Will Real Madrid wrestle their La Liga crown back from city rivals Atletico? What the bookies say

The 2021/22 La Liga season is shaping up to be the most competitive and exciting in recent years. With football in Spain building back from the effects of the coronavirus emergency that hit the game hard across Europe, fans are beginning to pack stadiums again. The future looks bright, and there’s now an extra special feel about the campaign.

Everyone connected to football received a sharp reminder of how important the game is to our culture. We now realize just why it’s referred to as the beautiful game. The teams are ready, the fans can’t wait to get started, and the fixtures for La Liga 2021/22 have been confirmed. All that’s left to do now is make your predictions before settling in for the rollercoaster season that lies ahead.

The top bookies are offering odds on the outright winner of the division as well as a top-four finish and other exciting markets, such as the top goalscorer. The Bet365 bonus available to new customers gives a welcome offer of bet credits when you create an account and place a bet on Spanish football. This deal has already proven extremely popular with gamblers, and in this article, we explain how you can get your share before looking at the current betting.

Blancos start as favorites

Real Madrid lost the La Liga title last season and suffered the pain of having to hand the trophy across the city to rivals Atletico Madrid. The pressure is now on everyone at Blancos, from the board to the coaching staff, the players to the fans. They all have a part to play in winning the title back from Atletico. There’s all to play for here, and on paper, Real looks to have the strongest squad, but they must find the consistency and ruthlessness in front of goal that abandoned them last term.

The La Liga isn’t a two-horse race, of course, and Barcelona is another Spanish top-flight team with realistic dreams of winning the league. The giants of European football are struggling with several off-field financial problems and were forced to allow star player Lionel Messi to depart for PSG. They did so with a heavy heart, but fair play regulations meant they couldn’t afford to continue employing the "Little Magician" and cleared the way for him to move to Paris to save on his wages. That was required despite Messi agreeing to take a 50% wage - the highest allowed by the Spanish government - to help the team.

With Barcelona in turmoil and adjusting to life after Messi while Atletico have cashed in on a few of their better players, it’s no surprise to learn the bookies are supporting Real Madrid. Last season’s runners up are betting favorites to improve a place and regain their title. The team has the full backing of the market, with every major betting app supporting Madrid. There’s plenty of work to be done, but the early signs are promising. Barcelona are second favorites, with Atletico Madrid third in the pecking order.

Real Madrid lay down a marker for the season on matchday one when hammering Alaves 4-1 away from home. That sent out a strong message of intent to the competition, showing Real are reading and able to challenge. Benzema scored a double that day, with the other goals coming from Nacho and Vinicius Junior.

How to grab your welcome bonus

The leading online betting sites are accepting new customers today, allowing you to register for an account and place bets on their La Liga outright markets and upcoming fixtures. It takes just a few minutes to create an account, and you must complete this process only once. When registering, you will decide on a username and password that will be used to access your site at any time using your desktop computer or smartphone. Follow the steps below to create an account.

- Visit the homepage of your chosen bookie
- Click the Join button at the top of the screen
- Fill in the registration form
- Create a username and password
- Make your first deposit and bet

New customers will also receive a welcome bonus which will be available after your first wager has been settled. Check out the promotions page of your sportsbook after joining for an updated list of deals available to you.