Due to the Spanish Super Cup, there was only one La Liga game scheduled for last weekend. However, one way or another, many teams were involved.
Villarreal had the opportunity to climb to sixth place, last to concede a ticket for a UEFA competition. Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano would have been displaced, but Elche pulled off the betting online upset. All relegation zone tenants were rooting for the Yellow Submarine.
With the Super Cup behind us, things will get back to normal this weekend. Time to check the standings and what comes next.
La Liga Odds, Betting lines
Real Madrid took advantage of a La Liga mini-break to win its first title of the season. Los Blancos won the Super Cup after defeating Barcelona (3-2) and Athletic Bilbao (2-0). Besides being their 12th Super Cup title, it was also an extra dose of motivation for what’s coming.
Los Blancos are atop La Liga standings with a five-point advantage over Sevilla, but they’ve played one game more. This weekend, they’ll play host to Elche, a team that hasn’t lost in its last three games. Los Blancos, who defeated Elche 2-1 in their first meeting, are huge soccer betting favorites at -750.
Sevilla will have more time to focus on La Liga after getting eliminated from the Copa del Rey. They have a busy week, visiting Valencia on Wednesday and playing host to Celta de Vigo on Saturday. They dominate the Las Vegas odds for both matches, but Valencia and Vigo are in a must-win situation.
Real Betis hasn’t won in its last three games but remains in third place, followed by Atletico Madrid. Betis will face Deportivo Alaves on Tuesday and Espanyol on Friday. Los Verdiblancos are also competing in the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Europa League. That could be too much for them.
Prior to welcoming Valencia for La Liga fixture 22, Atletico Madrid will face Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey Round of 16. Losing would be devastating for them and could put head coach Diego Simeone in jeopardy.
Aiming for International Competitions
If the season ended today, Real Sociedad and Barcelona would qualify for the UEL. The thing is that the gap between Barca and 10th place is only four points and the end isn’t near.
Los Azulgranas will also have a busy week. First, they’ll face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey. Then, they’ll pay a visit to Deportivo Alaves in La Liga. They’ll have to do it without Gavi, who’s suspended.
Besides facing Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey, Real Sociedad will play host to Getafe in La Liga. Getafe only lost one of its last five games but still comes in as the underdog at +625.
Rayo Vallecano will be rooting for Alaves, Getafe and Valencia. Well, first they have to beat Athletic Bilbao. If they do, and Alaves, Getafe and Valencia pull off the upset, they will climb to fourth place. Playing the UEFA Champions League would be a huge deal for Rayo Vallecano.
Elche had a very rocky first half of the season, but it hasn’t lost in its last three games. Now, they’re only six points away from the top 10. They’ll be facing Real Madrid twice this week, both in the Copa del Rey and La Liga. It’s not going to be easy, but don’t underestimate them.
Another team trying to turn things around is Levante, currently sitting in last place. They just got their first victory, 2-0 over Mallorca, allowing them to close the gap with Cadiz and Alaves. Those are the other two tenants of the relegation zone.
And guess what? Levante will play host to Cadiz on Saturday. The loser will be doomed to last place. According to the odds board, you should include Levante in your soccer picks as they’re offering a -140 price. I agree, go for it.
Real Madrid Atop … Again
That’s right, Real Madrid also controls the league’s scoring chart thanks to Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior. The French striker has scored 17 goals. That’s more than three teams have scored in total. Junior has scored 12 goals. There are a lot of games left, but we’re already talking about his best season as a pro.
A few steps down, we’ve Juanmi Jimenez from Real Betis with 11 goals. He’s one of the main reasons for you to keep an eye on Los Verdiblancos. Iago Aspas (Celta de Vigo), Joselu (Deportivo Alaves) and Raul de Tomas (Espanyol) have scored 10 goals each.
That’s right, there are no players from Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona among the top scorers.