La Liga is the Spanish football league where two of the most famous teams in the world compete – Barcelona and Real Madrid. In the 92 years that the league has existed, these two teams have dominated, with 60 wins between them. Whether you want to bet on the result of a specific game Or correct store, you will find all the La Liga fixtures at SportPesa along with the very best betting odds, compiled and constantly updated by our team of football betting experts.
The dominance of the two big teams means La Liga is of particular interest to football betting enthusiasts, both here in Tanzania and across the globe. It gives you the option to place some relatively safe short-odds bets on the dominant teams, or to go out on a limb and back one of the other teams to spring a surprise.
History and format of La Liga
Spanish football leagues had been around since the late 1800s, but it was only in 1929 that moves were made to form a national league. This initially comprised ten top teams from the regional leagues, but this was gradually increased. Today, La Liga follows the same format as the other major European leagues such as the English Premiership, with 20 teams that each play one another twice, one at home and once away, over the course of a season. There is a three-up and three-down system of relegation and promotion to and from the Segunda Division.
In all those years, there are just three teams that have never been relegated. You can probably guess two of them – the mighty Barcelona and Real Madrid. The other is Athletico Bilbao – this is a team that has languished mid table in recent years, but in the early years of La Liga, Athletico were the dominant force, winning four of the eight seasons that were played prior to the league being suspended during the Spanish Civil War.
International superstars and tantalizing long-shots
So which team will you back in La Liga? Barca and Real Madrid are, of course, the most popular choices. These teams have proven they have the skill and depth to dominate – and that they have the budget to recruit the very best.
Lionel Messi is one of the biggest talents that football has ever seen, and in his 16 years at Barca he has scored more goals that anyone else in La Liga’s long history. The incredible thing is that he is still in his early 30s, and seems certain to finish his career with a goal tally well in excess of 500. The second-placed man is on just 311, a figure that Messi could easily double if he remains at Barca for another two or three years. Messi is also just the second footballer to pass the $1 billion mark in career earnings.
Other massive stars from across the years include football’s other billionaire, Cristiano Ronaldo, whose decade at Real cemented his place in football history. There are equally big names from bygone eras, such as Neymar, Hugo Sanchez, David Villa, Diego Maradona, Zinadene Zidane and David Beckham to name just a few. The big money and the even bigger glory of Barca and Real have made La Liga an irresistible destination for the biggest legends of the game, and that’s something that will not change any time soon.
However, from a sports betting perspective, it is the impact that the heavyweight teams have on the odds for the “best of the rest” that creates the most interest. Yes, Barca and Real are the most likely winners. But three times in the past 20 years, they have been kept off the top spot, twice by Valencia and once by Atlético Madrid. Could it happen again this year? Atlético, in particular, is a team that should never be underestimated and has looked to close the gap to the big two in recent years. If you think this will be their year to shine, head across to our La Liga football betting section for the best odds.
How to bet on La Liga at SportPesa
At SportPesa, we bring you the biggest choice of football bets for La Liga.
Another type of bet that is particularly popular in La Liga is the over/under. This is where we give a non-integer prediction of the number of goals that will be scored in a game, for example 2.5. You can then bet on whether the total number of goals in the game will be higher or lower. The reason this type of bet is so popular in La Liga comes down to the dominance of Real and Barca. It’s not unusual to see them dominate lower teams to the extent that they might score eight or more times.
For example, who can forget that incredible game in 2015 when Real beat Rayo Vallecano 10-2? But even that is not the biggest margin of victory in a La Liga game. Way back in 1931, Barcelona were involved in a game that ended 12-1. The twist, though is that they were on the receiving end, handed a humiliating defeat by Athletic Bilbao.
Perhaps the most dramatic type of football betting on offer at SportPesa, though, is our live betting option. Here, you can continue placing bets after the game has started, and right up to the final whistle. You’ll need to keep your wits about you and time your wagers perfectly, however, as the odds can shift in the blink of an eye with every goal, corner or penalty.