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La Liga odds, picks after 12 matchdays: Four teams battling atop Spain’s first division

Both Madrid clubs are in the hunt, although it’s an unfamiliar name at the top of the table through 12 matches.

Real Sociedad v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander
Adnan Januzaj of Real Sociedad reacts during the La Liga Santander match between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club at Reale Arena on October 31, 2021 in San Sebastian, Spain.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid are still very much in the hunt for the domestic title through 12 matchdays, with Real Madrid in the mix as usual. Barcelona has been a disaster and fired manager Ronald Koeman, so it’s unlikely the Catalan club will turn things around. This is one unfamiliar name at the top of La Liga through about a third of the season in Real Sociedad, although there’s reason to believe it’ll falter down the stretch.

Here’s an updated look at La Liga odds for the 2021-22 seasons courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

The favorite

Real Madrid (Was +110, Now -165)
Record: 7-3-1
Key wins: Barcelona
Key losses: Espanyol

That loss to Espanyol might ultimately cost Real Madrid this title race, in which the Spanish giants saw a 18-8 shot advantage translate to a 2-1 loss. Karim Benzema is still one of the world’s top forwards and Real Madrid’s younger players are stepping up in key moments. This club missed out on Kylian Mbappe in the transfer window, but should have enough to be in the thick of this race by the end of the season.

The other contenders

Atletico Madrid (Was +275, Now +300)
Record: 6-4-1
Key wins: Barcelona
Key losses: Alaves

Atleti is the defending league champion and is holding its own despite some questionable draws against Celta Vigo, Levante and Athletic Bilbao. The team did draw against Real Sociedad, and will still get two Madrid derbies to score points against Real Madrid. There’s slightly more value here than in the preseason, so that’s good news for Atletico Madrid backers.

Sevilla (Was +1600, Now +700)
Record: 7-3-1
Key wins: None
Key losses: Granada

Sevilla is a consistent presence in La Liga’s top 4, and usually makes noise in European competition. However, the early resume is a bit misleading. The club has racked up wins over teams it should beat but also had a tough loss against Granada. Sevilla’s true ability will show when it meets Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Real Sociedad.

Barcelona (+1400) and Real Sociedad (+1600)

It’s quite disingenuous to put a team at the the top of La Liga currently behind a club in complete disarray. Barcelona is ninth in the table with an interim manager, a combination unlikely to yield positive results going forward. Real Sociedad has some key moments to hold onto in the early part of this season with draws against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. There’s still a long way to go, which is why Soceidad’s odds are low.

Best bet to win league: Atletico Madrid (+300)

Real Madrid’s odds offer no value, so let’s stick with the preseason pick and the defending champions. Atletico Madrid isn’t going to suffer any major losses in the transfer window, so the roster is going to be intact. Bettors wanting more risk can back Real Sociedad at +1600, but Atletico Madrid seems like the safer choice while still offering some value.

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