La Liga Futures (Updated)

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
The Winter Transfer Window will be closing soon and teams have had plenty of opportunity to boost their squads with new signings that will help make a run down the final stretch of the season. According to the oddsmakers at this point in time, the La Liga title race is pretty much locked up by 1 team that is a massive favorite to win right now but in reality, we are only at the halfway point of the season for matches played and there is still lots of time for another club to make a move and go on a run taking over the lead with a long season ahead of us still. It is time to see who has a shot at this title with half the season left to go still. 

To Win Outright

Barcelona -334: Barcelona is the biggest favorite on the board right now to win the La Liga title this season and with odds like those they are pretty much saying that it would take a lot for another club to swoop in and take the title from Barcelona. It is hard not to love this team with all of the moves they made in the summer to bring in a lot of top talent in the World and so far it has paid off defensively as Barcelona has the best defense in La Liga this season, allowing just 6 goals in their 18 matches so far. This title race is anything but over though as Barcelona has already shown their cracks after a very poor run in Champions League, spending a ton of money to bring in some big names when they could barely afford the players and then not making it out of the group stage in Champions League which was an absolute disaster for this club. Winning Europa League means nothing to this team and at this point, winning the league title is really the only way to salvage this disaster of a season for Barcelona but they do not even have a massive lead in the table so these odds on them to win are a little mispriced right now. They are only sitting 5 points above Real Madrid in the table who is in 2nd place and that is not a very big lead at all considering there is still half a season of matches left. Barcelona has also been shedding some of their talent in this winter window as they cannot afford everyone and they have also been in a lot of 1-0 wins recently as their attack has been struggling and that could lead to some dropped points in the near future. They also have a match against Real Madrid left this season and they lost the reverse fixture so a loss in that match would hurt their chances at the title even more. Their 1 saving grace is that Real Madrid is good enough to make a run in Champions League so they may not be as focused on the league title down the road, but if they get eliminated or even have a lead then they will definitely be focused on winning the title and keeping it out of the hands of Barcelona. This title race is nowhere near being over right now so this line for Barcelona is heavily mispriced.

Real Madrid +240: Real Madrid is coming in as the 2nd biggest favorite on the board here to win the La Liga title and with odds like these it is hard not to be tempted by the defending La Liga Champions and defending Champions League Champions. Real Madrid showed last year that they are not only the best in Spain but also the best in Europe and their squad overall remained unchanged at the key positions. They have been great this year as well as they are sitting in 2nd place in the table, just 5 points behind the league leading Barcelona, and they have a 13-3-2 record overall with half a season left to make a big run and catch Barcelona. Real Madrid may not have the best defense in the league like Barcelona does, but their defense has still been very good as they average under 1 goal allowed per match. Their attack has been better than Barcelona though as Real Madrid has scored more goals this season and even leads La Liga this year with the most goals scored, scoring 38 goals in their 18 matches. Real Madrid also had a much better Champions League campaign than Barcelona did as Real Madrid actually made it out of the group stage but that might be the one thing that hurts them down the line if they can make a deep run. Real Madrid is good enough to make a run in Champions League which would force them to split their attention between matches later in the season and it could allow Barcelona who is not in Champions League to secure their lead and the title. Real Madrid also has the depth and talent to focus on both competitions though as they were in great form doing both prior to the World Cup, and if they get knocked out then it will only strengthen their chances at the league title as they will turn their focus there wanting to come away with a trophy this year. Considering all of the situations as well as the talent and the depth on this Real Madrid side, there is a ton of value in this line for them to win the title as they could easily erase the 5 point lead Barcelona has in the next few weeks and these two could be sitting level with a third of the season still left. There is no better value here than to take the defending La Liga and Champions League Champions here to defend their title once again. 

Real Sociedad +20000: Real Sociedad is coming into this as the 3rd biggest favorite on the board to win the La Liga title this year but with odds like these they are not really that much of a favorite nor do they even look like they have a shot at the title. This Real Sociedad side is a lot better than the oddsmakers think and week after week this team is undervalued in the lines of their matches. They are currently sitting in 3rd place right now just 3 points behind 2nd place and 8 points behind 1st place but they have also played an extra match so that could be more like 11 points behind 1st place. Real Sociedad has been in great form all year but they have really kicked it up a level since the restart, winning every single match they have played in any competition, and they have a very good squad with a great defense that averages under 1 goal allowed per match. As good as this team is and as well as they have been playing, the oddsmakers are likely correct in the sense that they do not have a shot at the title just because they are too far behind now with 2 goliath’s in the way and still have extra matches coming up with Europa League soon, but to have them at par with Atletico Madrid is completely absurd as this is the best team in Spain by far when taking Barcelona and Real Madrid out of the equation. Real Sociedad does not have the team to make a run at the title this season but they are still very good and will have that 3rd place spot locked up all year. Some books offer an option “To Win Outright without Barcelona and Real Madrid” and right now Real Sociedad is sitting at +125 which looks like a steal for the club that is destined to finish 3rd this season.

Atletico Madrid +20000: Atletico Madrid is coming into this as the next biggest favorite on the board to win the La Liga title this season and their odds to win are the same as Real Sociedad right now but that is absolutely absurd. Atletico Madrid is currently sitting in 4th place just 5 points behind Real Sociedad in 3rd place and 13 points behind Barcelona in 1st place. Atletico has also played an extra match this season like Real Sociedad so even though they are still 5 points behind them, that could be more like 16 points behind Barcelona in 1st place. Atletico Madrid does have a very good defense as they have been averaging under 1 goal allowed per match this year, but that is also all they have as their attack has been awful all year struggling to score goals in their matches and their mindset is not right to win a title either. Their manager loves to implement a heavily defensive game plan in their matches so they come to play every game with great defense that is hard to score on, but they also lack interest in winning games as they do not try to go out and win but instead try not to lose matches. They do not have the talent on their squad to make a real run at the title and they have been trending in the wrong direction for a while now. Atletico Madrid has no real shot at winning the title this year and they will even be lucky just to make it back in the top 4 at all. 


The oddsmakers want it to seem like the La Liga title race in Spain is already over when in reality it is just getting started now that the transfer window is nearing its end and there is still an entire 2nd half of the season to go. Barcelona is a massive favorite to win it right now and although they may be in the best position to win it at the moment, this is way too much to pay for them when there is still a very good team just a few points away and still plenty of matches left for Barcelona to blow it. The most value there is in this league is to take Real Madrid at +240 to win the La Liga title as they are only 5 points behind with 20 matches to go in the season and they are the defending Champions as well so they will not go down easily. The league is pretty much dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid as it has been for years but if looking for some extra value then it is also worth it to take Real Sociedad at +125 to win the La Liga title without Barcelona and Real Madrid included as some books will offer this and Real Sociedad is easily the best team in this league behind those two. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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