The 2019-20 La Liga campaign kicks off on Friday. All 20 clubs will be in action between Friday and Monday with the bookends seeing one game a day, while Saturday and Sunday will see four games per day. Barcelona and Real Madrid will be involved as road teams in the first two games of the new season, and the two overwhelming favorites per the La Liga betting odds are out to get their seasons started with victories.
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- August 16
- Athletic Bilbao +0.5 and +1 vs. FC Barcelona, O/U 2.5 and 3
It’s not easy to win in Basque Country, and it’s even more difficult when you’re playing the grandfather of all Basque clubs. Athletic Bilbao have one of the top defenses in La Liga, but Barcelona have what should be the best attack in the world on paper. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Ousmane Dembele were formidable enough, but the Blaugrana got even better by signing Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong in the summer. That’s too much talent for Bilbao to stop.
- August 17
- Celta Vigo +0.5 and +1 vs. Real Madrid, O/U 3 and 3.5
Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic were brought in to turn around a Real Madrid side that couldn’t score in their first season without Cristiano Ronaldo. Hazard should combine with Luka Modric to make the attack more dynamic, but the real key is a reliable forward up top. Both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema had their shortcomings last season.
Valencia CF -0.5 and -1 vs. Real Sociedad, O/U 2 and 2.5
The visitors ended last season as one of the hottest teams in Spain. They played excellent defense over the latter half of the season, and they have a decent shot at picking up a point even though they are facing a Champions League side on their home turf.
Villarreal CF -1 vs. Granada CF, O/U 2.5
The Yellow Submarine want to get off to a great start after a nail-biting 2018-19 campaign saw them flirt with relegation, and Granada shouldn’t pose much of a threat. They just won promotion back to La Liga last year, but they have won all six of their preseason soccer matches. Two of those wins came against fellow La Liga clubs, so the visitors might have a shot.
CD Leganes -0.5 vs. CA Osasuna, O/U 2
We didn’t see Osasuna spend a lot of money in the offseason, and many are projecting the club to yo-yo back down to Segunda Division at the end of this season. Leganes were able to bring in some talented players on loan, so I think they get a win here.
- August 18
- Deportivo Alaves SAD PK and -0.5 vs. UD Levante, O/U 2 and 2.5
The collapse of Alaves over the second half of the season was a disappointing one, and they decided the best course of action was to find an attacker in the summer. This club brought in three new center forwards as its three biggest purchases, so they are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with at least one of the trio.
Espanyol Barcelona PK and +0.5 vs. Sevilla FC, O/U 2.5
This should be a very entertaining match. Sevilla have been a mixed bag over the last few years, while Espanyol have overperformed in relation to their talent. It will also be a contrast between Sevilla’s penchant for attacking and Espanyol’s preference to play back.
Atletico Madrid -1 and -1.5 vs. Getafe CF, O/U 2 and 2.5
Atletico are the biggest favorite of the week, which is a bit curious given their opponent. Getafe are no pushover. They finished in fifth place last season, and it wasn’t one of those fortunate finishes you see from time to time. The visitors might be able to stun the hosts by earning a result. Atletico changed a lot of things this offseason, so chemistry could be an issue.
- Real Betis -0.5 and -1 vs. Real Valladolid, O/U 2 and 2.5
- August 19
- RCD Mallorca PK +103 vs. SD Eibar, O/U 2 and 2.5
If you’re going to go to the island, you want to do it early. Mallorca have a great home field advantage as opponents get distracted on the island over the long grind of the season, but it’s unlikely that Eibar will be swayed in the opener.
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