The Primera Division, or La Liga, is the top professional football division in the Spanish football league system. It sees the top football clubs in Spain compete for a spot in the upper echelons of the scoreboard.
The winners get a chance to contest the continental competitions such as the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
Responsible for the best performing clubs in continental leagues, La Liga is broadly known as the world’s top football league, and like the Bundesliga, it is also one of the most lopsided.
This makes it hard for punters to make a profit. You are unlikely to find betting on Barcelona or Real Madrid to win valuable – everyone knows they will be sweeping away most of the competition.
So, how to bet on La Liga and make a profit?
You need a keen awareness of how to spot value, a good understanding of the different markets available, and the right tools to do your research and pick profitable and reliable wagers.
Our comprehensive guide on how to bet on La Liga will provide a clear explanation on how to approach the Liga. It will give an indication of which teams you should look at, and outline the different kinds of markets which can have value.
La Liga: How Can You Make Money?
La Liga, also known as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons, is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world.
A total of 60 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title 33 times and Barcelona 24 times.
Other competitors such as Valencia and Atletico Madrid managed to snatch the title from the giants a number of times. Over the last 7 years, Atlético Madrid has proven itself a formidable foe in the competition and is now considered one of the ‘big three’ along with Real Madrid and Barcelona.
According to UEFA’s league coefficient, La Liga has been the top league in Europe over the last five years and has led Europe for longer than any other country.
Its clubs have won the UEFA Champions League a whopping 17 times, the UEFA Europa League 10 times, the UEFA Super Cup 14 times, and the Fifa World Cup 5 times.
Furthermore, its players have accumulated the highest number of FBallon d’Or awards.
It draws an average attendance of 26,500, making it the fourth-highest behind the Indian Super League, the Bundesliga, and the English Premier League.
How La Liga Works
20 teams compete in the Spanish League every season, but only a handful have a shot at taking the crown.
This year, futures put Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid at the forefront, although the odds for Real Madrid and Barcelona are far shorter.
The competition format follows the usual double round-robin format. Each season lasts from August to May, and each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 38 match days.
Three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw. The title is awarded to the team who end the season with most points.
If two teams are tied, the league uses the following criteria to classify them:
- head-to-head points
- head-to-head goal difference
- goal difference
- goals scored
- fair-play points.
In the unlikely event that teams still cannot be separated, the two teams play off against one another.
Qualifications & Relegations
The team that wins the title moves on to compete in the UEFA Champions League.
This is an annual continental club football competition which sees the national league champions (and for some nations, like Spain, one or more runners-up) compete in the world’s most prestigious tournament.
The reigning champions are Real Madrid. In the last season, they secured their twelfth title after defeating Juventus.
So, what makes La Liga an event worth betting on?
In each season, the top three teams in La Liga are guaranteed a place in the group stage of the Champions League.
The team that places fourth enters the playoffs for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Furthermore, the team that places fifth gets a guaranteed spot in the Europa League group stage; and the sixth placed team gets to compete in the third round of the qualifying stage for the Europa League.
The three teams that get the lowest amount of points are relegated to Segunda División, while the three best performing teams in this division are promoted to La Liga.
Because of the array of opportunities and consequences the league presents, a large number of markets are available that are quite competitive, highly betted on, and most importantly profitable.
Bookies For The Spanish Premier League
Before looking at the bookmakers available and making any decisions, we suggest you take a step back and think about what kind of punter you want to be.
If in-play betting interests you, you should take a look at the bookmakers with features such as cash out, quick bet, live scores, and streaming.
If you’re always on the move, make sure the sportsbook you sign up with has a good mobile app.
If you are a serious punter who wants to make accurate wagers, rake in money, and add to your bankroll, it is time you learn how to find implied probability, and understand how bookies build margins into their odds.
One last thing,
If you want your success to last, you should use the right strategies to make sure you don’t get banned.
Below are five bookmakers that meet every one of our criteriums:
Regarded wildly as the pioneer of online and live-betting, Betfair boasts extremely quick updates of odds during streams.
Because Betfair has its own betting exchange, its odds have no margins built into them, guaranteeing the best and most accurate lines possible.
Pinnacle is considered as the Walmart of sports betting by many experts due to its low margins- high volume price model. What does this mean? Pinnacle
What does this mean? Pinnacle does not build margins onto their odds; furthermore, they have a ‘winners are welcome’ policy, which means you won’t need to worry about getting restricted for doing well.
If you’re in this to win money, Pinnacle is a must have on your deck of bookies.
With a live-betting rating of 4.7 on our top bookmaker’s list, fantastic bonuses, a phone app designed specifically for in-play betting, and a broad range of betting markets- Bet365 earns a spot on any list we could come up with.
It is unlikely you will find a bookie with more markets, features, or better promotions, than Bet365.
We like Bovada because it is a bookmaker that keeps working to get better.
Furthermore, Bovada was one of the first bookmakers to take bets from players through Bitcoin.
It is no secret that Bovada dominates the punting market in the US, but despite this, we are pleased that it has kept its doors open to both seasoned punters and rookies, allowing stakes as low as $1 on its markets.
If you’re starting out, Bovada is a great option.
Only the best are able to thrive through the ups and downs. Ladbrokes, with a whopping 100 years behind them, are one of the distinguished few.
They are broadly known for their vast football markets, excellent odds, and fantastic in-play features.
They also have multilingual, 24/7, customer care through various channels, a number of dedicated apps for sports, betting exchanges, games, and casino; and support around 17 currencies.
Making A Profit With La Liga – The Betting Markets Available
The last time a team other than Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Atletico Madrid finished the season in the top three was 13 years ago.
On Bet365, the odds for the outright winner are:
- Barcelona 1.91
- Real Madrid 2
- Atletico Madrid 21
- Sevilla 81
As the season progresses, a number of factors may shake things up.
Keep tabs on the news and Spanish Primera Division fixtures. Look out for injuries, suspensions, off field issues and tough runs of games, as they will certainly cause the odds to fluctuate.
La Liga Winner ‘Without Big 3’ Odds
Given the disparity in performance between the big 3 and the rest of the teams, bookmakers provide wagers on who will finish fourth.
This market asks you to bet on which team will finish highest on the table, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid eliminated from consideration.
Some bookies like Bet365 offer a market on La Liga Winner without Real Madrid and Barcelona, placing Atletico Madrid back into consideration.
La Liga Relegation Odds
La Liga is the most powerful league according to the UEFA coefficient, so teams do their best to retain their position in the elite tournaments. Thanks to this, La Liga’s relegation markets tend to be competitive and lucrative.
This year, the odds place Alaves, Getafe, and Gerona as the three likeliest teams to get the axe.
Other markets include Top Goalscorer Odds, and which teams will place in the top 4.
If you want to bet on individual matches, then your options are vast.
If you’ve done your research and stuck to your strategies, betting on who individual matches can be quite profitable. If the traditional head-to-head odds aren’t competitive, we suggest looking at overs/unders.
The following matches will be played out during this week:
- Malaga vs UD Las Palmas 11th Sept at 9 pm
- Eibar vs Leganes 15th Fri at 9 pm
- Levante vs Valencia 16th Sat at 13:00 pm
- Getafe vs Barcelona 16th Sat at 14:15 pm
- Betis vs Deportivo La Coruna 16th Sat at 16:30 pm
- Atletico Madrid vs Malaga 16th Sat at 20:45 pm
Strategies To Keep In Mind When Betting On La Liga
As with any tournament, if you want to make a profit and grow your bankroll, you need discipline and consistent application of betting fundamentals.
You won’t succeed as a pro punter using only luck – you need preparation to be able to identify golden, valuable opportunities.
The following advice applies to football betting regardless of the league, tournament, division or betting market your are betting into. The most important of these include:
Any punter worth his salt should become aware of how to spot value bets.
If you notice that an outcome has low odds on a sportsbook, but you think it is actually more likely to happen, you have a value situation. You spot these situations when you have a strong understanding of the teams and how they play in different situations.
Remember that bookmakers are always at an advantage. The odds they present do not always represent value, as bookmakers set their own margins on the odds.
Try and avoid betting impulsively. It is one of the most common mistakes a punter could make. Do not chase losses, forget about upsets, and never disregard your staking plan.
If your interest is in In-play betting, make sure you have practised enough with traditional betting.
The real-time involvement experienced during live betting can lead to buzz-inducing victories, but can also lead to irresponsible, if not (at least financially) dangerous betting.
Use Multiple Bookmakers
You need rich insight into the sport if you want to outsmart the bookmaker.
We have highlighted the importance of this before. Having more than one bookmaker in your pocket will allow you to contrast sportsbooks against one another and choose the ones offering the highest value or functionalities – depending on your priority.
We recommend setting up accounts at three different types of sportsbooks. You might reasonably ask – why?
The differences in the lines offered between different sportsbooks may seem negligible, but picking the best line ensures you’re maximising your profit.
The gains may seem small in the beginning, but they add up in the long-run.
Conduct Regular Research And Analysis
Watch the news, don’t miss out on matches – even if the teams you’re betting on aren’t playing, and if you’re able to work with stats, use the La Liga matchup analyser.
Choose the season and the two competing clubs that you want to compare and you will get data on the two teams across a variety of statistical categories.
Remember: A team that suffers losses should attract your attention. Teams who normally perform well but suffered losses are twice as motivated to play better.
Likewise, don’t assume that a winning streak will continue, and don’t write a team out just because they’ve experienced a hiccup.
Use your own expertise, but also take advantage of a betting calculator and betting formulas to predict sports events and analyse odds.
Now that you have a sound understanding of how to bet on La Liga, it is time to pick the bookies that are best for you, study the teams, and place your bets.
You can also sign up to our newsletter that will keep you up to date with everything betting.
The outright markets might not provide a lot of opportunities to make money, but there is a large selection of other markets you can place stakes on and make a profit.
So, buckle up. It is time to get in the game and rake in cash!