Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez (8) scores and celebrates during the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League, round of 16 match between Atleti and Liverpool on February 18, 2020. Photo by Pro Sports Images Ltd/DPPI/Icon Sportswire.
- New La Liga season is six games old and Barcelona have edged ahead of Real Madrid in the odds
- Current leaders Real Sociedad and Atleti have also seen their odds shorten since September 9
- See the odds to finish first and top four in the 2020-21 La Liga campaign plus a look at major changes in the odds since the season began
After six rounds of La Liga games, Barcelona have edged ahead of Real Madrid in the betting with odds of +120 against Real’s +133 to win the title. Other big movers are Atletico Madrid, whose La Liga odds have shortened from +900 to +533 since September 9, while current leaders Real Sociedad and Villarreal have adjusted from +23333 to +11000 and from +18333 to +7200 respectively.
We’ll take a look at the latest odds and see if there’s any value in any of the outsiders and their chances of making top four or better.
2021 La Liga Odds
|Team||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top 4|
All odds taken Oct 20 at Bet365
Sociedad Quick Off the Mark
Real Sociedad are the early pacesetters in this season’s La Liga. They lead Villarreal on goal difference – both teams have 11 points with a 3-2-1 record – although, of the four teams chasing them on 10 points, three have a game in hand. The only unbeaten team in the league is Atletico Madrid, who’ve played two games less than the joint-leaders, and so there is a wide-open look to the table at this early stage.
Sociedad’s only defeat so far came at home to Valencia, on September 29, but they responded well to that setback with two consecutive 3-0 wins and are now the league’s top scorer on 10 goals. They have also only conceded twice, a record they share with Barcelona and which is only bettered by Atleti who’ve conceded just once in their four games.
With Portu having already scored three times for Sociedad from midfield, they look a well-balanced outfit and capable of maintaining a challenge for top four. A sixth-place finish last season suggests they are a team on an upward curve and capable of bettering it this time around.
💙 @Portu ⚪ #AurreraReala pic.twitter.com/B6U7gUm3ih
— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) October 19, 2020
Summer Changes at Barca
Barca’s bright start faltered at the weekend when they were surprisingly beaten away at Getafe but generally, the off-field troubles of the summer months now appear behind them and there is a steely-eyed focus to the Catalans under the new management of Ronald Koeman. A summer clearout has led to a more streamlined squad but the additions of Sergiño Dest from Ajax and Jean-Clair Todibo from Benfica have added youth and dynamism to what was an aging squad.
This looks and feels like the start of a new era for Barca but one that still involves the best player on the planet. This could be Messi’s swansong and he’d love to sign off with another La Liga title but this remains a team in transition.
2021 UEFA Champions League Odds Tracker
No New Faces at Bernabeau
Real Madrid also lost at the weekend – a shock 1-0 home defeat by Cadiz – but even beyond that one-off loss, there’s an air of despondency around the Bernabeau after a summer of no incomings. President Florentino Perez had told fans there would be no big signings due to significant losses from coronavirus and stayed true to his word. While they still have sufficient quality in their squad to remain Barca’s main rivals, this could be a tricky campaign for Los Blancos.
🏁 FT: @realmadriden 0-1 @Cadiz_CFEN
⚽ Lozano 16’#Emirates | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/L3B3zI8BOc
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 17, 2020
The curveball here though could yet be Atleti – still unbeaten remember – who have almost certainly done La Liga’s best business of the summer. The arrival of Barca’s Luis Suarez has added genuine punch to a forward line that already includes Diego Costa and João Félix, and, on paper at least, they have closed the gap on the big two. With a top-level forward line added to Diego Simeone’s sound defensive structure, they have a chance.
Villarreal Neck and Neck with Sociedad
Villarreal, who finished sixth last season, have made a fine start and, like Sociedad, are showing signs of further progression. While it’s not a squad that contains the depth necessary for a title challenge, they look capable of locking horns with Sevilla and Sociedad in a battle for that final place in the top four.
🚨 Final en Granada. 🚨
Dura derrota en el Nuevo Los Cármenes, pero toca levantarse y pensar en lo que está por venir. Este equipo no se rinde…
¡Estamos contigo, Sevilla! ⚪️🔴
#GranadaSevillaFC #WeareSevilla #NuncaTeRindas pic.twitter.com/BD1mn1b2fb
— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) October 17, 2020
For Sevilla, the current Europa League champions, there’s the added pressure of juggling a Champions League campaign with their domestic commitments and, while it’s a talented squad, it’s conceivable they could find it spread a little thinly, especially if they make it out of their UCL group.
Mid-Table a Good result
As things stand, Getafe, Cadiz and Granada are all just a point off the top of the league and will be understandably buoyed by the excellent starts they have made to the campaign, but it’s hard to see any of them sustaining a challenge for top four, especially around mid-season when injuries and suspensions start to bite. Each would regard a mid-table finish as a good outcome.
Best Picks: Atletico Madrid win La Liga (+500) / Villarreal to finish in top four (+350)
Once just a sports fanatic, fan-turned-writer Gary Gowers has been featured on European television and radio networks to discuss several professional football clubs. His work can be found in an assortment of publications like The Metro, MyFootballWriter.com, and BBC Radio Norfolk.