- For the first time this season, Real Madrid are the favorites to win La Liga after a huge win this past weekend
- Barca suffered a disappointing defeat against Valencia, which puts them three points behind Zinedine Zidane’s side in second place
- Who’s the best bet to win Spain’s top flight this season?
Although Real Madrid has been tied with Barcelona for most of the 2019/20 campaign atop the La Liga table, Quique Setien’s side has been the favorites to win yet another Spanish title according to the sportsbooks. But for the first time this year, an in-form Los Blancos side is now the odds-on favorite to win it all in 2020 after their 1-0 win over Valladolid on Sunday, while Barca was surprisingly kept scoreless in a 2-0 loss to Valencia at Mestalla Stadium.
It was the first time since 2007 that Valencia defeated Barca on home soil; a long-awaited victory to say the least.
2020 La Liga Odds
Odds taken Jan. 27.
On January 13th when Quique Setien was hired as the new gaffer of Barca, they had -185 odds to win La Liga this year, while Madrid was at +165. But now, it’s the other way around, with the latest La Liga odds favoring Real at -175 and Barca slightly behind at +110 after their defeat over the weekend.
Madrid in Impressive Form
Zidane’s side has looked dominant as of late, going 3-2-0 in their last five league fixtures, including a draw against Spanish rivals Barca and an important win against Sevilla last weekend at the Bernabeu.
However, leading scorer Karim Benzema has struggled in the last month, failing to score since December 15th when he bagged Madrid’s lone goal in a draw with Valencia. The Frenchman has netted 12 goals while adding five assists this season, but the majority of those goals came in the first couple months of the season. If they want any chance of competing for a La Liga title, Benzema will need to find his best form in the final third once again.
Los Blancos have scored just five goals in their last five matches, so it’s evident they need more production on the attack. But nonetheless, they’re getting positive results, which currently leaves them with a slight lead over Barca in first place.
Suarez Absence Hurting Barca
Since marksman Luis Suarez went down with a knee injury that will keep him out for most of the season, Barca has struggled. In the match where he got hurt on January 4th, they tied 2-2 against Espanyol, who are 20th in La Liga. The Uruguayan scored in that match as well.
Since then, they barely defeated Granada 1-0, sneaked by third-tier side Ibiza in the Copa del Rey 2-1 thanks to an Antoine Greizmann brace, then lost to Valencia over the weekend. Leo Messi still leads Spain with 14 goals to his name this season, but even he’s not scoring that often lately. It’s not fair to put everything on one player either though. More is expected of Greizmann as well, scoring just seven goals this season. With Suarez out, they’re going to need a lot more out of these two in order to compete with Real Madrid for the title.
Their backline also needs to sharpen up, conceding 25 goals this term in 21 matches. To put that into comparison, Madrid has let in just 13 goals this season in the same amount of fixtures. The likes of Gerard Pique, Sergio Roberto, and Samuel Umtiti have looked too vulnerable at times, which has resulted in several disappointing outcomes this season.
Madrid is Best Bet Right Now
As of right now based on Madrid’s consistent form and Barcelona’s struggles, Zinedine Zidane’s side is the best bet. Their defense has looked much more alert on a regular basis while scoring enough to get victories.
If Barca can improve as a whole soon, it could be a different story. But for now, Los Blancos should be the favorites.
Pick: Real Madrid -175