more tactical. You can almost say Mourinhoesque, which is a style of play that tends to work quite well during the Liguilla. One example of this is last season's Xolos de Tijuana, who went all the way to the Semifinals and came to close to reaching the Final. The only difference here is this Cruz Azul team is much more talented than that Xolos team, and by the looks of it, more well suited to go all the way. All aboard?

Monterrey keep marching on as favorites

As far as contenders go, Monterrey have done a healthy job staying on top of the favorites board. Along with Pumas and Cruz Azul, Monterrey are the only other team to have won their first three games of the season, and although they have been far from brilliant, bettors of the Rayados have to be quite happy with what they've seen.

This is the thing about Monterrey. They know what it takes to win the Liga MX title. They might not look like they are going to demolish their opponents week in and week out, but once it comes down to the business end of the season it is when they start showing their true potential. This team is built to win the Liga MX Liguilla, and as long as there isn't any major signs of worry, they will remain one of the favorites to lift the title. That said, if you want to wait a bit longer, Monterrey's next match is against none other than Club América. The game will serve as a good barometer of where this Rayados team currently sits.

Odds to win 2018-19 Liga MX

Odds as of August 10 at Bovada

  • Monterrey +275
  • Cruz Azul +400
  • Tigres UANL +500
  • Club América +500
  • Santos Laguna +800
  • Toluca +1000
  • Tijuana +1800
  • Necaxa +1800
  • Pumas UNAM +1100
  • Pachuca +3500
  • Monarcas Morelia +2500
  • Chivas Guadalajara +3500
  • Puebla +7500
  • Lobos BUAP +3500
  • Querétaro +7500
  • León +3500
  • Atlas +15000
  • Veracruz +15000

Archived Articles

Through two weeks, it looks like the teams from Mexico City are on the rise. Club América, Cruz Azul and Pumas UNAM all got important victories, with the latter two finishing the week tied at the top of the league table.

Club América is more or less always considered one of the favorites to lift the league title at the end of the season. However, their favoritism received a big blow when star forward Jeremy Menez was ruled out even before the start of the Apertura campaign with a season-ending injury. A defeat to Necaxa in Week 1 followed, but las Águilas recovered some of the faith of their bettors on Saturday by thumping Atlas 3-0.

Las Águilas looked good, and it was arguably a near perfect day for Miguel Herrera’s men. The only worry, though, is that veteran striker Oribe Peralta didn’t get on the scoresheet. Peralta has struggled recently both with América and the Mexico national team, and as last season showed, it is imperative Peralta returns to his goal-scoring form or a Liga MX final run for las Águilas seems highly unlikely.

Other Mexico City teams look like contenders

Perhaps the two teams that have made the most buzz after two weeks are Cruz Azul and Pumas UNAM. Cruz Azul’s stock keeps rising, and there is a feeling that the Cementeros might finally have what it takes to lift the title for the first time in more than 20 years. Cruz Azul’s title drought has been a sort of inside joke among Mexican fans, but Jose Mourinho understudy Pedro Caixinha is slowly changing the perception of the Cementeros. Cruz Azul have two wins in two matches, their latest coming away from home against Chivas Guadalajara. In essence, there hasn’t been this level of optimism among Cruz Azul fans in years.

Pumas UNAM’s prospects have also been on the rise. Their thrilling 5-3 victory over Necaxa over the weekend helped put them officially on the map for bettors. After losing star forward Nico Castillo to Benfica in the summer transfer window, many left the Universitarios for dead. But Castillo’s departure has unexpectedly made Pumas a more cohesive side going forward, and now they find themselves top of the league table after just two weeks. If you are counting, that is now seven goals for Pumas this season, with six of those seven goals coming from a different goalscorer. Who needs Nico Castillo when you have an attack like that? 

Monterrey teams quietly getting the job done

Both Tigres UANL and Monterrey are still seeking a commanding performance to cement their place as the top two favorites to win the league title, but for now, both teams are perfect after just two games. In the case of Tigres, they have been a team that traditionally always starts their season slow, but it’s been all positive for Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s men, with wins over Club León and Xolos de Tijuana. Most importantly, Andre-Pierre Gignac has scored in each of Tigres’ two matches. With age quickly becoming a factor for the Frenchman, there were doubts about how he would perform in this Apertura. But he has quickly put those doubts to rest and looks ready to help Tigres make another run for the title.

Meanwhile, Monterrey finished last season as the regular-season league leaders. In that regard, it wasn’t a surprise when most major oddsmakers put the Rayados as the big favorites to win the trophy. While they haven’t been a spectacular side like Cruz Azul or Pumas, they have quietly got the job done with two victories. It seems like a matter of time before Monterrey puts in a performance that finally cements their place as the bettors’ No. 1 choice to win it all.

Odds to win 2018-19 Liga MX

Odds as of July 31 at Bovada

  • Monterrey +300
  • Tigres UANL +350
  • Cruz Azul +450
  • Club América +700
  • Santos Laguna +900
  • Toluca +900
  • Tijuana +1400
  • Necaxa +1800
  • Pumas UNAM +1800
  • Pachuca +2500
  • Monarcas Morelia +2500
  • Chivas Guadalajara +3500
  • Puebla +3500
  • Lobos BUAP +3500
  • Querétaro +3500
  • León +7500
  • Atlas +7500

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