La Liga Betting Guide: El Clasico and more | LeoVegas

Mastering La Liga: A Comprehensive Betting Guide

La Liga (stylized as La Liga, also officially known as Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera Division) is Spain’s equivalent of the Premier League. It's the home of current superstars like Jude Bellingham, Gavi, Vinicius Junior, Pedri, and Federico Valverde.

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Fans know it better for two historic rivalries, of course, which we'll mention today - El Clasico, the more-than-one-hundred-year-old contest between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and the on-field battles of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - now, sadly, ended. La Liga is also a hive of betting activity.


Click above to access the most popular La Liga markets in LeoVegas’ Sports section, including the winner, total shots, player cards, correct score, and hundreds of others. And, keep reading below for our crib sheet on La Liga.

Introduction to La Liga

Yes, fan attention in La Liga can often seem dominated by El Clasico. Almost 300 of these banner matches have been played in all competitions since the two clubs first met in 1902. Barcelona leads with 124 wins to Madrid’s 111.

Apart from Deportivo La Coruña's unlikely title win in 1999/2000, just four La Liga seasons have gone to a team other than Barcelona or Madrid: Valencia (2001/02, 2003/04) and Atletico Madrid (2013/14, 2020/21). Real Madrid won the 2023/24 campaign - their 36th - on May 4.

Of course, this isn’t too different to the Premier League. The two Manchester clubs have dominated England’s top flight since the start of the modern era in 1992/93, with the occasional title going to Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal.

The chances of other winners, like Leicester or Blackburn, claiming another Premier League seem bleak, but then again, it did for the Foxes at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign too. Similarly, Girona launched a surprise attack at the La Liga title in the most recent renewal, despite finishing tenth in 2022/23.

Both league’s popularity stems from this excitement and unpredictability. There’s more to La Liga than just Real Madrid and Barcelona. At LeoVegas, you can bet on hundreds of markets per game and get as much enjoyment out of a dead rubber in Almeria or Cadiz as a title decider at the Bernabeu. LeoVegas has all El Clasico and league outrights, too.

Understanding La Liga

History and Evolution of La Liga

Spain’s preeminent contest first appeared in the interwar years, debuting in 1929 with a surprise Barcelona victory. The later structure of La Liga was evident even then, with Real Madrid finishing as runners-up and Atletic Bilbao in third.

Bilbao would emerge as the 'big' club pre-1940, claiming four titles between 1929 and 1936. War, not WWII but the Spanish Civil War, would disrupt the next three seasons. Oddly enough, the Axis-aligned Franco kept La Liga free of trouble during the Second World War.

The duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona wouldn't etch itself in Spanish stone until the 1950s. Before that, Valencia and Atletico Aviación (now Atletico Madrid) found success in Spain's top flight.

Unfortunately, the dominance of El Clasico pairing has been a source of conflict for Spanish clubs, who have been unable to raise the finances or renown of Madrid and Barça. Just a few years ago, the two earned 41% of all monies raised by La Liga clubs.

Barcelona’s debt, which stood at €1.2bn in December 2023, and increasingly strict rules on spending have evened, or attempted to even, clubs’ fortunes in recent times.

Current Structure and Teams

Twenty teams compete in La Liga. A majority (all but five) play in coastal areas on the mainland. Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Getafe, and Rayo Vallecano reside inland in Madrid, while RCD Mallorca occupy the island of the same name.

Every team plays each other twice, minus the two times they’d play themselves, giving a fixture list of 38 matches.

Three relegation spots lurk at the foot of the table, leading to La Liga 2. The top six positions qualify for the Champions League (1-4), Europa League (5), and the Europa Conference League (6). The best team overall wins the La Liga title.

Bonus, here’s a bit of pub trivia for you: Puma manufactures La Liga’s official match ball.

Segunda Division

Segunda Division, also known as LaLiga Hypermotion, is the second professional football division in Spain. It is administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional and consists of 22 teams. The top two teams are automatically promoted to La Liga, and the third team is promoted through a play-off involving teams that finished between third and sixth in the leagu

La Liga Teams

While dynasties don't shift often in La Liga, the teams in the division do. Cadiz, Granada, and Almeria were relegated in 2023/24, for example. Here's a quick rundown of all the teams you might encounter during your betting this year.

Real Madrid

The immovable object to Barça's unstoppable force, Real Madrid has won more titles than any other club in La Liga. Carlo Ancelotti helms Los Blancos. As for the dressing room, England's Jude Bellingham flies the St. George's Cross abroad, scoring 23 goals to Vinicius Junior's 20.


Barcelona, a rare example of a club owned by its fans, is famous for its footballing tradition. It's the erstwhile home of Lionel Messi and currently boasts a squad worth €839.50m. The Blaugrana has five Champions League and 27 La Liga titles preventing its trophy cabinet from closing.

Atletico Madrid

The other big club in the Spanish capital, Atletico Madrid has won La Liga 11 times. They've also claimed the honours in the Copa del Rey ten times. Ironically, despite being founded in Madrid, Atletico originally started as an offshoot of Basque club Athletic Bilbao.


An ancient side, dating back to 1890, Sevilla has yet to turn their experience into domestic success, winning the La Liga title just once in 1945/46. They're the record holder for Europa League titles with seven (second place Inter Milan has three), and count Real Betis as rivals.


Fifth on the list of all-time La Liga winners, Valencia is a club of bats and oranges, represented on the club's badge. Housed at the Mestalla and founded in 1919 in a bar, Valencia is perhaps best-known among UK fans for Gary Nevile's disastrous tenure at the club in 2015/16.

Athletic Club

Athletic Club or Athletic Bilbao is an anomaly in world soccer, as its 'cantera' policy means that it only hires staff and players from the Basque region of Spain. While this doesn't seem to have caused Athletic Club many problems (they have eight La Liga titles), it sometimes proves controversial with the Spanish press.

Real Sociedad

Founded in Donostia-San Sebastián in 1909, Real Sociedad lived by the same cantera policy as Bilbao until 1989. The club has two La Liga titles, both of which came during a boom period in the early 1980s. Real Sociedad owns several of the most valuable players in La Liga, including Japan's Takefusa Kubo (€60m) and Spain's Martin Zubimendi (€50m).


El Submarino Amarillo, Villarreal play in yellow. The side's best performance in La Liga came in 2007/08 when they finished runners-up. Fortunes have been mixed recently. Villarreal haven't got above fourth since 2012/13. The club's mascot is an anthropomorphic submarine called Groguet.

Celta Vigo

By Spanish standards, Celta Vigo is a young club. Os Celestes (or the Sky Blues) first took to the field in 1923. The side has yet to breach fourth place but went unbeaten at home in 1970/71. Celta Vigo also beat Barcelona 2-1 on the final day in 2023 to avoid relegation - quite a feat considering that Barça had just won the title.


Another Catalonian team from Barcelona, Espanyol was relegated from La Liga in 2022/23, finishing fourth in the renewal of La Liga 2. The Periquitos ('parakeets') have never won La Liga but they have four Copa del Rey titles to their name, most recently in 2005/06.


As mentioned, Getafe is one of four Madrid-based teams. One of the newer clubs in La Liga (f.1983), Getafe has yet to finish above fifth in the league and was relegated for a single season in 2015/2016. Man Utd's Mason Greenwood starred on loan in 2023/24.


Granada endured a miserable season in 2023/24, conceding 72 goals and winning just three games. They were eventually relegated. Granada claim an impressive youth academy and a fierce rivalry with Barcelona, although it's a one-sided one: three wins to Barça's 14.


RCD Mallorca is the only club in La Liga not sited on the mainland. Located in Palma, this 108-year-old side is fittingly known as Los Piratas (The Pirates). The club won the Copa del Rey in 2002/03. An unlikely fact, here: former NBA basketball player, Canadian Steve Nash, is a shareholder in the club.


Based out of El Sadar Stadium, Osasuna is native to Pamplona in the far north of Spain. The name means 'health' in the Basque language. Like Bilbao, Osasuna has a strong youth academy but the club has only won the La Liga 2 title (4x). They finished mid-table in 2023/4.

Rayo Vallecano

Another Madrid team, the 'Rayo' in Rayo Vallecano translates as 'Thunderbolt' (the club sometimes goes by 'Rayito' or 'Little Thunderbolt'). They've been active since 1924 but have endured mixed fortunes, struggling with debt and their league position. They have won regional honours, such as the Copa de Castilla.


Deportivo Alaves, as they're called, is a Basque club. Liverpool players might remember Alaves as their opponents during the 2001/01 UEFA Cup Final, which the Reds won. Remarkably, that occasion was Alaves' debut appearance in Europe. They were also runners-up in the 2016/17 Copa del Rey.


Playing at the beach-side Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla on an island in Andalusia, Cadiz's nickname is El Submarino Amarillo, just like Villarreal. It's easy to guess what colour they play in. The club predominantly represents La Liga 2, only recently rising to the top flight. Unfortunately, they were relegated in 2023/24.


Elche are no longer resident in La Liga, following a rock-bottom finish in 2022/23. At mid-table for the renewal, it doesn't look like they'll be back soon. Elche are based out of Alicante. Their honours list is modest but the green-and-white-striped club did come runners-up in the 1969 Copa del Rey. Just like Cadiz, Elche are known as a La Liga 2 side.


Hailing from Valencia, Levante ply their trade in La Liga 2. Levante's history begins in a newspaper article from 1908, which told of the arrival of soccer in Valencia. The club's claim to fame is arguably the half-season Johan Cruyff played for Levante in 1981.

Real Betis

Real Betis Balompie are a highly decorated club in Spain. They have a single La Liga title (1934/35) and three Copa del Rey trophies, most recently in 2021/22. Betis are known for their rivalry with Sevilla, their green-and-white strip, and the many famous faces that have stepped out at Benito Villamarín Stadium, including Denilson and former Arsenal and Barcelona defender, Hector Bellerin.

La Liga Winners

Real Madrid (36): Won in 1931/32, 1932/33, 1953/54, 1954/55, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2011/12, 2016/17, 2019/20, 2021/22, and 2023/24.

Barcelona (27): Won in 1929, 1944/45, 1947/48, 1948/49, 1951/52, 1952/53, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1973/74, 1984/85, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1997/98, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18, 2018/19, and 2022/23.

Atletico Madrid (11): Won in 1939/40, 1940/41, 1949/50, 1950/51, 1965/66, 1969/70, 1972/73, 1976/77, 1995/96, 2013/14, and 2020/21.

Athletic Bilbao (8): Won in 1929/30, 1930/31, 1933/34, 1935/36, 1942/43, 1955/56, 1982/83, and 1983/84.

Valencia CF (6): Won in 1941/42, 1943/44, 1946/47, 1970/71, 2001/02, and 2003/04

Real Sociedad (2): Won in 1980/81, and 1981/82.

Deportivo de La Coruña (1): Won in 1999/2000.

Sevilla FC (1): Won in 1945/46.

Real Betis (1): Won in 1934/35.

La Liga Betting Markets

Explaining La Liga Betting Odds

If you’re starting with La Liga betting, it can be tough to understand all the different markets. We’ve assembled a cheat sheet below to help get you started.

La Liga Futures

La Liga Title Winner

An easy one, La Liga Title Winner is a bet on who will win the season trophy. Odds can change dramatically as the campaign wears on.

La Liga Top 4 Finish

This market is similar to the previous, as you’re betting on the season's outcome. Pick the clubs you think will finish in the top four spots (1-4).

La Liga Relegation

Turn the previous market upside down and you’ll get this one. Who will finish at the bottom of the table? In La Liga, this is the bottom three places (17-20).

Match Betting

Over/Under Betting

The bookies pick a number, such as the final score. You'll then decide whether the outcome will be higher or lower than the bookmaker's estimate.

Double Chance Betting

Soccer matches can go one of three ways - win, lose, or draw. Double Chance betting lets the punter bet on two of these events, increasing their chances of winning.

Both Teams to Score Betting

Another straightforward market, Both Teams to Score Betting is guessing whether both teams will score within a set timeframe, ie. 90 minutes.

First Half/Full-Time Betting

A bet on what the score be at Half-Time and/or Full-Time.

Correct Score Betting

A bet on what the Correct Score will be once the match is over.

Outright Betting

While it does have an inconvenient name, Outright Betting is a bet on the outright winner of a league, tournament, or match. You'll usually find this market attached to every sporting event.

Live Betting

Also known as In-play Betting, Live Betting refers to betting on a soccer match while it's happening. This allows the player to bet with constantly changing odds and on granular markets like the next yellow card or corner.

La Liga FAQs

How many teams participate in La Liga?

A total of 20 teams play La Liga.

When was La Liga founded?

La Liga was founded in 1929 with ten teams. The Copa del Rey is older, debuting in 1903.

Who is the best team in La Liga history?

Real Madrid with 36 wins to Barcelona's 27.

Who is the richest club in La Liga?

The market value of Real Madrid is €1.04bn, followed by Barcelona's €839.50m. Real Sociedad place third at €480.60m.

How much money does the La Liga winner get?

The top club in La Liga wins €61.3m, second place gets €54.1m, while third claims €46.9m.

Who has won more titles, Real Madrid or Barcelona?

Real Madrid has won more titles than Barcelona, with 36.

What are some famous matches in La Liga history?

El Clasico, Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, is the centrepiece of each season. Some perfect examples include 3-2 Barcelona in 2017, 3-4 Barcelona in 2014, and 5-0 Barcelona in 2010. Also, try the 1960 European Cup game when Real Madrid won 3-1.

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