If it seems like La Liga has belonged to Lionel Messi and Barcelona for a while now, it’s because it has.
Last season the Catalans finished 11 points clear of second-place Atlético Madrid, marking the team’s eighth (!) league title in the last 11 years.
That level of dominance would be remarkable in any league (even Ligue 1). It’s especially impressive considering Real Madrid was good enough to win four of five Champions League trophies (’14, ’16, ’17 and ’18) in that time. Atleti has also been among Europe’s top clubs nearly every season since ’14 — and made it to the UCL Final in ’14 and ’16.
In (not at all) shocking news, it’s been a fascinating summer in Barcelona and the Spanish capital. Even if we ignore the never-ending drama surrounding Neymar’s possible return to Barcelona and Gareth Bale’s status at Real Madrid, all three of Spain’s top clubs have been busy this summer.
A quick look back
Note: Emphasis on “quick” here — this is a look at top players that moved to or from these clubs. All three had a number of other signings and departures. Also, if you haven’t already, check out any summer episodes of the High Press Pod, which is now available on iTunes, for our thoughts on the moves below.
Atlético Madrid: Had the biggest offseason overhaul of any team in Europe. Added João Félix, Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso and several others. Lost Griezmann, Rodri (Manchester City), Lucas Hernández (Bayern Munich), Diego Godín (Inter Milan), Filipe Luis (Flamengo) and Juanfran (unsigned).
2019-20 La Liga Title Odds
The following are 2019-20 La Liga Title Odds. What stands out is how similar the La Liga odds are like the 2019-20 Premier League title odds. You have two clear favorites and a distant third (although Atlético isn’t as long as Tottenham).
We will continue to update this page as odds change throughout the year.
2019-20 La Liga League Odds (August 3rd, 2019)
Where to Bet on La Liga in the US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Can anyone top Barcelona and win La Liga?
At this point, Barcelona is a known commodity. With Griezmann and de Jong added to the mix, Barcelona is not only the clear favorite to win the league (-200), but also the second-heaviest ’19-20 Champions League favorite at +600, behind only Man City at +450.
Atlético absolutely has a shot to upend Messi and Co. What we’ve seen from Los Rojiblancos this summer is admittedly a small sample size — and we should also mention, again, that these games do not matter — but still, they’ve been extremely impressive.
If it were ever possible to say such a thing after a couple of exhibition matches, Félix appears poised to live up to the hype and the price tag. He has already scored twice and tallied three assists in just over 100 minutes of action. More importantly, for this piece at least, Félix’s decision appears to have been a wise one, as he’s joined a team that looks as potent offensively as it has in a long time. It’s been astonishing to see how cohesive this team already looks considering all the new faces.
Diego Simeone’s squad finished second in La Liga each of the past two years with a very average offense (58 goals in 38 games in ’17-18, which dropped to 55 last season). If the defense remains anywhere near as stout as it’s been for what seems like forever at this point — and that is a big if considering the amount of roster turnover — their odds to win the league (+1,100) make them an excellent bet.
Speaking of odds to win the league, Real Madrid is currently a much bigger favorite, at +175, than their crosstown rival, which seems ridiculous. Yes, RM added some serious firepower this offseason. But does it make it any sense to expect a team whose ’18-19 finish (68 points) had it closer to fourth-place Valencia (61) than second-place Atleti (76) to close the gap on Barcelona?
And have the oddsmakers paid any attention to the on-field and off-field disaster that is Zinedine Zidane’s squad at the moment??? Friendly or not, Atleti appeared to be a much better team in the 7-3 blowout on July 26.
How in the world is a team on the wrong end of such a massive beatdown seen as a better bet than the club that delivered that beating? And despite the success in Europe in ’18, now is a good time to point out that Atleti — not Los Blancos — has finished second behind Barcelona the last two years.