La Liga is the Spanish translation for ‘the league.’ It is the top flight of club football in Spain and contains some of the world’s most popular teams, such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Along with the majority of European club soccer leagues, the season stretches from August until May, with the summer used as a break. La Liga contains 20 teams, the bottom three of which are replaced each season with three new teams as punishment for performing poorly in match play.
There are 38 La Liga matches for each team, and whoever has the most points accrued by the end of the season wins the title. A team is awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw while getting no points for any losses. At the end of the season, all tiebreakers are to be broken by the team’s overall goal difference, which is the number of goals scored that season minus the number of goals conceded.
As soccer is a low-scoring game, point spreads tend to be very low, so moneyline picks are much more popular. There are also choices when making La Liga picks to choose for a game to draw. La Liga odds are almost always in favor of the two heavy favorites each year, Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Atletico Madrid sometimes comes out on top. Those three clubs have won every title since 2005.
At the end of the year, the top four finishers are rewarded with playing in the upcoming year’s Champions League competition. This is a European-wide, World Cup-style, tournament where teams across Europe compete during their own domestic seasons for the title of European Champions. The conflict in the two competitions can cause some La Liga matchups to occur on weekdays, while most matches happen on Saturdays and Sundays.
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