This article is part of our Soccer Picks series.
Another Liga MX campaign begins July 1 and it's expected to be a unique tournament, crowning a champion as soon as October in order to release players before the 2022 World Cup. In terms of betting, futures attract attention prior to the opening week and represent a potential source of big gains. While predicting the final winner from the beginning is always difficult, there are usually a handful of opportunities in futures odds.
Ten days before the start of the competition, betting is mostly limited to who will win Apertura and that's where I focus in this article, touching on the favorites, some mid-table teams and then the true longshots.
Atlas are clearly one of the favorites after winning the last two titles and will attempt to become the first team to get three in a row since the appearance of short tournaments in 1996. While they rely a lot on star players Camilo Vargas in goal and front duo Julio Furch and Julian Andres Quinones, it may be wise to wait and keep an eye on late transfers and injuries before backing them. Still, at +550 to win Apertura, the current champions are most likely a great option to lift the trophy once again.
Atlas to win Liga MX Apertura 2022 +550
A potentially safer alternative for the same +550 odds, considering the depth of their squad, may be a Tigres side that finished second in the Clausura regular season and remain solid on every line. Top goalscorer Andre-Pierre Gignac is 37 years old and the club figures to add another striker before the new campaign. Another option would be natural title contenders Club America, who finished the previous season with seven victories over their last 11 games and should be a solid pick despite their lower +450 odds.
THE VALUE TEAMS
Big favorites aside, there are also valuable odds among mid-table teams, which may have smaller chances of winning but could produce high returns for low bet amounts if they do. The most interesting of those teams, currently placed at +2000, seems to be Toluca. They struggled last season despite generating high expectations with the signing of manager Ignacio Ambriz. However, they put together a powerful squad for this season following the arrivals of keeper Tiago Volpi along with key elements who are well known by Ambriz from his former clubs, including Jean Meneses, Sebastian Saucedo and Andres Mosquera.
Toluca to win Liga MX Apertura 2022 +2000
Puebla (+1600 to win Apertura) are also an intriguing bet as they retained coach Nicolas Larcamon, who has delivered impressive results over the last two tournaments with a limited roster. While their performance dropped a bit in the final Clausura rounds, they should be serious contenders again in the upcoming season.
A third team which deserves a mention in this category is Monterrey. They haven't been the most consistent and in fact disappointed throughout the latest campaigns, but they have a great depth of experienced players and manager, and shouldn't be ignored at +1000. It doesn't hurt that they've been busy in the transfer market and added a top scorer like Rodrigo Aguirre, among others.
A peculiarity of betting on Liga MX is that 12 out of 18 teams qualify for the knockout rounds, so it's not unreasonable to think of an underdog reaching the final stages. If you want to go for a longshot, there are a couple teams worth looking at.
Both Necaxa and Atletico San Luis are +5000 to win the league and while it's still difficult for them to complete a surprise, both closed the Clausura campaign in great form. Edgar Mendez, formerly of Deportivo Alaves of Spain, is Necaxa's biggest addition, while San Luis are hoping young Brazilian forward Vitinho can provide a spark.