Big names Real Madrid and Barcelona are back in action in La Liga, and here we look at their chances of success with our La Liga soccer betting picks and preview.
After just one week of the new season, the La Liga table already has a familiar feel. In the top three spaces, two of them are occupied by Real and Barca. Defending champions Atletico sit in the fourth position.
La Liga table and goalscoring chart after matchday 1: pic.twitter.com/KJzZnUqwoY
— Madrid Xtra. (@MadridXtra) August 15, 2021
All three of the main favorites got their season off to a winning start at the weekend.
Real Madrid got things going with a 4-1 win away at Alves. Their city rivals Atletico Madrid won 2-1 away at Celta Vigo. Barcelona completed a 4-2 home win over Real Sociedad.
The fourth team in La Liga betting, Sevilla, also got their campaign off to a winning start. They despatched Rayo Vallecano with ease, beating them 3-0 in front of their fans.
La Liga Outright Winner Betting
Before we get onto the weekend picks, I wanted to have a look at the latest La Liga betting for the outright winner.
A lot has been made of Barcelona losing Lionel Messi and the financial mess they are in. Real Madrid has also lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane and hasn’t replaced either of them with established names.
All this leaves La Liga clubs looking weakened in Europe. But in Spain, they look to be on par. The loss of star names to the big two has also brought sides like Atletico Madrid and Sevilla into the reckoning.
The gap in class has closed and is shown in the betting odds.
|La Liga 2021/22 Winner Betting Odds|
Real Madrid is regarded as being in a more healthy state than Barcelona both on and off the pitch.
This is reflected in the outright La Liga winner betting, with Los Blancos the favorites at +120.
Real still have plenty of attacking options
Real still have a pretty outstanding-looking front three. On Saturday in their season’s opener, they had a front three of Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale.
If those three clicks, then they will be a handful for any defense. The issue is, will they click.
There is little wrong with the form of Karim Benzema, as we have seen in the recently held Euro 2020 competition.
As for Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard, that’s another matter. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he will wipe the slate clean with the pair after recent issues, but a lot may depend on whether the fans and local media give them a fair go.
If the pair don’t click straight away, there are some ready-made replacements at the club. On the bench last Saturday for Real was Isco and Marco Asensio. Another two players who could easily start.
With that talent still at the club and Ancelotti in charge, I can see why Real are favorites to win La Liga.
Can Barcelona keep pace with Real?
Moving onto Barcelona, and despite the massive problems at Camp Nou, the club was still able to field a more than capable side on Sunday.
In the starting XI were Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Frankie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Griezmann, Memphis Depay, and Martin Braithwaite.
They also have Sergio Aguero waiting in the wings. All-in-all, not bad!
The Catalans started with a 4-2 win, and although having 62% possession isn’t vintage Barca of old, they were still clinical enough to score four times without Messi.
I don’t see Ronald Koeman’s (he’s not a bad coach either) team troubling the Champions League elite, but I still see them giving Real a run for their money this season! But as things stand, I feel they will fall slightly short!
Don’t forget to check out our top sportsbooks page for more information and the best odds for betting on La Liga.
Levante v Real Madrid Betting Picks
Moving onto this weekend’s fixtures and Carlo Ancelotti’s team travel to Valencia to face Levante on Sunday.
- La Liga – Levante v Real Madrid
- Venue – Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
- Date – Sunday 22nd August
- Time – 4pm ET
Levante got their season off to a decent start with a 1-1 draw away to Cadiz last weekend.
They will be kicking themselves, as they were winning 1-0 right up until the 97th minute when Alfonso Espino scored the late equalizer.
The draw will probably feel more like a defeat to Levante.
They shouldn’t be too downhearted. When they look back at the stats, they will know they did enough to win the match.
Levante had the better of the match. They had 57% possession, with 12 attempts on goal, three of them on target. Opponents, Cadiz, had 43% possession, with seven efforts on goal. Just two were on target.
Real Madrid had no such issues in their win last weekend. They raced into a 3-0 lead early in the second half and had no problems with late equalizers.
🏁 FT: @alaveseng 1-4 @realmadriden
⚽ Joselu 65', @Benzema 48', 62', @nachofi1990 56', @vinijr 90'+2'#AlavésRealMadrid | #Emirates pic.twitter.com/VP5HqKFzR5
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 14, 2021
Los Blancos had 60% possession, with 19 attempts on goal, 11 of them on target.
Alaves did manage 11 efforts on goal, four of which were on target. This tells me that Madrid could be susceptible to conceding goals this season.
The betting for this match sees a Real Madrid win at -166.7 with Bodog. Over 2.5 goals are -162.5, both are similar odds, and I expect both to win.
For my pick, I’m going for a win for Real. Carlo Ancelotti knows the importance of a fast start to the season, and I expect his Real Madrid team to make it two wins from two this weekend.