The first round of Spain’s domestic top tier kicks off next week, with the Catalan club still the team to stop
With the Spanish top flight set to get underway next Friday (17 August), the main team to beat will be Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona side who clinched their 25th domestic crown this past May. With 93 points and 99 goals in their 38 games the Catalans were a cut above the rest of the pack, but the likes of Real and Atletico will hope to make strong starts themselves this time around, rather than play a futile game of cat and mouse.
First things first
Before you go any further, head on over to the Oddsshark website, find your favourite betting site and get your account up and running using your credit card. As a new customer and with the La Liga campaign all set for kick off, there should be several promotions and offers on the table for you.
Where should I be investing my money?
The action all kicks off next Friday evening, with one of the games featuring Real Betis hosting Levante. Betis managed a sixth place finish last term and are undefeated in their last six matches on their own turf.
Levante, by way of comparison, finished all the way down in 15th, although they were the only side to beat Barcelona in the league, overcoming the champions in a 5-4 rollercoaster ride of a game. Nevertheless, it is Betis who come into this game as the clear favourites to make a winning start to the campaign at just 1.75, with Levante all the way out at 4.75 to pick up an away victory – a 2-1 win for the home side is priced competitively at 8.50, while you could almost double your money by backing over 2.5 goals in the game at 2.40, according to Oddsshark.
Barcelona look to pick up where they left off
The defending champions get their title defence underway the following day at home to Alaves. With Brazilian forward Malcom joining the ranks from French club Bordeaux, Valverde has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal, and it is no surprise that Barça are the favourites in this one.
The Catalans are at just 1.10 to make a winning start to the season, with visitors Alaves priced at 17.00 to pull off a shock win. A comprehensive 3-0 win for Barça is priced at just 6.00, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$30 pay out.
Real need to make faster start than last season
Real Madrid may well have made history by winning three Champions League titles in a row – a feat unprecedented in the modern era – but a slow start to the La Liga campaign ultimately cost them. New boss JulenLopetegui will look to avoid similar pitfalls this time around when Los Blancos host Getafe on the first Sunday of the new season.
Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo have both departed Real since that 3-1 Champions League win over Liverpool, but Lopetegui will be desperate to make his own mark on the club. Real are priced at 2.50 to wrest the La Liga crown from old rivals Barcelona this season.
And they come into their season opener as the clear favourites to take the points. Real are at just 1.18 to see off Getafe, with the visitors at 13.00 and a stalemate priced in the middle at 7.00.
A comfortable 2-0 win for Real is priced at 6.00, while you can bet on both teams not scoring at just 1.57. If you think Real will race out of the blocks and take the lead inside the first 10 minutes,then you can back them to do so at 4.75.
Simeone and Atletico will be looking to rock the boat
As has been the norm over recent seasons, the club who look best equipped to break up the duopoly at the top of the table is Atletico Madrid. The side coached by Diego Simeone won the La Liga crown back in 2013/14 and kick off the new season away to Valencia, who finished just two places and six points behind them last season.
Both sides look well organised defensively last season, especially Atletico, who boasted the best record in the league conceding just 22 goals. This could be a tight game and there looks to be precious little to choose between the two sides.
Atletico come in as slight favourites to take the points at 2.60, although Valencia are not far behind at 2.80. A draw looks the most unlikely result at 3.10, and you can back a 1-0 away win for Atletico at 7.50.
La Liga round 1 fixtures:
Friday, 17 August
(1.80) Girona x Valladolid (4.75); draw (3.40)
(1.75) Real Betis x Levante (4.75); draw (3.60)
Saturday, 18 August
(1.90) Celta Vigo x Espanyol (4.00); draw (3.40)
(2.00) Villarreal x Real Sociedad (3.75); draw (3.30)
(1.10) Barcelona x Alaves (17.00); draw (10.00)
Sunday, 19 August
(1.66) Eibar x Huesca (5.25); draw (3.60)
(3.30) Rayo Vallecano x Sevilla (2.10); draw (3.50)
(1.18) Real Madrid x Getafe (13.00); draw (7.00)
Monday, 20 August
(2.80) Valencia x Atletico Madrid (2.60); draw (3.10)
(1.80) Athletic Bilbao x Leganes (4.75); draw (3.40)