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How To Bet On La Liga

Betting on La Liga presents challenges to even the most experienced football bettor. Broadly regarded as the world’s top football league, it is also one of the world’s most lopsided in terms of competitive balance. Our detailed La Liga betting guide will show you how to approach the top division in Spanish football, and enhance your betting on La Liga this season.

Betting On La Liga: An Introduction

The top flight of Spanish football has always been well regarded but the number of football fans who follow the division, which is also known as the Primera Division, has been steadily growing year on year.

As with the other major European leagues, La Liga is massive when it comes to football betting. Each week there are hundreds and hundreds of match markets to bet on while the biggest bookmakers also have a healthy collection of outright betting markets.

This guide will give you a deeper insight into La Liga whilst highlighting the various betting options available to you and, crucially, provide you with the information and strategies to hopefully make the most of your new found knowledge.

2023/24 La Liga Dates

The 2023/24 La Liga season will begin August 11th 2023 and run through May 26th 2024.


How La Liga Works
  • History Of La Liga
  • La Liga Odds Explained
  • How To Bet On La Liga
  • La Liga Betting Statistics
  • Betting On La Liga Online

    1. How La Liga Works

    In total, 20 teams compete in La Liga every season. In theory, they are all fighting for a chance to win the title but in reality, only a small number of teams have a genuine chance of ending the season at the top of the table.

    La Liga Champions

    Barcelona and Real Madrid are the perennial favourites for Spanish league glory but in recent years Atletico Madrid have emerged as La Liga’s third team. In the 2023/24 season those three will once again compete for the title which is simply awarded to the team who wins the most points after each playing 38 La Liga fixtures – three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw.

    In the case of teams who are tied on points La Liga uses the following criteria in order to classify teams:

    1. head-to-head points
    2. head-to-head goal difference
    3. goal difference
    4. goals scored
    5. fair-play points.

    In the unlikely event that teams still cannot be separated there is a playoff.

    You have to go back for more than a decade for the last time that a team other than Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid finished the season top of the Spanish Primera Division table. If you want a quick demonstration of the dominance of the top three teams in Spanish football currently you only need to look at the Primera odds where every other team is at least priced at odds of 101.00.

    La Liga European Qualification

    Thankfully for the other teams, there is more than just the league title to challenge for in Spain. Each season, the top four teams in La Liga are guaranteed a place in the group stage of the Champions League while the team who finishes fifth has a chance to play in the Europa League group stage. In season 2021/22, UEFA introduced a new format which is the Europa Conference League. La Liga’s 6th placed team by the end of the season qualifies for this new league.

    La Liga Relegation

    La Liga is top of a pretty vast pyramid of Spanish football. In theory, every team in Spain has the ability to play in La Liga by winning a promotion to the top flight. Each year the three teams who finish at the bottom of La Liga are relegated to the renamed La Liga 2 (previously known as the Segunda Division). The three teams who amass the fewest points are replaced by three teams from La Liga 2 which in turn has its own relegation into the Segunda Division B. With so much to play for at both ends of the table, Primera results are always important and wins are hard to come by.

    There is an incredible amount to play for, for all La Liga teams but there are also some highly sought-after individual awards. With some of the best attacking players in the world plying their trade in La Liga, the top goalscorer award tends to be competitive while at the other end of the field, goalkeepers try to win the Zamora Trophy which is awarded to the goalkeeper with the least goals-to-game ratio.

    2. History Of La Liga

    The 2023/24 season will be the 93rd in La Liga history. Over that time 60 teams have competed in the division but there have only been nine La Liga winners. That list includes Real Madrid who have a record of 35 titles and Barcelona who have triumphed 27 times. Other Spanish Primera Division winners include Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Deportivo de La Coruna.

    The presence of some of European football’s strongest sides has led to La Liga being in second place in Europe according to the official UEFA league coefficient rankings. That is a remarkable achievement given the league’s fairly humble beginnings.

    The Copa del Rey – Spain’s national knockout football competition – was founded in 1903 but it was not until 1929 that plans for a national league finally came together. Ten teams took part in that first season of La Liga which was won by Barcelona.

    La Liga continued to grow but had to be suspended in 1936 due to the Spanish civil war. There were league campaigns held in the Republican area of Spain but the national division did not start again in earnest until the 1939/40 season.

    Real Madrid and Barcelona Dominance

    There were multiple winners of La Liga title in the early years but it did not take long for Barcelona and, in particular, Real Madrid to begin dominating. The reasons for their domination have filled books but suffice it to say some of the best players and managers in the world began playing for the two Spanish giants in the 1940s, a trend which has continued ever since.

    La Liga’s ever increasing strength is made clear by the fact that the two Spanish Primera Division top scorers in history currently play in the league. Before the start of the 2023/24 season, Lionel Messi had scored 474 goals while Cristiano Ronaldo is some way behind on 311 (Ronaldo does have the better goals-to-game ratio). Andoni Zubizarreta holds the record for La Liga appearances with a huge 622 while no outfield player has made more appearances than Raúl with 550.

    La Liga Champions

    Below we can see the La Liga titles for each club. As we can see in the 92 seasons of La Liga, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have dominated, claiming a total of 72 titles combined.

    Club Titles Runners Up Last Title
    Real Madrid 35 25 2021/2022
    Barcelona 27 27 2022/2023
    Atletico Madrid 11 10 2020/2021
    Athletic Bilbao 8 7 1983/1984
    Valencia 6 6 2003/2004
    Real Sociedad 2 3 1981/1982
    Deportivo La Coruna 1 5 1999/2000
    Sevilla 1 4 1945/1946
    Real Betis 1 0 1934/1935

    3. La Liga Odds Explained

    Given the popularity of Spanish football, you will never go out of La Liga betting odds during the course of the season. All of the major bookmakers price up a host of markets. These include outright markets which run over the course of a season and in-play markets offered for each game.

    La Liga Match Markets

    There are dozens of football bet types on offer for each La Liga match played over the course of the 380 game season. The most popular of these betting markets include:

    • Match Result 1X2: Selecting the result (Home win, Draw, Away win) at the end of 90 minutes plus added time.
    • Asian Handicap: Selecting the winner with each competing team carrying a goals handicap.
    • Goal Total Over/Under: Selecting either over or under a specified number of goals.

    For a comprehensive list and detailed descriptions of football bet types, please read our How To Bet On Football – Football Bets Explained guide.

    La Liga Winner Odds

    When it comes to La Liga outright winner odds you realistically have a choice of three teams. Everybody who follows football struggled to understand and believe Leicester City’s 2015/16 Premier League win but it would be even more of a shock if the 2023/24 champion of La Liga was not either Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid. That is borne out by the selection of La Liga outright winner odds.

    Heading into the season, Real Madrid were the favourites to win the title once again across the board with Real Madrid second favourites. The bookies feel that it will be tough even for Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to win the title. 

    That does not mean that the La Liga odds outright selections offer no value. There were a number of ups and downs during the 2015/16 season when the title race went down to the very final day of the season. Those three may be head and shoulders above the rest of the division but over the course of a season they are very competitive against each other in terms of major honours.

    Spanish La Liga winner odds for Barcelona may not look incredibly appealing before the start of the season but you have to remember that the bookies keep the outright market open all season long. As we’ve seen before, the title can be decided late in the season. It looks clear that only three teams will be part of the title race but each of them will have good spells and bad spells.

    That means you should keep on top of the news and Spanish Primera Division fixtures. Injuries, suspensions, off field issues and tough runs of games will all have an effect on the prices available to you. The take home message from this is that the odds will fluctuate so don’t be put off by short initial La Liga odds winner selections.

    La Liga Winner ‘Without Big 3’ Odds

    Given the competitive imbalance in Spanish football, bookmakers know they have to offer a range of Spanish league odds to keep punters interested. The variety of options available to you means you can be quite clever with your La Liga outright betting. For example, some bookmakers will price up a ‘Winner Without the Top 3’ market. Effectively, you are betting on which team will finish highest on the table, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid eliminated from consideration.

    There are a number of reasons why the fight to finish in fourth place tends to be a close run thing. La Liga teams know that their chances of overturning the established order are slim so there is a real sense of achievement finishing fourth. There’s also a potential Champions League place on the line. The likes of Sevilla, Valencia, Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao will all feel they’ve got a chance of finishing in fourth so the ‘Winner Without Big 3’ market is an attractive option.

    La Liga Top 4 Finish Odds

    A number of bookmakers also offer La Liga Top 4 odds. As has typically been the case in recent seasons, each of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are listed at short odds to feature in the top 4 places once again come season’s end.

    While it may seem a sure thing to bet on either of the La Liga big 3 to finish in the top four places by season’s end, it’s generally not considered wise to wrap up large sums of you bankroll for a nine month investment with minimal return if successful. So if you are going to bet on this market, consider the clubs who are set to outperform market expectations rather than clubs who are widely anticipated to feature.

    La Liga Relegation Odds

    A place in La Liga is highly coveted and teams will do all they can to cling on to a place amongst Spanish football’s elite. Therefore, La Liga relegation markets tend to be competitive and offer you yet another way to wager on Spanish outright betting.

    La Liga relegation tends to be a competitive market. As with all other La Liga outright markets, relegation betting provides you with the ability to bet throughout the season. Punters who do their homework, analyse upcoming fixture schedules and are up to date with the latest La Liga injury and suspension news, can look to wager on La Liga relegation betting.

    Relegation battles in particular can be very topsy turvy. Arguably they are even more affected by a run of tough fixtures and results. Form and confidence can change quickly and it is always worth keeping an eye on the additions to squads in the January transfer window and any managerial changes. Teams who look as though they are dead and buried can often go on a good run to wrestle their way away from trouble.

    La Liga Top Goalscorer Odds

    Away from the team markets there are some very interesting betting options concerning players. Of these options the bookies will always take most bets on who will be the La Liga top goalscorer.

    Ronaldo and Messi are the two best players in the world so will be the favourites to be La Liga top scorers but they are not the only world class strikers in La Liga. Luis Suarez and Neymar score for fun at Barcelona while Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is another viable option.

    La Liga Top Goalscorers

    Below are the top goalscorers in La Liga the last 20 seasons. We can see that in recent seasons, Lionel Messi has dominated winning five straight scoring titles before he departed for France.

    Season Player(s) Club(s) Goals
    2003/2004 Ronaldo Real Madrid 24
    2004/2005 Diego Forlan Villarreal 25
    Samuel Eto’o Barcelona 25
    2005/2006 Samuel Eto’o Barcelona 26
    2006/2007 Ruud van Nistelrooy Real Madrid 25
    2007/2008 Daniel Guiza Mallorca 27
    2008/2009 Diego Forlan Atletico Madrid 32
    2009/2010 Lionel Messi Barcelona 34
    2010/2011 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 40
    2011/2012 Lionel Messi Barcelona 50
    2012/2013 Lionel Messi Barcelona 46
    2013/2014 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 31
    2014/2015 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 48
    2015/2016 Luis Suarez Barcelona 40
    2016/2017 Lionel Messi Barcelona 37
    2017/2018 Lionel Messi Barcelona 34
    2018/2019 Lionel Messi Barcelona 36
    2019/2020 Lionel Messi Barcelona 25
    2020/2021 Lionel Messi Barcelona 30
    2021/2022 Karim Benzema Real Madrid 27
    2022/2023 Robert Lewandowski Barcelona 23

    4. How To Bet On La Liga

    As with betting on any football leagues or tournament, betting on La Liga requires discipline and the consistent application of betting fandamentals. If you’re serious about betting on La Liga, there are a number of things you can do to enhance your returns come season’s end. These apply to football betting regardless of the league, tournament, division or betting market your are betting into. The most important of these include:

    • Bet only when there is value
    • Specialise in certain markets
    • Apply a consistent staking method
    • Keep detailed records of your bets
    • Have accounts with multiple bookmakers

    To learn more about the basics of football betting, please read our How To Bet On Football guide.

    5. La Liga Betting Statistics

    How many goals are scored on average in a La Liga match? How often do both teams score? How often do La Liga matches end without a goal scored?

    Let’s now turn our attention to La Liga betting stats, comparing data from Spain’s top flight with nine other popular European football leagues in matches played over the last five seasons, from the start of the 2017/2018 season to the conclusion of the 2021/22 season.

    Please note that these stats should be used as preliminary analysis for your La Liga betting and as a guide for league by league tendencies.

    5.1 What Is Home Field Advantage Worth In La Liga?

    Let’s start by looking at home field advantage in La Liga over the last five seasons.

    We can see that home teams have won matches at a slightly higher rate than the seven league average, with 44.6% of home clubs winning compared to the seven league average of 43.8%.

    League results 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches Home Win Draw Away Win
    Premier League 1900 44.4% 22.2% 33.4%
    Ligue Un 1799 42.5% 26.1% 31.4%
    Bundesliga 1530 44.3% 24.2% 31.5%
    Serie A 1900 41.5% 25.7% 32.8%
    Eredivisie 1456 45.9% 22.3% 31.8%
    Primeira 1530 43.6% 23.5% 32.9%
    La Liga 1900 44.6% 27.6% 27.8%
    Total 12015 43.8% 24.6% 31.6%

    Home clubs in La Liga won just 41.6% of matches through the 2020/21 season with a peak across the five seasons of 47.1% in 2017/18.

    La Liga results 2018/19 to 2022/23

    La Liga Matches Home Win Draw Away Win
    2018-2019 380 44.2% 28.9% 26.8%
    2019-2020 380 45.8% 27.6% 26.6%
    2020-2021 380 41.6% 28.7% 29.7%
    2021-2022 380 43.4% 29.2% 27.4%
    2022-2023 380 47.9% 23.4% 28.7%
    Total 1900 44.6% 27.6% 27.8%

    Home clubs in La Liga saw the second highest home advantage across the seven top leagues of Europe the last five seasons, with home clubs winning by an average of +0.34 goals, second only to Dutch Eredivisie that saw an average of +0.41 goals.

    League average goals for and against 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches Ave. HOME GF Ave AWAY GF Ave GD
    Premier League 1900 1.52 1.26 0.25
    Ligue Un 1799 1.49 1.21 0.27
    Bundesliga 1530 1.75 1.39 0.36
    Serie A 1900 1.53 1.31 0.22
    Eredivisie 1456 1.75 1.34 0.41
    Primeira 1530 1.40 1.15 0.25
    La Liga 1900 1.43 1.09 0.34
    Total 12015 1.54 1.25 0.29

    The table below shows average goals scored and conceded in La Liga across the last five seasons with the lowest advantage of +0.23 goals seen in 2020/21 and the peak of +0.40 goals seen in 2017/18.

    La Liga average goals for and against 2018/19 to 2022/23

    La Liga Matches Ave. HOME GF Ave AWAY GA Ave GD
    2018-2019 380 1.45 1.13 0.32
    2019-2020 380 1.44 1.04 0.39
    2020-2021 380 1.37 1.14 0.23
    2021-2022 380 1.42 1.08 0.34
    2022-2023 380 1.46 1.06 0.40
    Total 1900 1.43 1.09 0.34

    5.2 How Often Are La Liga Matches Drawn At Halftime?

    How often have La Liga matches between drawn at halftime? The table below shows the rates of home and away clubs leading at halftime in La Liga the last five seasons.

    League halftime results 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches HT Home Win HT Draw HT Away Win
    Premier League 1900 34.2% 38.8% 26.9%
    Ligue Un 1799 33.7% 39.7% 26.6%
    Bundesliga 1530 34.4% 38.0% 27.6%
    Serie A 1900 33.0% 39.4% 27.6%
    Eredivisie 1456 36.2% 37.0% 26.9%
    Primeira 1530 32.9% 41.5% 25.6%
    La Liga 1900 32.1% 45.3% 22.6%
    Total 12015 33.7% 40.1% 26.2%

    La Liga saw the highest rate of halftime draws across the seven leagues with 44.6% of matches drawn at halftime compared to the average of 40.4%.

    Below we can see the win rates for home and away clubs in La Liga over the last five seasons.

    La Liga halftime results 2018/19 to 2022/23

    La Liga Matches Home Win Draw Away Win
    2018-2019 380 31.8% 42.6% 25.5%
    2019-2020 380 30.0% 48.2% 21.8%
    2020-2021 380 31.6% 44.2% 24.2%
    2021-2022 380 32.9% 46.1% 21.1%
    2022-2023 380 34.2% 45.5% 20.3%
    Total 1900 32.1% 45.3% 22.6%

    In terms of goal difference, La Liga matches have seen home clubs win the opening half at the rate of the seven league average, +0.14 goals though with a lower combined goal total.

    League halftime goals for and against 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches Home HT Goals Away HT Goals Ave. HT GD
    Premier League 1900 0.70 0.58 0.12
    Ligue Un 1799 0.67 0.55 0.12
    Bundesliga 1530 0.76 0.62 0.14
    Serie A 1900 0.67 0.58 0.09
    Eredivisie 1456 0.77 0.61 0.16
    Primeira 1530 0.64 0.52 0.11
    La Liga 1900 0.62 0.48 0.14
    Total 12015 0.68 0.56 0.12

    The table below shows the average opening half goals scored for both home and away clubs in La Liga across the last five seasons.

    La Liga halftime goals for and against 2018/19 to 2022/23

    La Liga Matches Home HT Goals Away HT Goals Ave. HT GD
    2018-2019 380 0.54 0.51 0.03
    2019-2020 380 0.6 0.45 0.15
    2020-2021 380 0.63 0.53 0.1
    2021-2022 380 0.63 0.47 0.16
    2022-2023 380 0.68 0.44 0.23
    Total 1900 0.62 0.48 0.14

    5.3 What Is The Most Common Winning Margin In La Liga?

    What has been the most common fulltime margin in La Liga the last five seasons? The table below shows the number of matches ending with given margins in the top seven leagues 2018/19 to 2022/ 23.

    League most common fulltime margins 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches Home 3+ goals Home 2 goals Home 1 goal Draw Away 1 goal Away 2 goals Away 3+ goals
    Premier League 1900 10.5% 13.8% 20.1% 22.2% 16.6% 9.6% 7.2%
    Ligue Un 1799 9.9% 11.1% 21.5% 26.1% 17.7% 8.7% 5.0%
    Bundesliga 1530 14.2% 12.5% 17.5% 24.2% 14.1% 9.3% 8.0%
    Serie A 1900 9.5% 11.8% 20.2% 25.7% 18.3% 8.9% 5.6%
    Eredivisie 1456 15.1% 13.2% 17.7% 22.3% 15.2% 8.4% 8.2%
    Primeira 1530 8.9% 12.4% 22.4% 23.5% 19.4% 8.6% 4.9%
    La Liga 1900 8.5% 12.7% 23.4% 27.6% 16.4% 7.5% 3.9%
    Total 12015 10.8% 12.5% 20.5% 24.6% 16.9% 8.7% 6.0%

    We can see 12.4% of La Liga matches ended with a margin of 3 goals or greater, below the seven league average of 16.8%. Meanwhile 17.0% of matches ended with a margin of 2 goals, just below the average of 21.2% while 39.8%  of La Liga matches ended with a margin of 1 goal, compared to the average of 37.4%..

    5.4 How Often Do La Liga Matches End Over 2.5 Goals?

    Let’s take a look at the number of Premier League matches that ended with over 2.5 goals the last five seasons. The table below shows the goal rates for the top seven leagues of Europe the last five seasons.

    League goal total over under rates 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches Over 2.5 goals Under 2.5 goals
    Premier League 1900 52.5% 47.5%
    Ligue Un 1799 51.5% 48.5%
    Bundesliga 1530 61.0% 39.0%
    Serie A 1900 54.5% 45.5%
    Eredivisie 1456 59.5% 40.5%
    Primeira 1530 46.7% 53.3%
    La Liga 1900 45.7% 54.3%
    Total 12015 52.8% 47.2%

    We can see that 52.2% of Premier League matches the last five seasons ended with over 2.5 goals, just short of the seven league average of 52.8%. The Premier League saw 29.7% over matches end with at least four goals just below the seven league average of 30.6%.

    5.5 How Often Do Both Teams Score In La Liga?

    How often do both clubs score in La Liga? Over the last five seasons just under half of La Liga matches saw both teams scoring with 50.5% matches seeing both clubs score, with only Portugal’s Primeira seeing a lower rate.

    League both teams to score results 2018/19 to 2022/23

    League Matches BTTS Yes BTTS No
    Premier League 1900 50.6% 49.4%
    Ligue Un 1799 53.4% 46.6%
    Bundesliga 1530 59.5% 40.5%
    Serie A 1900 56.6% 43.4%
    Eredivisie 1456 54.9% 45.1%
    Primeira 1530 47.5% 52.5%
    La Liga 1900 50.5% 49.5%
    Total 12015 53.2% 46.8%

    6. Betting On La Liga Online

    To get the most out of your La Liga betting it is important that you chose the right online bookmakers to open accounts with. To help you make the correct decision, consider the following criteria.

    It is incredibly annoying when you do the research on a La Liga game and pick out a brilliant bet only to find that your bookmakers does not offer that market. Therefore, make sure to choose bookmakers with a comprehensive selection of both outright and in-play La Liga markets. You should also consider the value offered by the bookmaker. If you feel your knowledge gives you the edge over a particular bookie you want to be rightly rewarded for it. So, don’t do your betting with a firm who offer poor odds on La Liga. Getting the most value is one reason why it is sensible to have accounts with a variety of bookmakers.

    Finally, take into consideration any special offers that the bookmakers are offering around La Liga. Some bookies will have new customer offers that you can utilise to give your La Liga betting a boost while other give their customers the chance to participate in regular enhanced odds or money back promotions over the course of a season.

    To revise, when it comes to selecting an online bookmaker for La Liga betting there are a number things to consider. The most important of these are:

    • The bookmaker’s reputation and media profile.
    • The diversity of La Liga betting markets available.
    • La Liga In-Play betting markets and Cash Out available.
    • La Liga betting odds and bookmaker commissions.
    • Mobile betting on La Liga matches.
    • Welcome Bonus and La Liga promotional offers.

    To learn more about selecting the bookmaker best suited to La Liga betting, please consult our Football Bookmakers guide.

    To read detailed reviews of over 50 online bookmakers, please visit our Bookmaker Reviews listing.

    And for all the latest La Liga free bets and promotions available, please visit our Free Bets listing