The weekend soccer card ushers in La Liga action and with a whole slew of matches set to kick off, including the clash between middleweights Levante and Rayo Vallecano, savvy fans have plenty of angles for profit to capitalize on with our soccer picks.

Levante looks to extend undefeated run to three in a row

Levante hosts Rayo Vallecano on Sunday all the while looking to maintain their two-game undefeated run. What do the soccer odds makers say? Well, they are being rather coy with the market on this matchup, tipping Levante and Rayo Vallecano just a hair breadth apart on the line. Levante is the marginal favourite at +145 to Rayo Vallecano at +190 with the draw set at +220 at William Hill.

Levante are on the heels of back-to-back draws, a 1-1 draw away to Mallorca and a scoreless draw at home to Real Zaragoza. This run of positive form snapped a five-game losing streak that began with a 5-1 capitulation to Real Madrid in the Spanish capital and immediately followed with a crushing 4-0 defeat at home to relegation threatened Deportivo La Coruna. Things settled somewhat after those two humiliating results – to the point that Levante didn’t just lie down and invite the opposition to steamroll them. But the results were still lopsided as Levante went on to lose 1-0 to both top of the table Barcelona on the away and relegation threatened Celta de Vigo at home.

Overall, Levante boast an 11-9-15 mark on the season, which includes an 8-3-6 mark at home – a seasonal output that sees them in thirteenth spot going into this weekend’s round of La Liga. The crucial stat though is that which represents their scoreboard performance – they’ve conceded 53 goals and notched just 36. At home, their goals for and against are dead even at 22 – small blessings? Clearly, defense is a huge problem and, well, offense is just not up to snuff and can’t make up the deficit.

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Rayo Vallecano looking to finish the season on a positive European note

Overall, Rayo Vallecano boast a 14-4-17 mark on the season, which includes a 5-2-10 record on the road. They sit tenth in the domestic table, just a point shy of eighth Seville and ninth Getafe.

Rayo Vallecano recently suffered a dip in form, going 2-3-5 in their last ten games, of which the last five were winless, 0-2-3. Rayo Vallecano descend on Levante hoping to snap a two-game losing streak in which they were held scoreless and conceded seven goals combined – a 3-0 defeat at Real Zaragoza and a 4-0 defeat at home to Valencia.

The last two defeats were costly for Los Che towards their Europa League aspirations: three points outside of a spot and twice, at the time of asking, they failed to realise those aspirations. It follows a win over Levante, with time running out on the season’s clock, is crucial towards that end. It’s worthwhile to note, Rayo Vallecano have had several notable wins on the road this season with wins over Malaga, Valencia and Athletic Club, to name a few.

Clearly, as mentioned above, the sports betting market is tipped in such a way that this match could go either way. To take it one step further, Rayo Vallecano is the value play at +190 when they are tipped just a mere fraction above Levante on the win. Admittedly, the two missed opportunities though have taken away from their stock value. Perhaps the pressure of expectation is just all too much for them.

Soccer Betting Verdict: Levante has the home ground advantage and positive form in recent weeks, which makes them the smart play for the win or to at least hold Rayo Vallecano to the draw. Rayo Vallecano however has the motivation of a possible Europa invite next season. Granted, they’ve allowed two opportunities to slip to the wayside. But those teams had their own agendas – Valencia had Champions League on its mind while Real Zaragoza was simply trying to avoid relegation. This time they face a side that hasn’t anything substantial to play for. Will it be third time lucky for them?

Soccer Picks: Rayo Vallecano to win at +190