Often referred to as the best league in the world, although that might create some debate amongst fans of other leading European leagues, there’s no doubting the Spanish league offers plenty of passion and excitement.
La Liga is the home of Barcelona and Real Madrid – two of the wealthiest clubs in football and blessed with some of the best players around – with no game on the planet touching the international popularity of their iconic ‘El Clásico’ encounters each season. There are also the ‘Gran Derbi’ duels between Sevilla and Real Betis, not to mention a host of other mouth-watering national and regional rivalries amongst teams in the Spanish elite.
The Big Two in Spain
Midway into the 2019-20 campaign and with 19 games of the season now played by all the competing teams, as of 8th January, Barcelona are 8/15 outright La Liga betting favourites at Betway, with Real Madrid not far behind at 13/8 odds. Although both teams endured a somewhat shaky start to the season, they have since recovered and look set to dominate the title race once again.
While the charge for La Liga supremacy is looking like a foregone conclusion between the usual suspects, as Barcelona and Real Madrid increasingly look to be the only genuine contenders once again, there’s still good value to be found by backing against the two giants of Spanish football in the match result markets.
Why? Because both have struggled away from home and whatever kind of football betting system you prefer, there’s no substitute for competition knowledge. Sometimes a little research can go a long way, especially when looking for good value betting options in La Liga.
Backing the Underdogs in La Liga
Barcelona have made the Camp Nou an authentic fortress this season, scoring four or five goals in all but two matches. They beat Villarreal by a narrow 2-1 margin back in September, while the only time the side managed by Ernesto Valverde have dropped points at home was in El Clasico, when visiting Real Madrid held firm for a 0-0 draw.
Backing wins at home for Barcelona obviously doesn’t offer much value, given the shorter odds because they’re such strong favourites. However, the Blaugrana outfit have been decidedly dodgy on the road this season, struggling to get points away from home. At the midway point of the season and having played 10 away games, Barca had lost 3 and drawn 3, managing just 4 wins as the visiting side.
This makes Barcelona good value to bet against as the visitors this season, especially given two of their most frustrating away results have been against newly-promoted sides. Drawing 2-2 at Osasuna proved frustrating, although losing 2-0 against Granada in the following game proved even more of a shock for even the most successful football betting experts, given the winning side also have the lowest budget of any La Liga side this season.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) September 21, 2019
Likewise, the form of Real Madrid away from home has been far from ideal for manager Zinedine Zidane. Just like their eternal rivals Barcelona, they remained unbeaten at home during the first half of the campaign. However, anyone carefully following the football statistics will note that away from home, some of the smartest betting tipsters and strategists around may be looking to the underdogs against Real Madrid, with good value odds for upsets.
On the road and having played 10 games as the visiting side, as the fixture statistics at whoscored.com show, although Real Madrid won 5, they also drew 4 and suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat at newly-promoted Mallorca. While they have fared better than Barcelona, this still makes Los Blancos a good value option to draw away from home, while also a consideration for 1X (home win or draw) bets when they’re the visiting side.
While the league table shows that Real Madrid and Barcelona are gradually extending their lead at the top of La Liga, both sides will inevitably stumble during the second half of the campaign in Spain. For that reason, it’s definitely worth paying extra-special attention to how they fare in away games, as that could ultimately prove the difference between the two sides in deciding the title.
Given the high-value odds of backing Real Madrid and Barcelona to lose can potentially bring good returns, clearly, it goes without saying that it’s always worth checking their form and team news ahead of games. Both sides have endured periods this season when key players have been absent through injury, which isn’t always reflected by their match odds. That’s something to keep an eye on as an opportunity when looking for value bets.
Elsewhere, it’s often the case that compared to the shorter odds being offered in many Premier League matches, the higher odds available in various La Liga markets can often present better value overall, and especially when they’re games that don’t involve the big teams. Follow the form and statistics of each team, look for trends in their performance and before long, you’ll spot some great value bets to be had in La Liga games.